At Yandex, we have had the opportunity to play a major role in the way Russian users adopt new technologies and services to better navigate their daily routines. Our expansion into food tech is no exception. In February, we launched the Yandex.Eats food delivery service, which connects users with restaurants in a growing number of cities across Russia. Yandex.Eats is helping to add new and innovative ways for Russian consumers to enjoy their meals.
In the past decade, the restaurant industry in Russia has grown to offer people more variety and better customer service. Aside from pizza and sushi, food delivery has been rather limited compared to other markets. The recent introduction of mobile apps for food delivery marked a revolutionary development for the dining experience in Russia, where the market for food delivery apps is still nascent.
Yandex.Eats offers customers an easy and efficient method for receiving food delivery from nearby restaurants within 30-35 minutes. Customers select the address for delivery either on the Yandex.Eats website or in the mobile app for iOS or Android, which will show all participating restaurants. Users can then also narrow their options by the type of cuisine, ranging from burgers, sushi and pizza to dumplings and seafood. After ordering and paying with cash, card, or Apple Pay, users can track their deliveries in real time through the app.
We launched Yandex.Eats in February 2018 after acquiring the service Foodfox and following the merger of Yandex.Taxi with Uber’s local business, which included Uber Eats. Originally offering users choices from over 2,000 restaurants in downtown Moscow, Yandex.Eats has expanded vastly to now offer users options from more than 6,500 restaurants in 24 cities, with another 10 cities in testing. Yandex.Eats works with local restaurants as well as international brands such as McDonald's, Shake Shack, TGI Friday’s, and most recently, Papa John’s. Some of our partnerships, such as those with McDonald’s and Papa John’s, are exclusive, so Yandex.Eats is the sole delivery partner for these chains.
Maxim Firsov, the CEO of Yandex.Eats, notes how our food delivery service has expanded and how we are improving it with our machine learning expertise.
Yandex.Eats has expanded quickly since its launch, more than tripling its restaurants, adding over 20 new cities, and now receiving eight times as many orders. One of the key features of Yandex.Eats is the delivery speed, which is critical for customers. Our team optimizes delivery times by using Yandex’s machine learning, maps and data analysis technologies. The Yandex.Eats platform integrates our logistics optimization algorithms and the best routing tools in Russia to predict demand and calculate optimal routes for our delivery teams.
Yandex.Eats has been experimenting with “dark kitchens” in Moscow to provide users with a greater variety of choices. Dark kitchens are popup kitchens where an average of three or more of our partners can prepare food for delivery using our couriers. Dark kitchens are operated by Yandex.Eats in areas where restaurants are rare, allowing us to cater to neighborhoods which have traditionally had limited food options.
Yandex is excited to be expanding our food tech services, as food preparation and recipes are one of the most popular topics in our search engine, with 100 million monthly queries. In addition to Yandex.Eats, Yandex recently acquired a daily deal and coupon aggregator, Edadeal, which is often used to find deals for grocery stores. Yandex has also announced (in Russian) that it will be providing users with a meal kit delivery service through the acquisition of Food Party (Partiya Edy).
Yandex.Eats and Edadeal are available for users in cities across Russia, and Food Party is currently available in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.