In the heat of the Olympics, more people in Brazil are craving food delivery.
iFood, the country’s dominant food delivery startup, has experienced a 13 percent increase in the number of orders over the first two weeks of the Olympics. Orders spiked by 30 percent in Brazil during the four-hour broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies August 5.
But the demand didn’t come as a surprise for the startup. “We prepared for the potential increase in the number of orders,” iFood CEO Felipe Fioravante told Mashable. “Brazilians like to watch the broadcasts at home, with friends, and good food, of course.”
Founded in 2011, iFood has grown to be the largest food delivery service in Brazil. Earlier this year, it acquired competitor service Hellofood Brazil and secured $30 million in new venture capital funding. It fills more than 2 million orders per month, on average.
An influx of visitors in Brazil has translated to new clientele. “Because our app has several pictures of menus and is easy to navigate, we realized foreign tourists also resorted to it,” Fioravante said.
The app has grown the total number of users by 5 percent since the Olympics began, up to 2 million monthly active users. An estimated 10,500 athletes and 500,000 tourists were expected to travel to Rio during the Olympics.
Fioravante had one big tech company to thank for his company’s ability to meet the demand. He credited the app’s integrations with Facebook as crucial to improving the delivery process.
The mobile app offers Facebook log-in and the account kit system, Facebook’s developer tool for app log-in via a phone number or email address, no password required. (iFood was launch partner for the tool at Facebook’s developer conference this year).
Those options are used by 80 percent of iFood’s customers, the company said.
For Brazil and iFood, in particular, the account kit system has helped improve deliveries since it provides the service with the most updated number to call for questions.
“In Brazil, people usually have more than one number,” said Dario Dal Piaz, Facebook’s head of product partnerships for Brazil. “We had no idea that the account kit would be used to update phone numbers for delivery services. Sometimes we discover the gold when we least expect it.”