Shuttle 2018 VIP Program

vip-logo2Why is Shuttle finally doing a VIP program?
Shuttle is an English friendly food delivery service that delivers from Seoul’s best foreign restaurants. We launched our company in 2014 with two goals; first, we wanted to make delivery more accessible for foreigners who couldn’t speak Korean. Second, we wanted to expand restaurant options that were available for delivery. We wanted to give more options for consumers, both in terms of what types of cuisine are available for delivery, and how they can place and pay for orders. At present we deliver in the following areas: Yongsan-gu, Gangnam-gu, Jongno-gu, Jung-gu, Seodaemun-gu, Mapo-gu, Seocho-gu, Anjung-ri and Songtan.

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Now we want offer even more from us! This VIP program is all about you, and building lasting bridges in our community. This VIP program is about promoting unity among the people supporting us. We hope the benefits of being in our VIP program will want you to continue to support our initiative to leave a lasting impression in the global community of Seoul.

What benefits do Shuttle VIP customers receive?

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One free delivery fee every month (4,000 KRW value) on an order with the food value over 25,000 KRW
Delivery Fee rebate of 10% credited to your Shuttle account for all delivery fees paid during your status as a VIP customer. For example, you paid 250,000 KRW in delivery fees between June 1st – June 30th; on July 1st your Shuttle account will be credited 25,000 KRW (10% of delivery fees). You can use the credit any way you’d like.
Free delivery credit on your birthday every year. Invites to Shuttle customer appreciation events throughout the year

How do I become a Shuttle VIP customer?

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You can become a Shuttle VIP customer two ways:
You are a member of an organization that has partnered with Shuttle to offer its members Shuttle VIP status.
OR
Your orders on Shuttle the previous calendar month totaled more than 750,000 KRW. For example, if your order total between June 1st – June 30th was 751,000 KRW then your account will automatically be elevated to Shuttle VIP status between July 1st – July 31st.

Can I lose my status as a Shuttle VIP customer?
Yes, Shuttle VIP status is checked every six months with partner organizations to ensure members are still an active part of said organization. If you cease to be an active member your Shuttle VIP status will be revoked. Shuttle status for Shuttle customers will automatically be checked every month, if your order total was lower than 750,000 KRW between June 1st – June 30th your Shuttle VIP status will be removed starting July 1st.

Does becoming a Shuttle VIP customer cost money?
You cannot buy VIP membership. At present only people who are partnered with organizations Shuttle cooperates with or Shuttle Delivery customers spending over 750,000 KRW per calendar month are eligible for VIP status.

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How do I get access to Shuttle VIP through my local organization or group? Here is the Sponsorship Application process!

Application Process
Organizations are welcome to submit sponsorship proposals to partners@shuttledelivery.co.kr.
Proposals should include the following:
Description and history of the organization, event or program the applicant wants Shuttle to sponsor.
Explanation of why Shuttle should sponsor particular organization, event and/or program, including sponsorship benefits to Shuttle.
Audience demographics for event or program.
Sponsorship levels available, including a list of other partners, if applicable.
Sponsorship levels and costs associated with each level.
Deadline for sponsorship decision.
Post-event evaluation process.
Existing sponsors.
Before submitting any proposal, the sponsorship Evaluation Criteria listed below should be considered.

Affiliate Marketing

Evaluation Criteria
Sponsorship proposals are evaluated against several criteria. These criteria have been developed to ensure that Shuttle establishes sponsorship relationships that will mutually benefit our corporation and the partnering organization.
Proposals are evaluated for:
Tangible business benefits associated with the partnership.
Positive exposure consistent with Shuttle’s brands.
Hyper-local scope, with the ability to mobilize members on a local level.
Opportunity to create long-term value.
Opportunity to reach targeted audiences and build relationships.
Ability to create cross-promotional initiatives.
Potential for long-term, sustainable partnerships and/or relationships, that allows Shuttle to connect to its target consumers and market its products and services.
Demonstrated experience in delivering added value to current or previous sponsors.

Announcing Shuttle’s Lucky Lotto Live!

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Shuttle Fam ~

We are about to embark on another fun concept which we hope you’ll all participate in and get excited about. The other day our team was at Shuttle HQ  brainstorming of cool ways to engage more with the community besides just delivering your favorite dishes from your favorite restaurants. We thought, “Why not make ordering from us even more exciting by raising the stakes a little higher while still focusing on the core element of delivering the food accurately and on time?”

Every Thursday at 5:00 PM we are launching a weekly lotto via Shuttle Facebook Live, the name will be, Lucky Lotto Live! This lotto event is not intended for Shuttle Delivery to make any type of profit and you are not required to purchase a set of numbers in order to participate. You will automatically get a number after every order you place on Shuttle; no physical ticket will ever be required to claim your prize.

Why are we starting Lucky Lotto Live? It’s fun and we want to give back to our loyal customers in a fun and adventurous way! We hope you will really appreciate the prizes that can be won as well as the excitement of checking your numbers every week.

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What are the prizes?

The prizes range from free delivery (4,000 KRW) for those that match four numbers; to gift certificates of 50,000 KRW and a Shuttle hoodie for five number winners; to the grand prize of free delivery fees for a year!

How do you win?

You must match at least four of the winning Lucky Lotto Live numbers with the numbers listed on the bottom of your order confirmation page or confirmation email.

How do you check the order numbers?

Each order that you make with Shuttle will have a Lucky Lotto Live number at the bottom of the order confirmation page as well as on each confirmation email sent out.

When can you win?

The drawing will be held every Thursday at 5:00 PM on Facebook Live. We hope you all tune in to see if you won but we will also upload the weekly show on Shuttle’s Youtube channel to view later in the week if you miss the live show.

What are the conditions for claiming your prize? You have all the way up until the the following week’s Lucky Lotto Live to claim your prize.

 

 

Introduce Your Friends to Shuttle & Eat for Free!

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We want to grow our community and reach out to all the people in Seoul who haven’t heard that they can order more than chicken and pizza. And you can help us do it.

We started this very exciting initiative about a year ago to help everyone learn about getting great food delivered right to their doors. It’s a referral program where we are offering new user’s first order delivery fee with us to be exempt. We will cover the 4,000 won cost of the new referred customer and we will offer the referrer something valuable in return as well! We think this is a great opportunity for all participating referrers because essentially you are giving away something very useful to your friends, church community, family members, roommates, sports teammate, etc. while also getting Shuttle credit for yourself.

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If you love Shuttle Delivery and you love free stuff, then you definitely want to get in on this: You earn ₩ 4,000 in Shuttle credit for each friend that you get to sign up. Your account will be credited after their first order. You can also click one of the social media buttons on our “Tell a Friend” Shuttle page to automatically post it to Facebook, tweet it, or email it. Referrers get a unique referral code to share with whomever they choose, so that every time they get a new person to try our service, the referrer gets paid in Shuttle credit.  

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We hope everyone helps us spread the word on this very exciting initiative! Our company was formed by a bunch of expats who decided to solve a food delivery problem plaguing the Seoul foreign community for a very long time; so we want our Shuttle Delivery service to continue to spread in order for it to be used by more and more foreigners within our previously neglected expat community. Do your neighbor a favor and tell them about Shuttle Delivery today!

 

Part 2: How to Make Amazing Food Photos

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As we spoke about in our last post, professional cameras and lenses can help with photography tremendously—provided you know how to use them. These special tools and equipment can make taking a great photo easier, but they’re by no means necessary for the process.This was a key lesson that we learned from our numerous efforts of trial and error. Some of the great food-focused Instagram feeds of the day are done almost entirely with smartphone cameras. What separates those high quality photos from their less impressive counterparts isn’t an expensive camera or sophisticated equipment; It’s knowing what it takes to compose a visually appealing and hunger inducing image.

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1. GREAT NATURAL LIGHT

From our research, we discovered that good lighting is the single most important criteria for good photography! And the very best light is indirect daylight. The natural lighting condition which produces the greatest photography opportunity is a shady spot on a sunny day. It will give your food a bright, even glow, and won’t tint the natural colors in the same way that non-natural indoor lighting will typically do.

2. A STRIKING COMPOSITION

Composition is basically an all-encompassing term for the arrangement of all the extra items in a photograph. In a well-composed photograph, you can immediately tell what the primary subject is; so we had to learn not to go overboard with the items surrounding the main subject.  We also learned that composition is second only to lighting when it comes to taking a good photograph. Especially when first starting, good composition has a lot to do with the proper positioning within the photo frame. Putting the primary subject in ¾ of the frame is a great suggestion for most food photos. But it’s also the best advice to consider the best qualities of the food you’re shooting when deciding how to position the camera.

3. PROPER ANGLES

But obviously framing your food in the right position is just one element of composition. We learned that you also need to decide what angle best suits your subject. A flat, round subject like pizza will usually look best from directly above. Meanwhile, a burger stacked tall will look great directly at eye level. But we learned from countless experiments that you just have to make sure you have something in the background like a nice solid colored wall or a decorative board to block out unwanted items like pots and pans from your kitchen. And remember, just like people, food wants us to capture its good side as well. And the best way to learn what that good side is? Shoot from multiple angles until they become your instincts.

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Once these 3 basic concepts are down, it’s time to get fun. Get creative with props. It’s especially important to be a bit creative for particularly unappetizing dishes like odd looking soups or somewhat misshapen objects like sausages.

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  • Choosing the right plate can be very useful: Square and rectangular plates are typically harder to shoot than round ones from our experience.  It’s also easier to work with smaller sized plates rather than full-size dinner plate. This is mostly due to the fact that you won’t have to worry about any unwanted extra space on the plate and the food will be most prominent. Patterns and bright colors can be a great way to add some character to plain foods, but you don’t want the platter to distract from the subject.
  • Adding personality with accessories is also fun: Napkins, utensils, and other placements can help fill up the composition/empty space and make your images more engaging. It’s very important to make sure color is considered heavily when making choices. A color wheel can give you a good sense of complementary colors.
  • Garnishing the dish: Putting an herb or a condiment on a plate can really help make a photo pop. Adding herbs, condiments, and toppings can be a great way just to dress up a dish. Some of the ugliest (but tastiest) dishes need a little help to become photogenic. Again, color consideration of the garnish is very important in order to properly enhance the dish. But no matter what, it’s most important that the garnishes make sense to each specific dish.
  • Creativity with backgrounds: White or neutral plain backgrounds can get boring. Trying a nice cutting board or platter can really have an incredible effect on photo quality. Tablecloths, placemats, and slabs of stone are all also great alternatives. Anything to freshen-up a boring kitchen table or countertop can make a photo look much more special to it’s viewers.
  • Interacting with food: If an initial photo feels flat, consider having a model lift a fork/spoonful out. We can then focus our camera on that lifting to give the photo more dimension. But even small details like making sure the fingers are clean and relatively well manicured can have a profound effect on a shot of that sort.

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Learning food photography was a necessary step for us to give a better customer experience to our Shuttle Delivery community.  You may not have such lofty ambitions as ours to shoot photos but food photography is still a very fulfilling hobby. We would recommend it to anyone who loves food and enjoys the beauty, just as much as the taste. Food photography can be a cool way to allow friends or family see what you see in the food that you are experiencing. And as we have mentioned in our two part series about the subject; it’s easier than it’s ever been to make some really dazzling food images that many can enjoy. We hope you enjoyed this little 2 segment post about our journey in the world of food photography and continue to read our posts in the future.

Food Photos on Shuttle Delivery

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Upgrading our site one food photo at a time

Food Photos! Believe it or not, we hear more requests for better photos on our site than anything else. People love good food photos and they can really help our Shuttle Delivery community make better purchasing decisions.  Unfortunately not all of our partner restaurants offer photos of their menu items when they join our site. This was truly an unfortunate scenario since we really wanted to be considered absolutely customer focused.  We began to feel like we were at the mercy of partner restaurants’ desire to promote their food items effectively; so we finally decided that we would take the bull by the horns and just do our own photography of their dishes.

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Choosing our photo shoots

We decided we would first speak to the restaurants willing to make the dishes for us so we could photograph them. Some restaurants don’t think photographs are important so they were unwilling to make us dishes unless we paid for their dishes. We are still constantly working on taking more photos for the site, but we are slowly upgrading each page based on which restaurants are the most flexible about our photography efforts.  A lot of it comes down to a partner restaurant’s scheduling availability and their willingness to accept the costs of food not being consumed by a paying customer.   

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Food photos are high priority for users

It is a long and arduous journey to update the entire site with photos but we decided that this would ultimately be best for our users. Our web data was showing us that our site users were ordering more from the partners with high quality food photos.  So we knew that food photos had to become a priority for the entire site and not just some of the partner pages. Our users make us want to become better every day, so it was only natural that they would also help us become better at a skill like photography. None of us are professional photographers. We are still a young and growing company, so we could not afford to use our budget to hire any photographers; so we did the next best thing and we started learning the art of food photography!

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Learning food photography

Taking great photographs of food is a hard-earned skill, which explains why some people are lucky enough to get paid for doing it. But we learned that it’s also a lot easier to hone these days, than in years prior. Digital cameras are easier to use than ever before and phone cameras are becoming more and more sophisticated with each passing year. Everyone with an IPhone 6 and higher can become a decent food photographer with a few crucial pieces of advice. We will attack the subject of what was the best “advice” we found through food photography research in our next post.

Ambition 2017

We have a lot of really fun things happening at Shuttle these days.  I mean this business can sometimes tire you out.  As the founders of this business we tend to play anywhere we are needed. Some days we are drivers. Other days we are dispatch operators. Others we are customer service representatives. We wear every type of hat necessary at any given time. It can get tiring sometimes because we forget how much people appreciate us, but then someone will give us a brownie or a personal note saying thank you, then all of our stress melts away. It can seem like a thankless job at times but our customers definitely keep us pushing forward.

 

After nearly 3 years of being in this industry we have finally realized how much more we can offer our customers in terms of making their lives more convenient. We were always a bit worried that we would potentially spread ourselves too thin and not perform our core service well enough as a result.  For a long time we wanted to be one thing so that customers would never be confused on who we were.  We always thought this would be the fastest and most efficient way to make this business successful. We never wanted to lose our ability to provide the highest quality of service due to trying to be too good at far too many things. We had to take a very long look at what we’re trying to become and how happy we could potentially make our customers if we offered more resources for them.

 

We have decided to roll out 4 major initiatives for a 3 phase development program that we think will help our customers tremendously. We feel that customers want clarity about what they are buying so we are working on a something to help our customers know more about the vendors we are doing business with.  This is a great way to take the guesswork out of choosing for our customers. It is also an excellent way to communicate about the great benefits that our partner vendors are providing.  Next we will expand on our online grocery delivery arm.  It’s something we think can really help our customers who don’t want to deal with the hassle of hauling heavy groceries to their homes. Then we will focus on our meal kit initiative so that we can make curated recipe packs for people who enjoy cooking but don’t want to bother with finding the necessary ingredients.  We will simplify this by supplying the recipes, tutorial videos, ingredients all in a premeasured meal kit box.  Lastly, we plan to give customers more flexibility about when they want their goods to arrive.  We feel many people want their goods delivered on-demand and others want things prepared for a later time; both should get what they want.

 

As you can see we are being very ambitious with our plans in the upcoming 1.5 years but we know with the continued support of our shuttle customer community that we can accomplish anything. Thank you as always for being on this journey with us and we hope you stay tuned on all the cool things we have planned!

The Origins of Shuttle Delivery

In an unprecedented move two local food delivery start-ups decided it was more profitable and productive to go with the old adage of ‘if you can’t beat em’ join em’. And with that, two local small fry companies became one mid size foreign food delivery company fighting for respect in an industry dominated by Korean giants. But before this company was created, there were more than a few memorable and noteworthy events that transpired, which helped etch and mold the philosophy of this new venture’s current company culture.

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Many of you may have heard of either Y-Not Takeout, or Bird Riders Food Delivery, two foreign owned and run delivery services in Seoul. But many might not know the true and unadulterated origins of both, which would help anyone understand why Shuttle was formed.

 

Back in 2013, two expats based in Shanghai, Zach Marble and Ben Hough were contemplating a return to the ROK. They’d had an idea, based on a company already in existence in Shanghai; the idea was delivering boutique style restaurant food to hungry Seoul residents. They’d seen the potential of this concept, and were excited to try their luck at running a start-up. After months of careful planning and fundraising, they flew back to Seoul and began initiating the early phases of the company’s development, working out of a backroom in Zach’s apartment. Ben slept on the floor, and every day they woke up early, Mr Hough folded up the air mattress and they started the day’s work at two cramped desks.

 

In March 2014 a month after they’d started working, Zach was making spaghetti for their lunch one afternoon when he heard a cascade of expletives coming from the back room. The pan clattered on the stove and he ran in to see Ben staring at his screen. The screen displayed a webpage,

 

“Y-Not Takeout! Order all your favorite Itaewon restaurants to your door in 30 minutes!”

 

In silence, they scrolled through the page, clicking through and investigating. They knew their site wouldn’t be ready for at least another two months. They considered calling all of their investors right then and there; explaining that their seed money would be returned immediately but after much deliberation they decided they would stay and fight.  The working days that followed were heavier than before. They rose earlier, and went to bed later. They knew that if they were going to stand a chance now, they’d have to hit a homerun.  

 

Completely oblivious to the ruined spaghetti dinner, in another tiny urban Seoul apartment approximately seven hundred meters away, Jason Boutte was hard at work trying to get his team ready for their first day of being open to the public, beyond just the close friends who tested the service prior.  Unbeknownst to anyone other than the other two members, Marketing partner March Boesch and Operating partner Lauren Lee, of his team in that tiny apartment, Ynot-Takeout was a delivery service only in the sense that it had a delivery service business license; Mr. Boutte, CEO of Ynot-Takeout was it’s only delivery rider employee. That day was monumental for Ynot. Orders from  several non-friends showed the young company that this service was needed by the community and Ynot had a shot at success; but with all 4 of their deliveries that day being completed in over 2 hours, there was little promise of this service actually becoming sustainable unless they got better.

 

What ensued was 2 companies competing to outdo the successes of each other. Ynot-Takeout started off very aggressively by offering its partner restaurants 0% commision just to make sure the top restaurants in Seoul were listed on it’s site.  Bird Riders responded soon after by offering Seoul delivery drivers elaborate deals to make sure they would keep the best drivers on their roster while Ynot-Takeout had to take the newbie/unreliable drivers  since they couldn’t compete with the salaries offered by the BRFD team. Each success of each group was constantly being overshadowed by accomplishments of the other team. This went on for over two years until the two fierce competitors finally decided that there had to be a better way.

 

The first meeting was very awkward due to a very competitive move done by the Bird Riders  camp earlier that year, where they made all the mutually shared restaurants choose between the two delivery companies. It was a move that caught Jason Boutte, Mark Boesch, Lauren Lee and the other Ynot-Takeout team members completely off guard, so when a potential ceasefire meeting was offered up by Mr. Hough, Mr. Boutte was obviously going into that meeting with a lot of caution.  After speaking about the current industry landscape they soon realized they had almost all the same thoughts about what a great company they could be if they put their egos aside. The next conversation was a soju fueled business meeting with a lot of expletives fired at each side, the culmination of which  was the two disparate companies’ histories coming to a close and the origin of a new and improved version of both.  Soon they started using the fuel from prior failures and shortcomings to make a company with the strength to survive in a highly competitive industry. They hired more top drivers, signed on more high profile restaurants, moved into a nicer office, bought faster bikes, and made a new and improved website.

 

Shuttle’s website features many great restaurants all over Seoul. Currently featuring American, Asian, European, Indian, and Middle-Eastern restaurant partners in the areas of Yongsan, Mapo, Seodaemun and Jung-gu. Upon receiving the order placed through the Shuttle site, restaurants prepare the food for a Shuttle motorbike delivery driver to bring to the customer. It’s simple, inexpensive, and makes eating delicious, healthy, international cuisine at home easy and enjoyable.