Ordering online food has become similar to the ordering goods online. This is the new emerging trend which brands like TravelKhana and YatraChef has initiated by delivering food in railways, at stations or in trains. It is not just about convenience of consumers but at the same time it is delivering fresh and healthy food.
“India has such a wide diverse palate of food and why should the travellers in trains, which is the lifeline of the nation travelling through every nook and corner, be devoid of any option to enjoy those. It was something born out of necessity triggered by my own personal experience which does look funny in retrospect though honestly it was nowhere close,” shared Arun Rajan, CEO, YatraChef.
A lot of people consume food from the trains on every day basis; therefore nutritional food is a must to be served. As it is known to everyone how Indian Railways offer poor quality food, unhygienic and on the top of that overpriced.
According to the reports, India’s railways catering sector is worth Rs 4,000 crore and has been a topic of debate for poor quality food since years. The online marketplace of railway catering has so gained quick attention although it is in nascent stage and is picking up fast to cover all stations across India.
As a result, many entrepreneurs came up with this idea to start and deliver online food in trains as per the journey schedule of passengers. Pushpinder Singh, CEO TravelKhana, said, “TravelKhana’s platform tracks train running information to insure meal delivery at the right time at the right seat that is fresh and ready to eat. The entire process is managed by a completely automated workflow that sends real time reminders to passengers as well as restaurants so that the entire process can happen smooth and fast”.
Authenticity of food
Delivery of food at train is the major concern by not providing authentic food to the passengers. As so many disease are round the corner, people have became health conscious and therefore they ask for healthy hygienic food to be served while they travel.
Piyush Kasliwal, MD, Mera Food Choice commented, “Our organization believes in customer first attitude. With each order getting delivered with the customer, MFC makes sure to take feedback by call every time. This makes sure we get the right feedback of the food being supplied. If there are smaller issues, the same are being communicated with the vendors and rectified. If there are major issues, vendors are given 3 warnings at max and there after removed from MFC listing. This process if full-proof to make sure – we have the best food for our customers”.
With the authenticity of food, menu is also an important factor to keep in mind as it is the place from where the people order the food. Menu also informs the customer about the dishes availability, prices and also promotes certain dishes in high visibility positions. Kasliwal further added, “We make sure as per the train routes and type of people travelling in it. We ask our vendors to make flavours accordingly”.
Adding his view on the food safety, Rajan, pointed, “Food safety is a big concern and I feel that FSSAI laws if enforced in all its genuinely is a great stepping stone. Our experience of interacting with lots of food providers over the years have made us realize that not a lot of these vendors even know about the basic restaurant licensing procedures leave alone FSSAI laws and norms. Educating and enforcing these laws at a grass root level is what we feel is the need of the hour and this has to be taken with paramount importance”.
The online food ordering business is huge and so the number of online order is expected to increase by 10 percent of the total number at the moment which include start-ups also. Similar to the railways, good quality food is a requirement at the highways and bus route services. Thus, it is significant to achieve a level of standardisation and quality assurance in food.