Tomaso Rodriguez, the CEO of Talabat, has embarked on a bold endeavor to delve into the fundamental challenges faced by delivery riders and explore ways to enhance the overall delivery process and elevate the customer experience.
Embracing the role of an undercover boss, Rodriguez assumed the identity of a delivery rider in Dubai, immersing himself in the day-to-day operations of Talabat’s on-ground activities. His intention was to identify key issues and devise strategies to mitigate them, thus enhancing performance.
Reflecting on this remarkable journey, Rodriguez expressed his intention to repeat this experience on a quarterly basis, recognizing its value. He specifically chose to undertake this venture during the summer season to gain an authentic understanding of the realities faced by delivery riders.
Rodriguez articulated that this experiment has unveiled numerous opportunities for improvement throughout the process. “As the CEO, as the manager of a company, you can glean insights from numbers, data, key performance indicators, and dashboards. However, there are many aspects that remain hidden until you experience them firsthand,” he shared.
The Talabat CEO further emphasized that seemingly minor enhancements can have a profound impact on the delivery process, contributing to the satisfaction and enjoyment of the riders.
Among the primary challenges Rodriguez encountered, heat emerged as the foremost concern. He explained, “While riding, the wind provides some relief. However, when you halt at traffic lights or wait at the vendor for the food to be delivered, the absence of a sheltered area can present challenges.”
To address this issue, Talabat has deployed over 25 air-conditioned buses across the UAE, offering riders respite from the sweltering heat, particularly during scorching summer days. Recognizing the significance of this matter, Dubai authorities have also implemented shaded areas for riders, which Rodriguez commended as a “commendable initiative.”
In addition to its impact on the well-being and experience of riders, the heat took a toll on electronic devices. Rodriguez noted, “When I placed the phone on the bike, it ceased to function after approximately 10 minutes due to the intense heat.” In response to this challenge, Talabat is exploring the possibility of equipping delivery bikes with UV-protective windshields to mitigate the problem.
During his undercover experience, Rodriguez observed that certain buildings prohibit riders from entering and parking, forcing them to leave their vehicles on the sidewalk and risk receiving parking fines.
To tackle this issue, Rodriguez emphasized the importance of collaboration with authorities to ensure that riders have access to and can park in all buildings. “Ultimately, they are bringing convenience to the tenants and the location,” he asserted.
Another crucial takeaway from this venture was the necessity of enhancing riders’ training. Rodriguez emphasized the importance of providing comprehensive information about restaurant entry and exit points, designated parking spots, and other relevant details.
Moreover, he stressed the need for improved communication among the company, customers, and riders to ensure complete visibility and streamline the delivery process.
Drawing from the insights gained during this trial, Rodriguez plans to periodically undertake similar experiences to implement solutions and continually enhance the delivery process.