Typically during Ramadan there is a spike in the region’s food industry. Early mornings and late nights boost take-away food sales and this has become easier with the dawn of the online food ordering app.
So, here is a list of food apps, restaurant review platforms, and pre-prepared recipe services throughout the region to satisfy your appetites throughout the next 30 days.
- food delivery app
Founder: Aymen Rashed in 1999
Arguably the earliest online ordering website-turned-app in Egypt and the Middle East, Otlob now operates in eight cities in Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria, Tanta, Port Said, and Assiut. They process thousands of orders daily.
Founder: Amr Ashraf and Nada Beshir in 2013
Launched initially as a rival to Otlob, the startup changed its model to a restaurant discovery and rating platform where users can share their experiences on social media.
menu directory and food rating platform
Founder: Amir Allam in 2011
Elmenus is a comprehensive food discovery platform that includes over 1,500 digitized restaurant menus with over 150,000 dishes to choose from. They allow their food community to share tasty food photos, reviews and dish ratings on the app and website.
Founder: Yasser El Zahhar in 2012
Gedety is a healthy catering service for businesses and corporates. Their model is built on having standing contracts with enterprises including Microsoft, whom they count as their clients. The only exception to their B2B operations is their kiosk at the Greek Campus for serving students.
EasyPan - r
ecipe kit delivery service
Founder: Hassan Arslan, Shahir Arslan, Khaled Attallah, Mohamed Bahgat in 2015
Easy Pan is a recipe service that helps users in Egypt make their own dishes by delivering pre-measured and pre-portioned ingredients, along with a recipe card guiding them through all the cooking steps. This startup is very active in social media, posting cooking videos and general food content.
Founder: Yousef Khalil and Chantal Siage in 2014
Another recipe delivery platform that receives users’ update about what they plan to cook and delivers the pre-portioned ingredients along with the recipes- in Arabic and English- to the users’ doorsteps. The platform has recently added recipes in Arabic as well as a “free meal for a good cause” option where, for every 50 meals ordered, users can donate a free meal to those in need.
omemade meal catering, Uber style
Founder: Waleed Abdelrhaman in 2015
Mumm (formerly Dish Dino) is a social enterprise that connects users with nearby home cooks in an Uber-like manner, where meals are cooked from convenience of their homes and delivered in 90 minutes, according to the platform. They have been recently partnering with underprivileged families and Syrian refugees in Egypt
, providing them with a monthly income of 6,000 Egyptian pounds (US$675).
- homemade meal catering, Uber style
Similar to Mumm, Aklni is a web platform for ordering home-cooked meals made by local highly skilled housewives. The project was launched in June 2010 as a regional branch of Yemeksepeti
, a Turkish parent website which, in Turkey, provides the same service.
Turkish online delivery site Yemeksepeti
Also available in all of UAE, Qatar and Lebanon, the founders were able to attract a decent 100,000 subscribers and over 1,000 partner restaurants and, with its recent expansion to Saudi and Lebanon, has over 4,000 food orders daily.
Founder: Will Shu and Greg Orlowski in 2013
This UK-based food delivery platform operates in more than 10 countries, including Ireland, Spain and Italy. They launched in Dubai last year after having raised $100 million in a series D round that allowed them to expand to several countries, including Hong Kong. They now list 67 restaurants in Dubai.
Founder: Ali Orlov in 2011
An online food delivery service across all of UAE, including in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. They have more than 700 restaurant partners and were acquired last year by Rocket Internet
Onlivery - online delivery
Founder: Daniel Kofdrali in 2012
One of the most comprehensive food ordering apps in Lebanon, Onlivery has more than 200 restaurants on its directory and around 100 areas covered. They currently accept cash-on-delivery only as it’s the most trusted payment method in Lebanon.
Lebanese Food - recipe directory
Founder: BeirutRestaurants.com in 2012
A platform that serves as a directory for all recipes of Lebanese dishes, along with an email subscription option. They have over 400,000 regional followers on social media and are very active on Facebook.
Ifood.jo - food ordering app
Founder: Omar Akel and Zeid Husban in 2011One of the most popular food delivery apps in Jordan.
This platform caters to almost all of Jordan and has over 300 restaurants registered. It was met with instant success when it first launched, racking up 69 restaurants in a few months.
- food ordering platform
: Abdulaziz Al Loughani in 2005
Also available in KSA, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, and Qatar this is one of the earliest ventures on the Kuwaiti startup scene, Talabat, which was acquired last year by DeliveryHero as one of the largest acquisitions in the region, listsover 4,500 restaurants in the region.
BelBayt - online catering service
Founder: Latifa Benessa, Ahmed Salamah and Ali Al Awadiin in 2014
Launched by three students targeting the catering industry, the platform has over 10,000 monthly users and around 50 partnering companies. The platform targets all types of customers from corporations, consumers and also event planners.
Eat - restaurant booking
Founder: Nizar Kadhem in 2013
Eat (also in Dubai) is a real-time reservations system for fine-dining restaurants. The app was launched with quick success, having seated one million users after 12 months of operation in both countries. They have partnerships with over 90 percent of the Bahrain fine-dining restaurant market.
Zomato - restaurant listing and review platform
Founder: Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in 2008
Headquartered in India (available in Lebanon, Qatar, South Africa, Turkey and UAE). Previously known as FoodieBay, Zomato currently operates in 23 countries, including Australia and the US. After it’s massive success in New Delhi, India, they expanded to the Middle East in 2011, starting with the UAE. They then raised $2.3 million in a third round of funding, after which they launched in Lebanon in 2014.