Meituan Creates Group Meal Department amid COVID-19
Meituan-Dianping is bringing its experimental group ordering to life.
According to independent sources, Meituan has established a group meal incubator in May, building the previous beta version of the group ordering project to an independent department. This department will be under Meituan’s B2C platform and is managed by Chen Xi.
Group ordering incubator project started in the second half of 2019, but it was only an experimental effort that was put on-hold as demand slowed late in 2019. During the pandemic, companies' demands for group orders picked up. Meituan organized a ‘safe working meal' initiative in CBD areas in Beijing and Shanghai with recognized restaurant brands.
This new service is aiming to serve small and midsize businesses for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a minimum of 5-10 people ordering, and the partnership with recognized suppliers can put Meituan at an advantage.
For Meituan, group order is more of an extension to the B2C service. Under the pandemic, restaurants will need more online orders to compensate for dine-in customer loss. However, with dine-in and online orders taking place simultaneously during the day, there could be pressure on the vendor’s end and affecting customers’ experience.