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Explained: Zomato’s promise to deliver food in 10 minutes, and how it will work

Zomato will run a pilot project in Gurugram to test delivering food in 10 minutes. How will its quick delivery system, called 'Zomato Instant', work? Why is the company venturing into food quick-commerce? Isn't 10 minutes too short a time to deliver food?

Written by Soumyarendra Barik , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 22, 2022 7:55:39 am
The company will fulfil quick deliveries out of a "finishing stations' network" located in close proximity to high-demand customer neighbourhoods.(Reuters)

Online food delivery startup Zomato will soon start delivering food in 10 minutes as it looks to jump on the quick commerce bandwagon days after signing a term-sheet with q-commerce firm Blinkit for a merger.

Called “Zomato Instant”, the company will run a pilot project in Gurugram to test the model for food deliveries.

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How will Zomato’s quick delivery system work?

The company will fulfil quick deliveries out of a “finishing stations’ network” located in close proximity to high-demand customer neighbourhoods. To begin with, there will be four such stations in Gurugram as part of the pilot.

Zomato’s finishing stations seem similar to the dark store model used by quick commerce firms like Zepto and Blinkit, which gives these companies greater control and influence over the operational chain.

Based on demand predictability and hyperlocal preferences, each of the finishing stations will have around 20-30 items that sell the most in a given locality. These warehouses will also be equipped with dish-level demand prediction algorithms and in-station robotics, the company said.

Zomato said it was expecting the model to help reduce the price for the end customer by around 50 per cent, while the absolute income for its restaurant partners and delivery workers will remain the same.

Why is Zomato venturing into food quick-commerce?

The company’s co-founder Deepinder Goyal said that one of the reasons it was launching Zomato Instant was that “the 30-minute average delivery time by Zomato is too slow, and will soon have to become obsolete” — and “If we don’t make it obsolete, someone else will.”

Goyal also said that sorting restaurants by fastest delivery time is one of the most used features on the Zomato app. “Customers are increasingly demanding quicker answers to their needs. They don’t want to plan, and they don’t want to wait.”

Isn’t 10 minutes too short a time to deliver food?

Even as q-commerce companies commence operations from hyperlocal stores after considering factors such as road conditions, traffic, weather, etc, these aspects could present the biggest challenges to any 10-minute delivery plan in India.

Zomato claimed that to fulfil its quick delivery promise, it will not put any pressure on delivery workers to deliver faster, and it will not penalise them for late deliveries. It also claimed that delivery workers would not be informed of the promised time of delivery.

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