Here’s how Gopuff is becoming the next big food delivery player

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As the lines between retail and restaurant delivery continue to blur, Philadelphia-based Gopuff wants to be the next big disruptor in the on-demand industry. Gopuff started primarily as a hookah and convenience store product delivery platform, but has now expanded to include grocery, liquor delivery, in-house virtual restaurants, and more recently, kitchen partnerships. phantom with major foodservice brands like BurgerFi.

But is Gopuff stretching itself too thin when so many other delivery companies have tried to specialize in one particular category or another? Amelia Riba, Vice President of Gopuff Kitchen, believes that being at the intersection of all these industries is a competitive strength:

“We have the food, we prepare it, we work with partners […] we are the ones who control the quality, the food and the cost, and we are the ones who transport the food,” Riba said. “[…] The beauty of Gopuff is that you can order pet food, shampoo, milk, and pizza and have them all delivered together for one delivery charge.

Riba said the company has two types of kitchens: the first are the indoor kitchens located inside the company’s micro-distribution centers that can handle the organization, operations and delivery of all vertical sectors. The second is Gopuff Kitchen: trailers attached to micro fulfillment centers that can make the burgers, pizzas, wings, milkshakes and coffee that Gopuff has started offering as part of their in-house virtual restaurant offerings.

Pizza brand Gopuff’s Mean Tomato, which launched in May, was the company’s first foray into virtual restaurant brands and is only available through the Gopuff platform. The simple menu of classic pizzas is available wherever Gopuff’s micro-distribution centers are located (currently, Miami, Phoenix, Philadelphia and New York) and incorporates ingredients from Gopuff’s consumer packaged goods partnerships, including hot sauce Truff and Mike’s Hot Honey, both of which are available as toppings on pizzas.

“We love to hear what the customer wants to see from Gopuff,” Riba said of the company’s CPG partnerships. “What are they interested in? […] We work with vendors to develop a product, and then we just put it in there to see how it performs. And if it works well, then we’ll develop a brand, or maybe we’ll find an external partner, but of course we always make sure that we do it internally.

Gopuff’s first major external restaurant brand partnership — with BurgerFi — also launched in May in Tallahassee. After a successful pilot with the “Fi on the Fly” food truck that was parked outside a distribution center and catered primarily to area students, the BurgerFi partnership is going national and Gopuff will soon be delivering the burgers. and BurgerFi’s fries to customers in a dozen cities across the Gopuff network, including Miami, New York, Nashville and Philadelphia. BurgerFi will also be available at more than 30 Gopuff Fresh Food Hall locations across the country, even in locations where there are no physical BurgerFi stores.

“We learned [through the pilot] that many customers were really interested in ordering BurgerFi through the Gopuff app,” Riba said. “We work with all their ingredients and recipes and incorporate them into our cooking. We ensure that we are the ones making the products. So now you can order Mean Tomato pizza and BurgerFi burgers in one order and we can ship it together because we’re fully vertically integrated.

This, Riba said, is what differentiates Gopuff from third-party delivery platforms, which the company doesn’t want to be directly compared to. Using their own kitchens and micro distribution centers, Gopuff is a closer cousin to the ghost kitchen tech platform, Reef.

“Aggregators just move food from point A to point B,” Riba said. “They can’t control the quality. […] But we are a mixture of everything.

By taking elements of strategies and operational capabilities from third-party delivery platforms such as Grubhub and DoorDash, and ghost kitchen tech platforms such as Kitchen United and Reef, Gopuff is carving out a “hands-on” niche. in the booming delivery industry.

Gopuff has also started working with young celebrities relevant to Gen Z, including a partnership with YouTuber Emma Chamberlain earlier this year, in which Gopuff created and sold coffee drinks using the young star’s coffee beans. , and most recently began a partnership with Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp to use his brand of chocolate hazelnut butter, TBH, on Gopuff’s homemade milkshake menu.

The limited-time partnership, which launched in June and ran through July, included strawberry, chocolate and espresso milkshakes made with Schnapp’s TBH Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. Like all Gopuff products and partnerships, the company controls the quality, production and delivery of each item.

“We tackled the biggest categories: pizza, burgers, wings and chicken,” Riba said. “We also have coffee, which is ideal for the morning day, but it is possible to create a breakfast platform. […] We also want to start getting into the healthy space with salads, wraps and sandwiches. […] 2022 is about defining our vision and defining our products. »

The next step for Gopuff? In 2023, expect the brand to begin expanding nationwide and opening micro distribution centers in all major US markers

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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