Bolt Food takes on rivals with marketplace transition

Bolt Food takes on rivals with marketplace transition

Bolt Food South Africa is set to launch Bolt Market, a new online food market within its platform, as the food delivery service evolves into an expansive online marketplace. This innovative addition will feature a diverse range of products, including fresh groceries, pantry staples, household essentials, and alcohol.

Despite the economic challenges faced by South Africa, Bolt Food has experienced substantial growth since its inception in 2020, operating as an arm of the ride-hailing company Bolt. Tafadzwa Samushonga, Country Manager for Bolt Food South Africa, emphasized the platform’s move beyond the restaurant realm to embrace businesses across various verticals.

By introducing Bolt Market, the company follows a trend set by rivals Uber Eats and Mr D Food, both of which have transitioned into online marketplaces. Bolt Food currently operates in the Western Cape and Gauteng regions, boasting a roster of over 2,100 food-related businesses.

Samushonga elaborated, “Our growth strategy is to consolidate our position in these markets, leveraging the footprint of our ride-hailing vertical and strong, mutually-beneficial partnerships with restaurants and couriers.”

Virtual kitchens, popularly known as dark kitchens, have garnered attention among Bolt Food’s local customers. These establishments, such as Just Wingz, Bento, Ribshack, and Real Sushi, focus solely on food preparation and delivery, reducing costs associated with traditional dining settings.

Looking ahead, Bolt Food aims to solidify its presence in existing service areas and adopt successful practices from other markets. The company’s goal is to enhance user and restaurant experiences while collaborating with delivery partners to achieve a median delivery time of less than 35 minutes.

Samushonga concluded, “We want to continue finding ways to provide our users and restaurants with the best offer and we are working with our delivery partners to achieve a median delivery time that is less than 35 minutes.”

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