Circles.Life pushes growth of Discover platform by moving into food delivery turf


Circles.Life has launched a new category called Discover Food on its Discover feature. The new category is aimed at supporting food & beverage outlets that are affected by the COVID-19 situation, as well as those wanting to avoid paying additional commission fees to existing food delivery platforms.

Both Circles.Life and non-telco users will be able to browse and search for F&B outlets on Discover Food. Users will then be redirected to the F&B outlet’s respective website or social media pages to complete the online food order. According to Circles.Life, Discover Food will list the restaurants on its platform and promote to over one million users in Singapore for free. The category will be active and available until the end of August this year, but the telco said it may extend until end of the year.

The telco also clarified that no additional fees will be charged for the F&B businesses and customers, and there will also be no operational cost.

Discover was launched by Circles.Life in November 2018, and is aimed at offering users a personalised experience to explore and book events, movies, local activities, and food in Singapore. To promote the feature then, the telco placed an invite on a billboard along Raffles Place asking Crazy Rich Asians' star Henry Golding out on a date for The Weeknd concert. While it initially appeared as though this was done by a fan, the billboard was later confirmed by the telco to be its own stunt.

The Discover Food launch comes shortly after the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) called for food delivery players to lower commission rates during the COVID-19 period and also in the future. According to a statement shared with Marketing, the RAS said these commission fees are between 25 to 32% for each order and described it very high given F&B's "razor-thin" margins. RAS was of the view that the food delivery companies are hampering the sustainability of F&B businesses who are largely impacted due to COVID-19. 

Grab Singapore then attempted to clarify the amount of commission fee GrabFood receives, using a pizza to illustrate the breakdown via Instagram. Grab's Instagram post showed the breakdown of each delivery, and how much commission it is getting from each order. According to the post, merchant revenue takes up 70% or more of its order value, while GrabFood's commission comprises up to 30% of the order value. There is also a SG$0.20 platform fee per order.

However, netizens were not pleased with Grab's social post. Some pointed out that 30% is still too high of a commission rate especially in a time like this, while others feel that the ad is not representative of delivery fees because most orders are more than SG$25, which is the price point Grab based on for its social ad. 

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