Multi-method simulation approach: multiple restaurants to multiple customers on-demand food delivery services in Dubai

Publication Name

Journal of Foodservice Business Research


Since early 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted various supply chains including the on-demand food delivery sector. As a result, this service industry has witnessed a tremendous spike in demand that is affecting its delivery operations at the downstream level. Previous research studies have explored one-to-one and many-to-one solutions to the virtual food court delivery problem (VFCDP) to optimize on-demand food delivery services in different cities. However, research efforts have been limited to multiple restaurant orders from only one customer which does not apply to traditional systems where multiple customers request on-demand food delivery from multiple restaurants. This study rigorously analyses multiple restaurants to multiple customers (Many-to-many) food delivery simulation models in ideal weather conditions that are constrained with multiple key performance indicators (KPIs) such as delivery fleet utilization (the number of couriers utilized over the fleet size), average order delivery time, and fuel costs. This research also benchmarks the on-demand food delivery queueing methodologies using system dynamics and agent-based simulation modeling where three on-demand food delivery routing methodologies are simulated including First-in-First-Out (FIFO), Nearest, and Simulated Annealing using AnyLogic. The results suggest that the Many-to-many (Nearest) method outperforms other delivery routing methods which would have positive implications on optimizing existing food delivery systems and managerial decisions.

Open Access Status

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Link to publisher version (DOI)