With food concepts on the rise, arranging for deliveries has become increasingly problematic for restaurant owners. Having opened up The Stack, a burger concept in Kuwait City, Abdullah Al Mutawa decided to do something about it. “When I wanted to start offering a delivery service for The Stack, I realized what a hassle it was. This, in addition to the commission from the delivery platform I was on, the assets that were bought and the workers that were hired – made the delivery process extremely cost prohibitive. It was then that I got the idea for a food delivery platform that had a logistics component. One that would free restaurants from the hassle and be profitable,” he explained. Enter Carriage, the brainchild of Abdullah and his co-founders: Khaled Al-Qabandi, Musab Al-Mutawa and Jonathan Lau. Offering restaurants all the benefits of delivering orders to customers without the challenges of arranging deliveries, Carriage arrives as a solution to both diners and restaurant owners alike.
While Carriage offers a delivery service for anyone that requires it, Abdullah and his team hand pick the restaurants they choose to sign with. “We’re not trying to limit ourselves, we’re being selective. We only want the best there is for our customers,” he explained. Quality is Carriage’s biggest concern – and their promise is to deliver the food in the best quality possible. “We’ve promised restaurants and customers that their food would arrive in a quality that is as close as possible to the expected experience of in-house dining,” Abdullah explained. “The number of re-orders from our customers indicates that we are fulfilling that promise.” The fun part of the Carriage experience is that you can track your order in real-time! All you have to do is select the area you’re in, find your favorite restaurant and place your order. Once it’s confirmed, you can then track the driver on the map – gone are the days of guessing how long the food is going to be! Reeling with excitement and so many questions, we sat down with CEO Abdullah Al Mutawa to learn more about this service.
Why the name Carriage? And are you using the word “try” in ‘Try Carriage’ to encourage people to “try it out?”
Carriages were designed specifically for private passengers, connoted comfort and elegance. These are all things we strive for when delivering to our customers. We want them to have the comfort of delivery from the best and highest-quality restaurants in Kuwait, in a way that is individualized. And yes, we did want to encourage people to “try” Carriage out. We loved the idea of having a call to action within our name.
What separates Carriage from other food delivery services?
Carriage has a completely different business model than any other online platform in Kuwait. We provide an integrated service where we provide not only the platform that customers can order from, but we also take care of the logistics from the restaurants side.
What are the locations you guys have covered right now?
Currently we cover most areas in Kuwait as long as they’re below the sixth ring road, though we’re expanding very soon to most other areas! At the end of the day, however, we’re a start-up, and our growth is driven by our customers. Also do keep in mind that the number of restaurants and their locations are a big factor in how we expand.
What are some of the restrictions you have on delivery? Is this a food only delivery concept, or do you deliver coffee, soft drinks, etc.?
We don’t have any restrictions right now. Food, coffee, ice cream, beverages, Hot or Cold – whatever is on our restaurants’ menu, we’ll deliver it.
How can a restaurant switch from using Carriage to launching a delivery service? Do they still use Carriage’s services but as their own in this instance?
Why would restaurants launch their own delivery service?! Launching a delivery service is cost prohibitive, the hassle is ridiculous, and it is not the restaurant’s competence. At Carriage, we take care of all the logistics for the restaurants from A to Z.
How does a customer ensure that their order is correct? Does their order go directly to the restaurant or does Carriage handle everything?
The order goes through us first, and then to the restaurant. Customers receive an email with their receipt, and our dedicated call center is available for any inquiries that the customers may have or any changes they would need to make on their orders.
Are the drivers trained to know the areas of Kuwait and how to find locations?
All of our drivers go through extensive two-week training before they start working with us. We also provide them with a specialized Carriage driver app that they use to reach the restaurant and the customer’s locations, plus, it enables them to take the shortest and fastest routes to their destinations.
What’s next for Carriage?
We’re planning to expand both in scale and scope. Anything that can be delivered is potentially a vertical that we are entertaining. Kuwait is a prime location to introduce the on-demand economy, and we plan to make it as easy as possible for customers to be able to get all their needs delivered to them in the shortest possible time by ordering through their smartphones.
You can download the Carriage app on your iOS or Android device or visit www.trycarriage.com. For more information, follow Carriage on Facebook: trycarriage, Instagram @try.carriage and Twitter @trycarriage.