When he shifted from his hometown Karnal to the city two months ago, Rishabh Dhawan, 19, struggled to find a tiffin service provider in the city. “The place I am staying at did offer meals but I was not satisfied with them. I trawled the Internet for help. There were many numbers that showed up but I had to call each of them individually to find out what they were offering and for how much. Many had even shut shop,” says Dhawan, an engineering student who stays with his group of friends as a paying guest in Sector 37.
While the search may have finally ended for the youngster, there are many who go through the same ordeal. But for them as well, help is at hand now — just a click away.
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Anuj Jain, a city-based chartered accountant, has launched a unique website — http://www.SendMyTiffin.com — that brings tiffin service providers from across Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur and Chandigarh on one platform. “It is an unorganised sector with only random numbers listed online and in a scattered way. Hardly anyone has their own dedicated website and there’s no information regarding menus either,” says Jain.
For those unfamiliar with the city and living without family and a working kitchen, ordering in non-restaurant food can eat into their time and energy. And no one knows it better than Jain, who faced a similar dilemma when looking for a tiffin service provider for himself a year ago. He was at his workplace and wanted to explore lunch options. He realised that there was no directory or place to see the listings.
“So far, I have tied up with 20 such providers who offer service across these cities,” says Jain, who has made good use of his own experience and feedback from students and paying guests while designing the website.
The website design is interactive and free to use. One has to select the location and the type of tiffin one would like to order. The listings offer the menu of the tiffin, price and the area of delivery. “We take online payments but the delivery starts in three to four days. As a special initiative, the vendors are offering a five-day paid trial offer so that the customer is not bound to eat the food for a month if the taste and service are not up to the mark,” says Jain who works as a mediator. However, he takes no responsibility for the quality of food on offer.
The website provides the option to book all three meals of the day but the images on the site are only for representation. “We will look at offering reviews from customers as well. The online food market has a huge potential with 200 million Internet users in India. We are also working on a mobile application that would enable customers to place orders on their phones too,” he adds.
Anup Jindal, who has been running Wow Foods tiffin service in Mohali and is listed as one of the vendors on the site, is equally buoyed by the new concept. “Everybody shops online these days. It’s a growing trend and this will help us get more orders and visibility in the market,” says Jindal.