Day In The Life Of Deliveroo's General Manager
Deliveroo is Singapore’s hottest delivery company right now, set to revolutionise delivery standards in Singapore. Within a mere 5 months, Deliveroo Singapore has become one of the most successful branches of this global internet start-up; and at the helm, is their swashbuckling General Manager, Tristan Torres.
Yup, this guy:
Is actually this guy:Source
Tristan was first inspired to bring Deliveroo to our little red dot because it was a nightmare to order food in Singapore. Not only does it take forever, the quality depreciates significantly by the time it arrives - if it arrives at all. When you have a screaming 3 year old on your hands, that’s not a problem you want to deal with.
Singaporeans have lived with this kind of delivery service for years and we have come to accept it as the norm, but Deliveroo plans to undo that paradigm. The service must be good, the food must be classy, and the delivery must be speedy. A 1 hour wait for cold, soggy junk food is unacceptable for Tristan and his company.
The food you order from Deliveroo arrives in an average of 32 minutes, piping hot and in prime condition, and they only carry quality restaurants on their website. So how does Tristan do it? How did he overturn a decade-old industry of sub-par delivery services? We followed him for a whole day to find out!
Step 1: EXERCISE!
Running a business doesn't mean that you have to give up on health and fitness. Outside of work, Tristan has a huge love for adventure sports including biking and triathlons.
The Ironman Triathlon is probably the world’s most difficult one-day sporting event, meant only for those with extreme determination and the athleticism to match it. It’s an epic 3.68km swim, 180.25km cycle and 42.2km run, done in that order and in strictly under 17 hours. I probably can’t even do half that distance before needing urgent medical attention.
Tristan has completed a couple of these triathlons, earning him the title of ironman. If that’s not cool I don’t know what is. He trains in the mornings by cycling 100 km, up to three times a week. To give you can idea of how long that is, Tristan lives in Dakota and his circuit takes him all the way to Kranji and back. The amount of discipline and grit this requires is simply beyond me. Maybe it’s these qualities that make a successful entrepreneur.
And how does he fit all this into his busy schedule?
He sets off at 4.30am in the morning, before going to work. 100km is just a warm up for the rest of the day.
Kickstarting the day with a team pep talk
Deliveroo is all about paying special attention to making sure your food arrives in tip-top condition, and Deliveroo’s drivers are the lifeblood of the business. They are the face of the company and the quality of their service makes the difference between a one-time customer and a loyal fan.
The atmosphere at this meeting is relaxed, and though it looks like everybody is just sitting around the pantry having a casual conversation - don’t be fooled, this is possibly the most important part of Tristan’s job.
Tristan meets with his Area Managers three times a week to discuss issues that have cropped up, hear about the problems drivers are facing, and give the appropriate guidance. Tristan conducts the trial deliveries himself whenever a new restaurant is brought on board, so he speaks from personal experience.
Fun fact: The most difficult items to deliver are french fries, pizzas, milkshakes, and cupcakes (“no matter what you do, they still move”). The easiest? Burgers and wraps (“you can play basketball with them and they will still stay in one piece”).
When it comes to keeping his team motivated, Tristan spares no expense. There was talk of booking cage soccer at kallang, go kart racing, paintball fights and even a family day at the zoo or night safari, all roo-sponsored. With perks like these, no wonder deliveroo drivers always have a smile on their face!
A small signature of his, a giant leap for Deliveroo
I think this was the most exciting part of Tristan’s day - acquiring a new property.
Deliveroo is rapidly expanding their driver numbers, pushing 1,000 drivers soon, and their current office is already bursting at the seams. The office is on the third floor of an old shophouse along Tanjong Pagar Road, and the new one is the second floor of the same shophouse, and it's HUGE.
The new office will not only be an office space for their operations department, but it will be a lounge and meeting area for their drivers to chill and enjoy some aircon between their deliveries. Since their office is in the CBD, this area is where most of their drivers on duty will be based, especially during lunch time, so the extra breathing room for all their drivers will be very much welcomed.
The walls are rather plain now, but Tristan already has many plans to decorate the place. The first order of business would be a new wall mural to match the one upstairs. And yes, he designs the murals himself! Is there anything he doesn’t do?!
Fun Fact: The office’s original mural of a kangaroo on a globe, wrapped around Singapore’s famous landmarks represents Tristan’s ambition for Deliveroo to be the dominant delivery service in Singapore.
Spearheading the Friday Flyering!
For me, this was the most eye opening part of the day, and an activity that encompasses exactly what a start-up should be.
Every Friday, everyone at Deliveroo office dresses up in a kangaroo onesie and heads to the streets to distribute flyers and various marketing merchandise at….wait for it….12 NOON. If you have any idea how thick a onesie is, and how incompatible it is with Singapore’s weather, you’d agree that this sounds downright INSANE.
But hey, who can resist a flyer from someone in a kangaroo onesie, right?
They take a different route every week, and today their route took them from the office to Amoy street and then all the way to Lao Pa Sat. The sun was unrelenting, and even in a short-sleeved polo tee, I was sweating. Despite this, the morale of the group was kept high, with none other than the big boss himself leading the charge.
Throughout the route, Tristan was practically skipping from pedestrian to pedestrian handing them flyers. When faced with rejection, they all laughed about it together, and never let that dampen their spirits.
There was even a mini competition going on to see who could give out the most flyers, and Tristan was coming up with new pitches to get people to take his flyers. So although it was grueling, they made the most fun out of it as they could. The energy of the group was intoxicating, and it made me want to give out some flyers myself!
These delivery bags were filled with deliveroo notebooks, post-its and tote bags. Trust me, they were HEAVY.
Sweating it out together in a onesie under the afternoon sun, giving out flyers, is tough work, but all of them do it anyway. This is not a simple marketing stunt, I can see it also helps build camaraderie among the team.
Call them crazy, but the strategy works. In an hour, they gave out more than 2000 flyers, and most of their deliveroo tote bags, post-its and notebooks. I really have take my hat off to Tristan and his band of kangaroos!
Of course, after the amazing workout that is flyering, everybody’s going to be hungry. At Deliveroo, there’s only one way to get food for an office party: Deliveroo.
The moment we got on the taxi back to the office, Tristan was tapping away on his phone ordering food for everybody. Yes, Friday lunch is Boss’ treat! It’s one of the many perks of working at Deliveroo. When we got back to the office, there was food from 10 different restaurants on the way. We had everything from sashimi, to burritos, to pork ribs. The spread was glorious!
Disclaimer: The photo here doesn't even begin do the amount of food here justice. (1) All of it wouldn’t fit on the table, (2) whenever we thought everything had arrived, more food came.
Not only was it about having a great lunch, this is also a good way for the team to test the quality of the food deliveries customers are getting. They will take note of things like whether the packaging used by the restaurant was strong enough to survive the journey, or how the food looked after the delivery, and of course, it must taste good too!
If any of the food is not up to standard, they’ll go and fix it... after lunch!
Celebrate his staff’s birthday
People are the most important element of Deliveroo’s business. From the riders on the street to the admin staff in HQ, Tristan takes good care of his employees.
It was Kenneth’s birthday, and Tristan personally orchestrated the whole birthday surprise. A huge chocolate cake was, you guessed it, ordered using the Deliveroo app. Kenneth, being the head of operations, came to greet the rider when he arrived, and nearly saw the cake. Thankfully Tristan was fast enough to hide the box under his onesie and before Kenneth saw anything. Phew.
While Kenneth was busy on one side of the office, Tristan gathered everybody in the other, lit the candles, and all of a sudden everybody was at Kenneth's table singing happy birthday!
Helping the company give back to society
Even though Deliveroo is only 5 months old, it's never too early to start thinking about corporate social responsibility. Every company out there, no matter how large or small, can chip in to make the world a better place.
Despite their logo being a giant panda, the WWF doesn’t only help animals, but they’ve got many initiatives in many areas to tackle climate change, deforestation, overfishing and food security. Deliveroo is a food delivery company, so it’s not difficult to see which initiatives Deliveroo would be able to help with the most. If you’d like to know more about the WWF’s various programme, head over to their page here.
What’s his secret?
After following him around for an entire day, here are the three things we learnt from Tristan:
1. Be a dispensable boss
Tristan told us that without his staff, he wouldn’t be able to do his job, but without him, Deliveroo will still be able to function as per normal. For him as a boss, if the company falls apart when he’s not around, that means he’s not doing his job well. He makes the extra effort to be a mentor to his staff, and gives them the autonomy to make decisions in their respective capacities, but holds them accountable to it.
2. Invest in people
The Deliveroo business model can be easily copied, but not its people. Staff loyalty is not something that money can buy. It’s something that takes time to nurture, and no competitor can take from them.
3. 1 delivery, 1 rider
Most other delivery companies out there will send delivery men out on a circuit, delivering to multiple homes before returning to collect more orders. While this practice saves money, the last guy on the delivery circuit is going to get his food later and colder.
For Deliveroo, each rider only has to take one order from one restaurant to one house. It’s going to cost more, but you can be sure that the food is going to be fresh and on time. In fact you probably couldn't get it faster, even if you had your own bike to get the food yourself.
If you haven’t ordered from Deliveroo before, try it - you’ll never see food deliveries the same way again. Whether you are pulling a long night at the office or having a Netflix marathon, you don’t have to move your an inch to get your food. Let your food come to you.
The deliveroo app is on both the iTunes and Google Play Stores, as well as the desktop. All you need to do is key in your postal code and order away!
Thanks to a special promotion by Deliveroo, TSL readers can enjoy $15 off their first order. Simply key in ROOTRISTAN as the promocode when checking out! This promotion is valid until 27th May 2016, and is best used over the weekend as Deliveroo is offering FREE DELIVERY from 30 April - 2nd May for Labour Day.
If you’re lucky, you may even win one of the 500 Swarovski(r) crystals Deliveroo is giving away for Mother’s Day. Winners are randomly selected from the orders made on 8th May. Start using Deliveroo today!
This post was brought to you by Deliveroo Singapore