Delivering Localization Excellence: How Phrase Accelerated Deliveroo’s Global Expansion
William Shu founded Deliveroo in 2013 after noticing few restaurants in London that delivered food to his office. What started as a mission to bring the best local restaurants to people’s doorsteps has grown into an international operation that provides restaurant and grocery deliveries within 30 minutes or less. Deliveroo now collaborates with roughly 170,000 restaurants and grocery partners in 10 markets, including the UK, France, Kuwait, Singapore, and Hong Kong, with more than 3,500 global employees and 150,000 riders.
The road to global expansion
As Deliveroo expanded to new markets, it needed to translate and localize its pioneering logistics technology, app, and website to enable seamless customer experiences and deliveries. The company currently operates in 10 languages across four key audiences: customers; restaurant and grocery partners; riders who perform deliveries; and businesses that offer Deliveroo as an employee benefit.
As the company rapidly expanded, it realized that its existing localization workflow was fragmented and not sustainable. Engineers, developers, designers, and UX writers would individually send strings, keys, and screenshots for product content to be translated, but the process was slow, manual, and inefficient.
The company built out its localization team, which now has 4 Localization Managers working at full capacity, receiving 20 to 30 translation requests per month; projects range in size from five translation keys to 200, extracted from the source code or content of Deliveroo’s logistics technology, app or website.
The delivery company’s localization requests also extend to longer, non-product content for other business units, including marketing and communications.
Deliveroo’s challenge was to find the right translation software for its needs. It also had to create a process, and employ a solution that would further embed the Localization team into the Experience, Engineering, Design, and Product units. The goal was to increase efficiency, improve turnaround times, and maintain exceptional quality in order to execute an aggressive expansion strategy.
As the business was growing, we had more localization requests from many different teams, and it became unsustainable to work without a proper Translation Management System.
Senior Localization Manager
Scaling without compromise—the recipe for global success
Phrase’s comprehensive Localization Suite was the answer Deliveroo was looking for. To meet its localization objectives, Deliveroo employed multiple components of the Phrase Localization Suite, including Phrase Strings, the Phrase Figma plugin, and Phrase TMS (Translation Management System).
Deliveroo’s initial implementation focused on Phrase Strings, designed to localize apps and websites via a lean software localization platform. Deliveroo extended its collaboration with Phrase by introducing the plugin for the design tool Figma to localize product and app content. Deliveroo’s localization managers worked with Phrase to develop and test the Figma plugin, which today allows Deliveroo to push keys, content strings, and screenshots with a single click. Deliveroo can pull the translations back into Figma and quickly create localized designs for final quality assurance (QA) testing.
As the business scaled, localization requests increased, specifically for longer, non-product content from other parts of Deliveroo, including legal, marketing, and communications. With employees sometimes needing to create translation keys for every paragraph in a piece of content, Deliveroo’s use of Google Sheets and Google Docs became too cumbersome.
To overcome this challenge, Deliveroo introduced Phrase TMS, which has enabled the company to build reliable and consistent Translation Memories for different types of content including marketing and legal. Translation Memories and Terminology Databases allowed for repeatability and time savings. “Imagine having to copy and paste everything,” Cristina said. “It was absolutely crazy.”
Explore the measurable impact of Phrase on Deliveroo’s operations
The Phrase Localization Suite provides the holistic solution that Deliveroo needs to overcome its complex organizational challenges. Initially a user of Phrase Strings to support the translation of its technology, the Deliveroo localization team knew it needed a plugin for Figma, which was used by the Product team. Although Deliveroo explored other platforms the team ultimately chose Phrase because of the team’s expert knowledge on the Figma plugin.
When Deliveroo’s localization needs expanded to non-product content, the company considered other platforms that could centralize localization of all Deliveroo content. The company ultimately decided to employ Phrase TMS due to its existing strong relationship and experience with Phrase and the power of its full localization offering.
Cristina supervised the integration of Phrase TMS, with the Deliveroo team adopting the platform “super fast”.
While Strings enables better collaboration with engineers and significant time and cost savings, Phrase TMS provides improved consistency through the creation of Translation Memories. The localization team is able to work in two to three main workflows per month and per vertical, consisting of roughly 100 keys. In most projects, engineers have automated releases. The localization team is able to process content for localization in bulk and ship new features faster.
By using the Phrase Localization Suite, localization managers are saving at least 35-40% of the time typically spent on project management.
Senior Localization Manager
Key ingredients: Maximizing efficiency and elevating quality
- Increased efficiency: Deliveroo has streamlined its workflow by three to four days allowing its team to focus on what matters. Deliveroo’s translators and reviewers also spend their time more efficiently, which has reduced the company’s vendor costs as well as saving valuable time, thereby speeding up the time to market in support of its expansion plans.
- Better collaboration: Thanks to the Phrase Suite, teams collaborate better, driving innovation and enhancing user experience. After design and content are approved in Figma, the localization team now creates the keys and uses the Strings plugin to push the keys to Phrase Strings. This has allowed the localization team to become more embedded within the full workflow for each feature. Being involved earlier in the design phase enables the localization team to spot potential problems before beginning the localization process and to collaborate more effectively with engineers, UX and content designers.
- Superior quality: Deliveroo previously received translation keys in an ad hoc manner, making for a messy and disjointed process that stalled progress. By using Phrase Strings and the Figma plugin, Deliveroo receives all keys at once, enabling a faster and more robust QA process to drive quality.
Deliveroo + Phrase = the perfect blend
The Phrase Localization Suite didn’t just solve Deliveroo’s challenges; it powered its global ambitions. Deliveroo’s investment in Phrase has helped scale Deliveroo’s operations and given the delivery company a competitive edge, all while saving time, cost, and enhancing cross-team collaboration.
- Personalized experiences: The Phrase Localization Suite allows Deliveroo to provide a more tailored and personalized user experience for its customers across different regions. No matter where they are, Deliveroo ensures a local feel in their services.
- Rapid rollouts: The streamlined localization process means quick feature updates for all regions. So, customers won’t be left waiting for the latest and greatest from Deliveroo, no matter where they are.
- Market leadership: Being ranked first or second in most markets is a testament to Deliveroo’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. When a customer chooses Deliveroo, they’re choosing a market leader. This means ensuring the customer gets the right content for their market, in the language they speak.
- Reliability assured: Accurate content, every time. Deliveroo’s customers can trust that the information, menus, and other content on its platform is accurate and reliable, ensuring they get exactly what they order.
Investments in Phrase’s cutting edge localization technology allows Deliveroo to offer a consistent and high-quality service in every market. Deliveroo’s customers can now experience uniform excellence wherever they are, whether ordering in London or Lisbon.
Deliveroo wouldn’t have a localization process without Phrase. Investing in the Phrase Localization Suite, we have managed to centralize the process and ensure consistency with all types of content. Most importantly, thanks to Phrase, we’ve helped improve time to market and customer satisfaction in new regions.