Delivery Hero has people from all over the world, and want to hire people with the best ideas to make their business better every day
Not everybody likes to talk on the phone – especially to strangers.
Delivery Hero is making a revolution in ordering food via mobile applications and online, with more than 75,000 registered restaurants – and growing. From large chains to neighborhood bistros, Delivery Hero brings the best restaurants around you to the palm of your hand. In Germany, they own the well-known brands Lieferheld and pizza.de.
Today, Immigrant Spirit brings you an enticing interview with Hugo Suidman, Chief Development Officer of Delivery Hero. Hugo is originally from the Netherlands, and moved to Germany to work for Delivery Hero last year.
Since 2011, the company is one of the fastest growing start-ups in Germany – according to TNW Tech5 competition 2014.
Delivery Hero is hiring more than 50 professionals to its headquarters in the lovely Berlin. Read the interview below and see why you should consider becoming a part of Delivery Hero! Apply here.
Delivery Hero: A story of success
Immigrant Spirit: What is Delivery Hero? What made it so successful over the recent past?
Hugo: Delivery Hero is a company that built a platform between restaurants and hungry people. We try to make it as easy as possible for people to find their favorite food, switching them ordering their food on the food to order online or via their mobile.
On the other hand, we serve restaurants by giving them an extra marketing platform, an extra chance to get orders they would not generally get. Think, for instance, of these small restaurants with two people just running the restaurant. It would normally never invest in marketing, they would depend on people actually seeing them on the street. With our platform, they can actually have the opportunity to get extra customers and extra orders.
This is where we are, between these two parties. There are benefits on both sides: for customers, they can get a full overview from where they are. Not only where they live, but where they are. Based on your geolocalization, the app will show which restaurants are in your area and that actually deliver to where you are. You can see the experience from other people that have ordered there before. So you can actually know if they serve very good quality food.
The restaurants are displayed in order based on the quality of the food. This is also very good for the restaurants, because even if you are an unknown restaurant, just a single restaurant, but the best one in your area, than you can still be in number 1 position and have a lot more orders.
It is similar to Google: the first things you see in Google are the most likely to get clicked, and it is the same with our platform. If the restaurant performs very well, it gets a high positioning. With that, it gets more orders.
We are currently operating in 23 countries, offering more than 75,000 restaurants for the customers. We are growing very fast.
Immigrant Spirit: How did Delivery Hero start?
Hugo: Our headquarters are in Germany, in Berlin, but some of our operations have started in other countries. Lieferheld, which is one of our German brands, has started its activities here. Niklas Östberg, our CEO, has founded onlinepizza.se in Sweden and further expanded into other countries in Europe. Later, they have merged together, becoming Delivery Hero. Therefore, we are a multinational company from the beginning.
Immigrant Spirit: What are the advantages of being headquarters in Berlin?
Hugo: First, the start-up environment. We have good people and very good entrepreneurism here. Also, it is a good place for investors. Like a marketplace for start-ups that want to grow.
From the employee perspective, Berlin is one of the most loved cities now, especially when you are young. It is very affordable: you can live in the center of Berlin paying an affordable rent and having a very good life, going to clubs or out to eat. I think it is a great city to live in.
With the spirit of start-ups, Berlin attracts like-minded people. You see a lot of people with the same spirit, you meet them. It is like a world within a world. Berlin itself has a big character, and there is a very strong subculture that is the start-up scene where people meet, share new ideas, or people can actually try new initiatives.
There is also a lot of people within our company that want to follow our own steps and open their own company. They want to be inspired by the entrepreneurism for their start-up company. And that is something that we are open here.
Of course, we also offer a lot of opportunities within the company. We are growing and there are more and more opportunities to grow with us. I think the easiest way to see that is: if you have 24 countries, growing and growing, and you are responsible for a product, your responsibility grows with the growth of the company. Even if you keep the same title and job, the challenge will be bigger every day.
Video Games and Refreshments
Hugo: Definitely. It is a journey you want to be part of. It is an incredible growth. There are not many start-ups that actually experience such a strong growth like Delivery Hero does. It is a very special feeling to be part of this team.
Another thing people value a lot in Delivery Hero is the freedom they have. People are able to shape their own work and share their initiatives. They really have an impact in their area. This is not a company that has been here for a 100 years, with positions that are stable over time. You really have to make your own position.
If you are entrepreneurial, flexible and want to shape your own destiny and your own role, it is a very good environment.
We always say that “the best ideas win”. It doesn’t mean that we have an idea box and we execute every idea that is placed there. However, if we face a challenge, we don’t look at who had the idea, but to who made the best argumentation, the best way of putting the solution.
We want very self-driven people.
Our office is another factor that a lot of people really enjoy. Our headquarters are in the center of Berlin. You can walk out for lunch and have the best surroundings you can dream of. We have museums, restaurants, cafes, all within 1km from our office. You can enjoy that.
We also make our office as open as possible, which means: we knock down as many walls as we can so people can work as close together as they can.
People are well connected. Everyone working for Lieferheld, for example, which is one of our German brands, is on the same floor. The sales guys, the marketing guys, the product guys, everyone is within arms’ length. This is what we do to keep everyone closer.
We also take measures to keep everyone close to what we do and why we do it. In each department, we have weekly updates where people come together and spend the maximum of 15min, to understand how the company is doing. People only have the opportunity to speak for 60 seconds. This way, people can know what their colleagues are doing here, in the UK or in anywhere.
We also have monthly events where the CEO speaks, we welcome new people on board and connect the company as a whole. We also have family events, barbecues, Halloween parties, where people can bring their kids, we organized an Oktoberfest, just for fun. We like to celebrate and make Delivery Hero a company that is worth working for, but also part of your living. Working here is not only delivering your hours, but being part of the Delivery Hero family.
From all over the world to Berlin
Immigrant Spirit: You also have a very international team and made the choice of being an English-speaking company. What are the advantages of this multicultural team and of using English as the company language?
Hugo: The last time I counted, we had 43 nationalities. But it could easily be 45 now, as we are constantly growing. We are very international, and because of that it is mandatory to speak English.
We offer German classes for people to get more integrated in Germany. The best way to really enjoy Berlin is speaking the language, and we want to support our people to take advantage of that as well.
In my opinion, the benefit of our many nationalities is the cultural diversity itself. We have a lot of ways to solve challenges. It is not always going to be the German way that is used here. For every challenge, we seek for a solution. And the best ideas win. Sometimes, ideas come from a different angle, a different culture perspective. And that is what benefits us.
Of course, it is also a challenge. Even if you speak fluent English, but it is not your mother tongue, sometimes you need to really make sure that you mean the same thing. However, I think that is very positive and a constructive challenge. That way, you learn more about other cultures.
We celebrate our multiple nationalities, offering parties where people bring their own dishes, from their own country. On a daily basis, it is our normal: it is who we are. Being multinational is not something we have to think about every day.
Immigrant Spirit: What would be the ideal profile of a candidate to work for Delivery Hero?
Hugo: We actually have a brand card, that describe what we want from our people and what we want from ourselves. We set that and we really wrote down the way we do it.
We are in the food ordering business and there are, of course, other companies doing it as well. So, what is our way of doing it? We said:
First, we want people that are result oriented. We work for results. It does not always mean money. It also means having happier customers, having less complains, having more restaurants, having good employees, etc. We want people that think results.
We want people that come to us and, when we ask about what they think about our website, have something to say. What would they add to our service? We ask if they ordered, because we want people that have experimented the service from within, had an opinion about it and an idea of how they can contribute. We want champion ideas, because the best ideas win.
We want to have people thinking not only of the tasks that are given to them, but challenging themselves to over-score our expectations.
In the past, for example, we made websites for restaurants in a manual way. Someone came up with an automatic way that made a huge impact in the time and effort necessary for that. It is not that we have a new product. But the idea had a huge impact on the happiness of our restaurants.
We don’t want people that take things as they are, but people that think on how to improve every single thing. If we improve 1% every day, it all generates incremental change.
Also, we have the caring culture. We care about each other, we care about results, but we also care about who we are. We don’t want only to make money, but to have fun while doing it. We want people that are able to cooperate, that care about our customers, our employees, our restaurants.
Behind every order that is lost, there is someone that is hungry and didn’t get their food. That is the way we want people to think.
We also want that, when people are sitting among their friends and talking about one of our brands, they feel like ambassadors. You have to want to be part of it. We don’t want people with the attitude “that is not my job, I have nothing to do with it”. We want people that feel like ambassadors of our company.
We also want team spirit, people that think collectively. Everything we do is too complex to think alone and it has an impact on other people and on results. We think in teams, not in individuals. We don’t need intelligent bastards, like we call them. We don’t need people that are excellent, but cannot cooperate. Excellence for us comes with excellent cooperation as well.
And individual contribution, like I already said, has to do with people thinking like professional sportsmen: to be better every day. If you are in product, you want to make the product better every day. If you are in marketing, you want to make marketing better every day. If you think of yourself, you want to improve yourself every day. We challenge people to do that.
This can sound idealistic, and in the reality we need to understand that it is not going to be always like this 100%. But this is how we keep ourselves awake, how we want to be and how we look at people that want to be part of our company.
Immigrant Spirit: You have recently been promoted from Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Development Officer, assuming bigger responsibilities as well. Which new ideas have you brought to this new position?
Hugo: The biggest challenge for the Chief Development Officer is to make sure that our company is working in a great way, and that it is great to work in this company. Some tasks are not sexy, but still have to be done. You have to have very good HR processes, which is a challenge if you grow.
You want to create an environment where you create excellence and you get good people on board, keep them on board and make sure that everyone thinks of their next steps within the company.
The way I think of it is that we want to shape this company not only on a business model, but on good people who see the future of the company and their own future within the company.
On the individual level, it means that I want people to think of them taking care of the same product, but for more countries, or assuming a leadership position, or becoming an expert in what they do. That is one part.
I also want the company to think of the employees as the most valuable asset we have. We need to think of who will be the next leadership of this company. I want to make sure that happen.
I want everyone to know and feel what strategy the company has and how their responsibilities relate to that. We have the ambition to be the largest food ordering platform on the world. This means: we deliver the most meals.
It requires a lot of steps down from this bigger aim to the individual, but that is what I want to do.
Immigrant Spirit: You currently have more than 50 open positions only for your headquarters in Berlin, not considering other offices. How challenging is it to fill these positions?
Hugo: I think it is always a challenge. We do receive a lot of applications, but the challenge is always having the best people applying to work for us. It is not only about knowledge, and we do not want to bring people in only because they are available or because they have the knowledge. They need to have the right cultural fit.
When growing, it is very important to keep the spirit of Delivery Hero.
There is a war on talents in general, and in some positions, companies are really fighting [for the most talented candidates]. What we actually see is that with our reputation it is becoming easier to be recognized and to be considered by good candidates. We are now getting in touch with more good candidates.
It has to do with the fact that we showed over the years that we are here to stay. We have good investors behind us that have a big trust in our business model. In the end, we combine people that are really the best at what they do. Good people want to work with other good people. We always have to make sure we have good workforce, because they attract more good workforce.
Immigrant Spirit: Can you tell us which positions have been harder to fill?
Hugo: Yes. I think in IT architecture [it is harder to find candidates]. We are constantly on the look out. We would be interested in general in people with that background. If there is any way to use this article to connect with people that would like to do that, I would be very interested in that.
Immigrant Spirit: Looking into the future, where would you like Delivery Hero to be in 3-5 years?
Hugo: It is hard to say, actually, because we would like to grow more, especially in regards to business. We still see a lot of people ordering phone by the phone, and it requires a culture change. It has been done in other areas, such as taxis or vacations, and we still think that there is a lot of room to grow there.
The workforce will grow as a result of that.
The number of countries we are operating now will also grow, although there are no specific targets in regards to that.
Five years from now, I would like to think that we are the biggest food ordering platform of the world, making it very easy and enjoyable to order food. We want hungry people to be able to order their favorite food within a reasonable time, wherever they are.
For instance, you can’t think of not having a mobile phone anymore. We want to be one of their rituals: you can’t think of not having delivery anymore. Wherever you are, you don’t think you cannot get your food on time and pay however you want, being a habit people don’t even think of that.
Immigrant Spirit: Is there anything you would like potential candidates to know about Delivery Hero?
Hugo: I think you need to be here to really feel how it is to work for Delivery Hero. You can read about it, you can get informed, but the best way to really experience is to come over, experience it and speak to people.
I would like to invite people, especially within the IT architecture background, to come here and feel how it is to work here. I decided to work here when I visited this building, spoke to people and felt this atmosphere. It was what made me decide to come work here.
We are very successful at having people from all over the world to come and join us. Not just Berlin, not even just Germany. And we are open for more and more international people to come and join us.