| South Africa

Vide e Caffè saw delivery surge 500% during the pandemic

Vide e Caffè CEO Darren Levy reveals product delivery at South Africa’s largest coffee chain soared during the pandemic, underlining a global trend towards digital coffee shop transactions

A Vide e Caffè store in Johannesburg, South Africa | Photo credit: Vide e Caffè



Vide e Caffè CEO Darren Levy has outlined how South Africa’s largest coffee chain adapted to severe disruption during the pandemic. In an interview with BizNews, Levy said Vide e Caffè’s nearly 300-store portfolio was still operating under “very challenging conditions”, but that the company had managed to limit permanent store closures to “less than a handful.”
 
Levy also said Vide e Caffè had a made a “successful pivot” towards beverage delivery by growing existing partnerships with third-party providers Mr. Delivery and Uber. Underlining the success of the partnerships, Levy said product delivery had increased more than 500%, with the pandemic accelerating a trend towards digitally enabled transactions in coffee shops.
 
Levy’s comments underline a global trend towards app-enabled pick-up and delivery services during the pandemic. US coffee giant Starbucks has sought to enhance its digital capabilities to counter Covid-19 disruption, launching its new ‘Pickup’ store format in the US and outlining the importance of its delivery partnership Uber Eats in the US, as well as its e-commerce partnership with Alibaba in China.
 
In April 2021, the CEO of US bakery and coffee chain Panera Bread, Niren Chaudhary revealed delivery, drive-thru and e-commerce sales had surged during the pandemic, with these channels now significant influencers behind his business’ growth strategy.
 
Meanwhile, South Korea’s largest coffee chain, Ediya Coffee, said it received 1.1 million delivery orders between October 2019 and September 2020, a 612% year-on-year increase.

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