Grab expands its GrabKitchens to Thailand and Vietnam

The company plans to launch over 50 GrabKitchens in five markets across the region by the end of 2019.

GrabFood, the food delivery service of Southeast Asian self-labelled “super app” Grab, announced on Tuesday the expansion of its cloud kitchen network, called GrabKitchen, to Bangkok, Thailand, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, according to a Grab’s press release.

The launch in these two countries marks the first time GrabFood is expanding its GrabKitchen platform outside Indonesia. The company also announced its plans to soon introduce the service in other countries such as the Philippines and Singapore.

Currently, Grab runs 20 cloud kitchens across Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. GrabKitchens are similar to food courts where food vendors operate a stall, with the difference that the food is then picked up and distributed by delivery drivers instead of being served to customers on-site.

By the end of 2019, GrabFood, which operates in 221 cities across six countries, aims to operate a regional network of cloud kitchens totalling over 50 stores in five countries.

“We see GrabKitchen as a new solution that empowers our merchants to expand and grow, and for consumers to enjoy greater access to a wide variety of food. Taking learnings from our success in Indonesia, GrabFood is looking to scale the GrabKitchen network rapidly across the region in the coming months,” Lim Kell Jay, head of GrabFood, said in the press statement.

According to Grab, in the period from June 2018 to June 2019, its GrabFood gross merchandise value (GMV) grew 900%, with delivery volume growing seven times during the same period across the six markets.

Previously, the head of marketing of GrabFood, Ichmeralda Rachman, said that the GrabKitchen network in Indonesia grew its gross merchandize volume (GMV) 25 times since the first store was launched in April 2019.

Food delivery service is a vital business for ride-hailing companies across Southeast Asia. According to the e-Conomy SEA 2019 report, queries for online food delivery brands on Google have grown more than 13 times in Indonesia, nine times in the Philippines and eight times in Thailand over the last four years.

Food Delivery GMV, which was less than $400 million in 2015, has surged by almost 15 times in just four years, and has more than doubled in 2019 alone compared to the previous year. Google-Temasek-Bain&Co estimates that the food delivery GMV may cross USD 20 billion by 2025.