Why use apps for food delivery

If I go into the basement to get the garden furniture upholstery from there, it takes me around ten minutes there and back. And at the same time, the Gorillas grocery delivery service wants to take a grocery order, collect the rubbish from the warehouse, pack it in bags and hand it over to a messenger, who then comes with a black bike, black jacket, black helmet and, above all, with a huge black rucksack, or better said - set off (it can't work any other way) to park the bike at the delivery address, look for the right button on the doorbell and press it. Pling plong! Zack! The time has stopped. It had passed since the order was placed in the app: exactly 9 minutes and 7 seconds. Incomprehensible! Incredible that this is possible in the middle of Berlin. It's unbelievable that this is a business model.

The first thing you notice when you download the black gorillas app is that the basic attitude obviously needs latent aggressiveness. Just gorillas. While delivery services such as those from Rewe and Amazon Fresh decorate their welcome screens with lettuce, zucchini, apples and carrots on colorful table linen (Rewe) or at least chocolate bunnies in front of spring-fresh greens (Fresh), Gorillas relies on an ambience in the sense of: "Hau off, otherwise someone will catch you. ”Or at least the models would be told by their own parents:“ Have a look at least once when you are going to be photographed. ”But it will appeal to hipsters.

Just like large parts of the range. In contrast to the large delivery services, this is thinned out a lot, but across the imaginary supermarket shelves in your head there is at least something remotely from everything. There are exactly zero from Lindt. Exactly four varieties from Ritter Sport, including the “coconut waffle” variety. There is no such thing as the breakfast sugar madness Smacks, but three types of oatmeal. There is no celery in vegetables. Beetroot only as organic vegetable chips, beetroot fresh in organic form, the carrots are not organic, neither are the fresh artichokes, the organic eggs are sold out, but egg liqueur is available. There is no alcohol-free Jever Fun, but the Berlin Brlo Naked - an alcohol-free from the category that would have been called craft beer in the past, but which no one likes to write in bold under their brand names because it is extremely pre-corona.

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In general, the gorillas apparently enjoy the food trade. At least you have cinnamon rolls from “Zeit für Brot” in your range, a small, fine Berlin bakery chain with a few nationwide branches and with Bioland products that customers can watch while kneading the dough.

And in addition to the ultimate popcorn caramel hammer from Werthers Original (140 grams for the otherwise usual € 1.99), which is currently sold out in the gorilla food warehouse assigned to my home, there are also the over-the-top - and still extremely easy to nibble - Popcorns from the small "Popkornditorei Knalle", for example with the flavor of peanut butter and salted caramel (100 grams for € 4.99).

So all this should be delivered in ten minutes? As a test, I ordered extra across the range:

Ritter Sport white whole nuts, avocado, fresh blueberries, popcorn, an orange, a vegan organic frozen pizza, fresh rolls and cinnamon rolls from “Zeit für Brot”, a Camembert and non-alcoholic beer. But they have to walk all over the camp for that. That takes time. Ha! Double-click for Apple Pay and the stopwatch at 2 p.m. 08: go! Shortly afterwards, the app reports in English: estimated time of arrival 2:15 p.m. So seven minutes later. This is insane! The few minutes of waiting left me with little more time than to think: “That can't work. That can't! ”And an icon with a gorilla on a bicycle appeared on the city map in the app. The delivery was on its way. Okay, 2:15 p.m. it finally broke. But the deal was 10 minutes, it was 2:16 p.m. and the gorilla was getting closer and closer.

At 2:17 p.m., after a total of 9 minutes and 7 seconds, the doorbell rang. When the delivery man stepped out of the elevator door, something was on his mind: "Sorry for the delay."
Delay? The good man was over-punctual. And all of the items I ordered were there. The beer even cooled down ice cold.

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Answer: It's the micro-camps. With huge high shelves on the outskirts of the cities, the 10-minute delivery service by bike cannot of course work. All the delicious things have to be scattered all over the city. How many? No idea. They only have an English answering machine that points to the chat. And the chat says it can't answer any press inquiries. And the press office hasn't moved for 24 hours. They just improvise.

But photos on the press page of gorillas give an impression of how things go behind the scenes. Between raw concrete walls and fridges with glass walls, the warehouse looks like a small underground disco in the cleaning light. And there, in their twenties with masks, vegetables move back and forth. Everything is very micro.

And that's why you read “Back soon!” More often than the word gorillas in the Gorillas app. Everything is sold out. Because a lot is only available in tiny numbers in the small micro-warehouses. Red onions: sold out. Fresh sage: sold out. Bonduelle kidney beans: sold out. Herbal butter: sold out. Smoked salmon: sold out on Mondays, back on Tuesdays. But what feels like a fifth is gone. But so what? Four fifths are there. Gorillas are of course no substitute for big weekend shopping with the whole family. But the rescue for the spontaneous cravings and the disappointed look in the empty refrigerator between six episodes on Netflix.

Anyone who spontaneously feels like having fresh rolls, scrambled eggs, fruit salad after waking up in the morning can order, brush their teeth, wash cats and then just manage to switch from pajamas to home office wear before the gorilla rings.

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The prices: supermarket level, delivery fee: € 1.80. No minimum order quantity. My prognosis: It won't stay that way in the long run. For comparison: REWE is happy to charge up to 4 euros per delivery. With a minimum order amount of 50 euros.

Now we could cry out to compassionate customers: the concept is being carried out on the back of bicycle couriers. But in the end this is not a question of concept, but a very legitimate question of money. In other words: Are customers willing to pay so much for the incredibly fast service in the long run that the drivers can make a living from it and also make provisions for their retirement? That is the crux of the matter with chauffeur services, suppliers of warm food and subcontractors of parcel delivery companies. Logistics is one thing, payment is another. And it has to be right. Existence must never depend on a juicy tip.

From an ecological point of view, there is at least nothing to complain about about the micro-warehouse super-fast delivery concept. If you urgently need something to eat, you don't have to go by car. Gorillas drive with muscle power.

Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich are already there. In Stuttgart, Gorillas is looking for employees at least once.

Actually there is only one motto: try it out quickly before it gets more expensive - or before the concept fails. Which would be sad. It is so rare in life that you say: I just can't believe that a business idea really works. And then it works. Let's see what is out of stock next time. And then I spontaneously eat something else. Nine minutes later.

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More on the subject: The food delivery platform Talabat, based in Dubai, is the profit maker of the Dax group Delivery Hero - and wants to win over new customers with dark supermarkets.

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