BAEMIN, an online food delivery app operated by Woowa Brothers Vietnam and Delivery Hero, acknowledged the role technology plays as Vietnam transitions to the new normal. Jinwoo Song, BAEMIN’s CEO, talked about his vision for BAEMIN and how they’re taking the initiative to support the recovery and growth of Vietnam’s food and beverage (F&B) sector at the MakanSingapore F&B Franchise Fair, the first-ever virtual fair aimed at bringing F&B franchising opportunities from Singapore to Vietnam.
The two-day MakanSingapore event held on March 25-26 featured over 10 leading industry experts including keynote speaker Nguyen Phi Van, Chairwoman of Angel Investment Network, Franchising as a Business Opportunity in Vietnam. There were also panel discussions with Hao Tran, CEO of Vietcetera; Jinwoo Song, CEO of Baemin Vietnam; Ken Atkinson, vice chairman of Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board; Asif Mehrudeen, founder and CEO of AHM Lifestyles; Michael Lin, CEO of Pizza Hut Vietnam and Peter Cuong Franklin, chef and founder of Anan Saigon.
Pre-pandemic time, Vietnam was one of the most attractive markets globally and even ranked 10th in Asia, according to market research firm BMI. But since the world, Vietnam included, had to adapt to a safer way of how we all used to handle things, consumer behavior also had to change.
Per the Vietnam Report’s consumer survey data in 2021, essential items went straight on top of the priorities in the consumption habits of Vietnamese buyers. Up to 75% of respondents said that they have increased their spending on home-cooked food since the outbreak of COVID-19, of which 46% are expected to continue this habit even after the restrictions were lifted.
According to the same report, respondents said e-commerce platforms and online shopping channels provide more convenience and safer service. In fact, over 91% of consumers surveyed used online channels to buy food and beverage products since the pandemic started.
Vietnam market research service Q&Me’s latest survey cited that at the end of 2021, 75% of respondents used online food delivery services and 24% of them were first users due to the restrictions brought by COVID-19.
“Back in the time when technology applications were not popular, F&B businesses always had a hard time trying to figure out the optimal rental spaces, human resources, and advertisement,” BAEMIN’s CEO said at the MakanSingapore event. “With today’s advent of many tech platforms like BAEMIN, businesses can easily approach potential customers, reduce fixed costs, and explore many potential opportunities for their development.”
One of the efforts BAEMIN has already put into effect is “BAEMIN Zone,” which assists F&B businesses in terms of direct branding. “This campaign has helped merchant partners decorate their places with mint color and creative visuals, creating a unique presentation to attract new customers and local pedestrians,” Jinwoo said. “At the same time, many large-scale training programs have also been piloted and launched, with an aim to help restaurant partners develop sustainably.”
The BAEMIN CEO added that although the past year was tough for all industries in the country, especially the F&B, they still have managed to bring home a win by expanding BAEMIN’s reach and services to 21 cities across Vietnam, they started with only three. As a result, the number of riders and merchant partners exponentially increased within a short period of time. According to Jinwoo, this is an excellent example of how technology can help F&B to recover and eventually grow.
The food delivery app also provides more diversified options for its users. “With BAEMIN's observations, Vietnamese users do not have a fixed type of order such as Korean or Japanese food solely, they always want to taste something different than before and want to explore different types of cuisines through each time of ordering,” Jinwoo said. “Therefore, BAEMIN has introduced a new icon on the application called BAEMIN Picks, which helps deliver new and unique dishes so users can discover and satisfy their appetite for food from diverse cuisines.”
As for future updates and developments, BAEMIN intends to introduce a new feature for the busy office workers — the Bento925. This update will include a menu prepared by BAEMIN Kitchen’s chefs to create a meal selection for a more convenient and comfortable lifestyle.