New Italian Food Delivery App Connects Communities
Quarter is a new food delivery service in Rome that aims to position its network as a go-to community spot. This capitalises on the embrace of hyper-regional lifestyles we explore in New-Era Living: Local Cocooning & Community – but to expand nationwide, the company will need to build a culture of online food delivery in Italy.
While Quarter will operate similarly to current delivery platforms, it differentiates itself by focusing on community connections to a greater degree than other services in Italy, currently led by British platform Just Eat. Restaurants and grocers sign up to get a dedicated webpage, allowing them to retain control over the consumer’s hospitality experience. Deliveries will be handled by Quarter’s own fleet of couriers, but restaurants can choose to use their own takeaway containers or biodegradable options provided (at cost) by the company.
Amplifying the community aspect – and taking the product’s value proposition away from a pure food play – Quarter also has a message board feature, where users can exchange products and services, or propose community projects for crowdfunding. There will also be a focus on grocery delivery from small-scale independent shops (not supermarkets).
Food delivery is increasingly focusing on hyper-local engagement – see Berlin’s Gorillas courier service, which promises delivery of pantry staples within 15 minutes. Yet adoption of online food delivery remains low in Italy. As of 2020, 53% of Italians hadn’t used a digital takeaway service (Statista, 2020), while only 6% had purchased groceries digitally (Statista, 2019). While urban areas like Rome are more likely to be early users, Quarter will need to emphasise the value of local-scale digital engagement to drive business.