In India there are four things that mainly attract and entertain people. It is bollywood, cricket, politics and food. These developments are set to revolutionise home delivery with faster availability of food at home or office.
The entry of food tech start-ups has led to a massive transformation of the operations of the Indian food industry. Growing disposable income and busy lifestyles of the young and working population, coupled with increasing internet penetration and rising smartphone users, will continue to drive India’s food tech market through 2021, says FICCI- PWC report.
In 2015, the food-tech sector in India went through a period of turmoil when several start-ups had to shut down. This was followed by a period of consolidation and correction. The situation turned for the better in 2017 as food-tech companies fine-tuned their business models and improved their unit economics. This consolidation wave in the food-tech space saw as many as 24 mergers and acquisitions between 2015 and 2016. In 2017, two predominant models—restaurant marketplaces and cloud kitchens—evolved following the upheaval. The recovery was led by a reduction in delivery costs and increased penetration in existing markets.
Also, players like Zomato, FreshMenu and Swiggy are trying to drive consumer engagement by creating new products and experiences such as membership clubs or loyalty programmes. The idea behind offering such experiences is to raise more business from existing clients, turn them into brand ambassadors and obtain new customers. Keeping the focus on consumers, smart curation and personalisation will rule the roost over the next 18 months.
“The success of a food delivery platform is a function of convenience, reliability and selection. However, as more and more restaurants come onto food delivery platforms, balancing choice with ease of using the app and placing an order can be a challenge,” adds the report. While most food delivery platforms have carousels with collections of restaurants, in the coming years, customising this function will help in reducing the overall time taken by consumers to make a choice and place an order. Just like when you open up Netflix and get recommendations on movies, getting food recommendations based on past orders and preferences will increase ease of use. Some of the food tech start-ups are also working with restaurants to improve and expand kitchens. For instance, Zomato, in its push towards a cloud-based kitchen, has now committed to investing US$15 million in Bengaluru-based Loyal Hospitality. Loyal Hospitality aims to bridge the gap between organised and unorganised sectors in the Indian food industry. It offers a platform to restaurant partners for planned exponential expansions without investments. Its shadow kitchen model is based on the concept of bringing all the best brands of the country together to serve customers through home delivery and takeaway.
“Goila Butter Chicken was born on Twitter. The first outlet was opened in June 2016 in Andheri where we started with a 400sqft space out of which 200 sqft each was dedicated for setting up kitchen and office respectively. We started doing 150 orders a day. Currently we are at almost 5 outlets doing almost 1000 orders a day,” said Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur Saransh Goila by adding that the whole food delivery service has helped us immensely to grow us as a brand. “Food is a big mode of entertainment for people and our lives are so busy these days that nobody wants to go out and eat out. The ratio is changing very fast and hence the delivery sector is growing very fast at almost 90 per cent per month. The numbers, the ratio points out that eating in is the new trend and that’s the reason we have unicorns like Swiggy and Zomato that is pushing the growth of food delivery business,” he added.