Even 10 years ago, it was impossible to imagine that the delivery of food or groceries would arrive within half an hour after the order, and a table in a restaurant could be booked through the application, accumulate bonuses there, leave a tip and split the bill.

How technology is changing needs

Previously, products followed a linear path from the manufacturer to the consumer through resellers, stores or restaurants. Now, food manufacturers and resellers can be connected to end consumers through delivery services with their own warehouses. Online technologies have expanded the choice for the end consumer, which means they have increased the value of the offer.

We have identified several types of food ecosystems in terms of what tasks they solve for users:

  • Choice of the restaurant and organization of the visit
  • Restaurant meal at home
  • Delivery of ingredients with recipes
  • Fast delivery of products

Wolt is a Finnish technology company  digital ecosystem best known for its restaurant ordering platform. The company strives to ensure that the user receives the dish within half an hour from the moment the order is placed.

The idea of Wolt came to the founders when they noticed the transformation of the taxi ordering model: from the traditional one, when the client refers to a specific service, to booking in the application, which allows you to choose an available option without being tied to a taxi service.

Wolt offers two channels for customer interaction: through the app and the website. In both cases, the user experience is built around choosing and ordering dishes.

Customers can order delivery or self-delivery of dishes and some goods such as sweets and pet food, as well as collect a group order.

In some establishments, the At the table function is available — pre-ordering dishes with the opportunity to eat them in a restaurant. Interestingly, the user does not reserve a table (for example, you cannot choose the number of guests at the table), but notifies the establishment of his visit through the choice of dishes.

The Wolt ecosystem consists of:

Client application and website

Both platforms offer the same set of features.

Wolt at Work corporate portal

The interface is the same as the Wolt site for regular customers, but there is an additional panel for administrators. It allows you to control the orders of individual employees and entire departments, set a budget, upload invoices and other accounting materials.

Applications for couriers

In real time, it shows earnings and the nearest place where you can pick up the order.

Restaurant Apps

Prepaid orders arrive on the iPad. The staff needs to prepare the food and hand it over to the courier or directly to the customer.

Wolt differs from such giants as UberEats and Deliveroo in that, in addition to delivery, it allows you to pre-order a dish and eat it on the spot. The company also focuses on cities with a population of less than 1 million people, in contrast to the same UberEats, which is interested in larger markets.

When operating in smaller cities, it is more difficult to assess the profitability of the business model at launch, as there are fewer orders per hour for longer delivery distances. Wolt uses machine learning algorithms to predict order flow and optimize courier routes.

According to the co-founder of the company Mika Kuusi, the service can be launched in a city with a population of 30-40 thousand people, go to zero within a few weeks and even make the first profit.

Wolt is a digital business ecosystem open to partners who can reduce costs for the company and increase value for customers.

In 2016, the company began testing delivery using small wheeled robots from Starship. Individual customers receive an SMS warning that the order will be delivered in a closed container inside the robot. To get food, you need to click on the link that comes to your smartphone and unlocks the robot.

Wolt belongs to vertical ecosystems that are centered on one product — the ordering and delivery of restaurant dishes. Unlike a vertical ecosystem that solves one problem, a horizontal one covers an entire area and extends to related areas and services. It is the best digital ecosystem solution to grow your business.

Creating an independent ecosystem or integrating with an existing one is a logical step for food businesses. Every year we observe the emergence of new projects in this direction, from which users expect a better and faster solution to their problems. And it is the ecosystem approach to building a business that can justify their expectations.


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