Economy & Politics podcastHow the crisis keeps Lieferando on the road to success

A bicycle courier in Stuttgart. In the corona crisis, delivery services such as Lieferando record increasing sales due to closed restaurantsimago images / Arnulf Hettrich

Up to 40 percent growth: While other companies saw their sales break down in the corona pandemic and were concerned with fear, the top dog among the food delivery services in Germany was able to grow significantly. After years of advertising and takeover battles, Lieferando has a quasi-monopoly in Germany. Whether pizza, sushi or burritos: Anyone ordering food online in this country almost always ends up with Lieferando.

During the lockdown period, the company, which was founded in 2009, went up steeply. More vendors came onto the platform and many customers ordered their meals online for the first time.

“We saw an extremely high number of new customers,” says Jörg Gerbig, founder of Lieferando, in the podcast “The Hour Zero” (, Stern, n-tv). The former investment banker not only heads the Essen delivery service in Germany, but is also involved in its global expansion as Chief Operating Officer of the parent company Just Eat Takeaway.

For him, Corona is an event that can push the market “by a year or two”. The calculation: So far only about 15 percent of Germans order their food online, so the potential is great.

Disputes over tips with drivers

However, criticism increases with success. Over the past few weeks, Lieferando delivery drivers have complained about a lack of tips. The problem: Since customers have had the option of paying the tip digitally via the app, there have obviously been cases in which the money is not passed on to the driver.

For Gerbig, the fault is not with Lieferando, but with the respective partner restaurants. Many of them only use the platform and the billing system, but drive out the food with their own drivers. It could happen there, Gerbig said, that Lieferando would tip the restaurant, but from there it would not be passed on to the driver. “We pass it on 100 percent and we also pass it 100 percent on to the restaurants,” said Gerbig. “At the end of the day, it is up to the restaurant to decide how it is distributed.”

With over 20,000 restaurant partners in Germany “there are of course always cases where the billing may be misunderstood”. On the other hand, there were no problems with the drivers, said the Lieferando founder.

You hear directly what Jörg Gerbig likes to order himself and how he wants to become number one with the parent company in the USA in the new episode of “The Hour Zero” Audio Now, Apple or Spotify or via Google.


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