“Without Otter, it wouldn’t be possible to have such smooth delivery operations”.
In 2012, the Emirati sisters Shaima and Alia Al Shirawi turned their dreams into a reality by opening Miyabi, a Japanese fusion restaurant based in Dubai. Since its conception, Miyabi’s mission statement has remained front and centre on their website: “dedicated to offering the best sushi near you.”
Almost a decade later, Miyabi is now a chain restaurant with six locations across Dubai. You can dine or order in from a Miyabi in Sheikh Zayed Road, Media City, The Palm Jumeirah, La Mer, DIFC, and Dubai Silicon Oasis. The result? Contemporary Japanese cuisine is available across the country with a click of a button.
So how did the entrepreneurial sister-duo grow their restaurant business so quickly? Beyond the restaurant’s proximity to its customers, Miyabi relies on two critical differentiators to beat its competition: fresh ingredients and excellent customer service.
We spoke with Cristine Buenvenida, who is currently responsible for Miyabi’s delivery operations, to learn more about running one of Dubai’s most popular sushi chains—and how Otter helps super-charge their delivery service across locations.
“At Miyabi, we use all delivery services. If you want to order from Noon Food, Miyabi should be there. If you want to order from Deliveroo, Miyabi should be there.”
Food delivery is a big business. COVID-19 prompted 40% of owners to add delivery tech solutions to their restaurants, making delivery platforms a hot topic in recent years. But as we re-emerge into a post-pandemic world, it’s clear that delivery is here to stay. In fact, experts say that the online food delivery market’s global revenue is expected to rise to $151.5 billion in 2021.
The UAE is no exception to this trend. Studies show that consumers in the UAE started shopping online more frequently following the pandemic. While health supplies and electronic goods initially reported the greatest surge in sales, food and beverages followed as the lockdown progressed. The UAE is the second-largest market for online food delivery in the MENA region and, according to Statista, user penetration will surpass 30% this year.
As food delivery grows, so do the number of delivery services. Aggregators such as Talabat, Deliveroo, Zomato and Careem are just a few of the ways to order a meal. Most restauranteurs aim to be on more than one delivery platform to increase their sales. But using more than one service means balancing orders, notifications, menus, and multiple tablets.
“At Miyabi, we use all delivery services,” Cristine tells us. Miyabi also prioritises delivering their food as fast as possible. “If you want to order from Noon Food, Miyabi should be there. If you want to order from Deliveroo, Miyabi should be there.” For Cristine, it’s essential to strategise based on platform and year. “We do a lot of menu engineering. If you see the menu, it’s quite huge, so we work to make it different every year”.
“You have very strong customer support, that’s something that we really appreciate compared to other companies”.
Before learning about Otter in 2020, Cristine worked with multiple tablets in a small office at their Sheikh Zayed Road location. She recalls the challenges of listing Miyabi on over ten delivery services with six different locations. Dealing with the numerous dashboards was the worst part for the Miyabi team. Today, they only have to manage one single tablet per restaurant. “Without Otter, it wouldn’t be possible to have such smooth delivery operations”.
Otter helps Miyabi consolidate delivery services like Noon Food, Deliveroo, Zomato, Talabat and more into a single tablet. As a centralised hub for online orders, Otter provides a range of management solutions from order auto acceptance, to menu management, to storefront pausing and more. Overall, Otter’s goal is to increase efficiency and decrease stress across their chain of restaurants.
Just as Miyabi pursues outstanding customer service, they expect the same from their providers. The restaurant chain worked with other solutions before partnering with Otter. “Whenever we’ve needed assistance, your support is there. You have very strong customer support, that’s something that we really appreciate compared to other companies”. Having a dedicated Support Specialist, Lauren, is also key for Miyabi: “We are more into relationships when we partner with or providers”, says Cristine. “If we have a problem, Lauren is here. Honestly, even if there are no problems, she’s here. You guys are taking good care of us”.
If you are in Dubai, you can support Miyabi by ordering Japanese food from one of their six locations. We suggest ordering the Messy Nori, a taco-style crunchy nori with fresh salmon, avocado and mango with delicious toppings.