Holding a physical printed menu at a restaurant of splendid opulence often put us in a befuddled state of mind. The fear of getting a wrong order engulfs us and hence most of the time we are not clear about the things that we are going to order.
“Currently, what happens in the food space is that everyone is shooting in the dark. If you see how people are navigating through menu, it’s illogical. From the very basic to the most complicated food item, restaurants have to show what they are serving. Therefore, there is a need for consumers to get the informed choices,” Gunjan Mehrish, one of the co-founders of Dash.menu said.
Dash.menu is a part of the food tech startup called Idea Chakki Pvt Ltd, which was founded by three former senior NDTV journalists, Monica Narula, Gunjan Mehrish, and Noopur Tiwari to provide an app that lets consumers experience their meal before they place their order.
Through its small 15-second “fideos” (food videos), this app shows what the dishes on the table are going to be like. Along with that, it also lets consumers see the size of potion and what all ingredients have been used to make it.
“There are formats to eating. I keep saying to people when they order sushi or anything, they don’t know what to do with the flowers and leaves on their plates or if they are supposed to eat it or not. Or for that matter people often say that wine and cheese is brilliant. I can bet my life on it that most people don’t know how you are supposed to drink that wine and what cheese goes with what because it’s an extremely evolved thing. There is that awkwardness and this menu takes away the awkwardness from a basic need to a very fancy need,” Gunjan said.
Whether it is Kabaq (which enables users to see virtual 3D food on their table, when in a restaurant or ordering online) or SP Robotics (wherein a robot serves the order once it is placed at the counter), food tech companies and startups are coming on board to provide solutions to the restaurants across the country.
“There are lots of restaurants who are providing iPads in the restaurants but they will have still photographs. Somebody will give you 2 or 3 videos but nobody will give you 85% of the menu in a video format,” Mehrish said.
Marriott, Le Meridien, Mamagoto, ITC Hotels, Taj Hotels, restaurateur Ritu Dalmia, Dragonfly, Gajalee, Pluck, Depot48, and House of Nomad are some of the clients of Dash.Menu. “We have 40-50 restaurants right now and there is a range of places we are in. We are also going to approach smaller categories of restaurants,” he said.
The road ahead for Dash.menu is to go international and to smaller cities. Right now Dash is predominantly in Delhi and Bombay but it is planning to enter into smaller cities like Chandigarh, Jaipur and Indore.