With the number of takers growing,online services that deliver food,grocery and other supplies have begun to make good business sense for young professionals
For Kallol Banerjee and Jaideep Burman who founded the fast food chain Faaso’s in Pune and Mumbai,the transition from manual and telephone ordering,to online was a gradual process. While the duo began Faaso’s in 2003,their online ordering services began only about a year-and-a-half back.
“We thought it was a good idea to start the service via Twitter,” says Burman,adding,”A lot of people have started using the micro-blogging site for social connectivity and we thought that it would be a good idea to cash in on it.” Their idea is simple – a user has to register once on their official website,after which their details are stored with their call-centre based in Pune. “Once a customer tweets their order to us,the call centre patches it to the closest outlet,and then the order is confirmed via Twitter and delivered in 30 minutes,” says Burman.
Currently,they have 1,500 followers on Twitter,but Banerjee says that its not just about the followers. “If a customer has 5,000 Twitter follwers,then the order is flashed on their pages too. So they too can order food from us as well,” he says. Their team is now working on a Facebook page that will launch next month. “It will have a full-fledged order screen that people can use to order their dishes,” he adds.
MADOrders.com is yet another service,specifically designed for night owls,but with a difference. For hungry souls,they deliver food items such as pav bhaji,grilled sandwiches and even green tea tiramisu between 9pm and 7am daily. Similarly,Titbit.com offers to deliver food from restaurants that deliver for free,or place orders at establishments that dont offer the service.
A recent addition to online delivery service is LocalBaniya.com. The service,which went live on went live on May 10,delivers over 400 items — from groceries to cleaning supplies.
The operations of FlyByKnight.in is confined to the suburban areas,between Bandra and Andheri. Set up by writer Sanjiv Nair and former Google solutions consultant Neha Jain,FlyByKnight goes a step ahead by stocking up on various items one might require during graveyard hours sanitary napkins and contraceptives included.
Our target audience isn’t just the people who party, says Jain,taking a break from working on the website before it goes live next week. There are a lot of people who work in film and television industries and even BPOs. They don’t have time to concentrate on the basics until they get home late at night.
Another interesting concept is that of TastyKhana.in,that offers its services in Pune and Mumbai. The web-portal allows customers to order food from their favourite restaurants. People log in to the website,fill in the details of the cuisine and the restaurant and the food is delivered to them. They have tie-ups with places like Oh! Calcutta,Malaka Spice,Juice Lounge,amongst many others.
These services,mostly started by young professionals,are increasingly appealing to the net-savvy costumers who do not mind shelling out extra money for home service. NightCall and FlybyKnight charge customers a flat amount of Rs 50 on each order,whereas LocalBaniya insists on a minimum spending of Rs 500. Apart from Facebook pages,Twitter handles,they are also employing other ways to draw attention.
FlyByKnight.in has a masked vigilante in black socks and short underpants as it mascot,whereas LocalBaniya.com has a pot-bellied moustache sporting man. He dons different avatars including ‘SuperBaniya’ who aims to fight inflation by offering goods like onions,sugar and rice at prices lower than the market rate.