Digitisation has effected and has plunged through every part of our lives including how, when and where we eat our food.” More than 60% of population in India is below 35 years of age and very tech savvy” says a report from NRAI. It is important to reach out to this young India on platforms where they prefer spending their maximum time and can be engaged with. The trend of going out and eating our foods at a fancy restaurant is long gone. It is time for ‘Netflix and chill’. And to do Netflix and chill, people order food at the comfort of their homes. In times like today, when the youth works all week, their idea for fun is to sit back and relax. Food delivery has thus recently become a huge market in the business sector. An IBEF (Indian Brand Equity Foundation) report says the organised food business in India is worth $ 48 billion, of which food delivery is valued at $15 billion. Investment in food start-ups, which mainly include food ordering apps, has increased by 93 percent to $130.3 million, comprising 17 deals till September 2015, as against only five deals in 2014.
Why is online delivery trending
Many people have started to live their life through their smart phones and so the ability of a restaurant to be present in online environment–through social media, online ordering/payment, and delivery –determines their success. “We give this option because it’s much more convenient for working people and people staying at rental places. We use Zomato and Swiggy as it boosts the revenue of the cafe. The food delivery option is convenient and fast and increases our sales. “says Virat Suneja, co-founder of Hearken.
Rather than going to the grocery store to buy raw materials first and then cook them, customers can push a button and have their meal delivered in around 30 minutes from some of their favourite restaurants. Why would anyone want to change that! With an increasingly fast-paced lifestyle and reliance on digital technology, we're seeing greater demand for simple and easy services that can provide consumers with what they need in an instant.
Many apps like Zomato and Foodpanda have been developed already and are working day and night and are profiting so as well. One recent addition to it would be Swiggy, growing at 25 percent month-on-month shows how India is moving towards the future of food delivery restaurants.
“We understand ordering in is the most convenient thing to do after a long day. Everyone is so busy, and our sales increase especially on weekends. Zomato and Foodpanda proved to be some good sites. Food delivery has made us a household name in the area. The option definitely adds up to the sales. Also, the feedback option provided by online platforms helps us improve and maintain the standards.” Shares the owner of Men In The Kitchen, Dwarka.
The best thing about food delivery services for the cooperating restaurants is that in addition for the shipment, they do marketing for the restaurant as well. “The delivery process in itself is a means of publicity with the vehicles carrying our brand name, packaging etc.” She adds. Several people might discover the restaurant for the first time through the food delivery services. They might or might not have had knowledge about your restaurant, but when they see you on a trusted app, taking the experimenting spirits of the average millennial today, they are sure to order from you.
Food delivery Pros
Placing orders online or on such apps proves beneficial for everyone. There are special discounts for new customers, or discounts on various restaurants, always going on. A restaurant finder app can easily help you avail such discounts. Brands and outlets have started tying up with food delivery and hyperlocal mobile as getting listed on third party Aggregators has proven very fruitful for them.
Food delivery Cons
There can also be a few obstacles that come in the way of food deliveries. Such startups need tremendous efficiency in order to overcome real world challenges, meet customer expectations and turn profitable, all the while competing with the in-house delivery expenses of restaurants, which is not very large. Also, many restaurants still seem hesitant to get into this market due to their own valid reasons. “I believe in selling experience and not just food. Food delivery kills experience” expresses Udit Khanijow, the owner of famous cafe, Big Yellow Door, which hasn’t started food delivery yet.
“Your restaurant maybe a fine dine restaurant with a wonderful ambience, but food delivery equalises all food joints, be it street food, an international fast food chain or a local dhaba- all are clubbed together. If someone rates the food eaten at the restaurant a 10/10, the same food in delivery will only fetch 8/10 points.” Said The owner of Men In The Kitchen, Dwarka.
A lot has been happening in the online food ordering space where increased competition is making survival tough for various players. Although, a few have emerged glorious the future still lies ahead. Looking at the present scenario it can easily be said that many more such start-ups maybe seen soon in the market even with the cons that come with it.