With the outbreak of Covid having shut down dining rooms across India, home deliveries isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a lifeline.
The food industry has undergone a lot of changes and transformations in the last couple of months and one such change is surely the way we look at the Delivery of food.
With the outbreak of Covid having shut down dining rooms across India, home deliveries aren’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a lifeline. And the owners now must adapt so that their food is still high-quality after it arrives at its final destination. No matter how delicious a dish is, if it doesn’t travel well, it could risk a poor customer experience. In the age of reviews, social media, and hyper-competition, that’s a risk restaurant can’t take.
Zorawar Kalra, Founder and Managing Director of Massive Restaurants feels that innovation is the key to distinguishing the offering both in the dining scenario as well as in the delivery scenario and helps to stay ahead of the curve. Currently, there is a lot of clutter in the space so it’s important to carve out a niche and stand out in the mind of the consumer. Kalra is soon to introduce new brands that are delivery-only across the country. “These have been conceptualized from the ground up specifically keeping delivery in mind and will not be a part of our dine-in concepts,” he informed.
“Importantly it is not just the food but the packaging that has to be innovative as well as with delivery. We have very unique packaging for each brand and has been specifically designed keeping brand identity in mind,” Kalra informed. The brands under Massive Restaurants are delivering packages that include the must-haves like sanitiser and a little guidebook on how to safely receive the food. Similarly, all sauces are sent in small glass bottles to ensure the taste is not compromised and the environment is protected. All condiments have a specific separate packing and are marked for clarity.
Other restaurant veterans like Amit Bagga, Founder of Daryaganj too launched an innovative delivery experience with the launch of The 5 Senses Delivery by Daryaganj. It all started with a thought process when the team realized that guests feel that they don’t get the same experience when they get food delivered compared to dining in at their favourite restaurants. It involves the taste of the food, fragrance of the restaurant, soothing music in the background, touch and feel of the crockery and the look of the vibrant interiors.
In terms of innovative packaging, few companies were already bringing unique style to their patrons much before the pandemic. One such example is Biryani By Kilo. “Honestly, it had always existed but the momentum it has gained today is of a new sort. From time to time it is seen that dine-in restaurants tend to overlook the innovations required with respect to home deliveries to maximise customer satisfaction. At Biryani by Kilo one of our main aims has always been to provide our customers with the best delivery experience,” commented Vishal Jindal, Co-Founder of Biryani By Kilo. Brands like Biryani By Kilo are very particular with their delivery fleet and who their riders are and mostly have their own delivery fleet.
However, is delivering experience to home through third-party aggregators possible? While the majority of the brands deliver through aggregators, they too should comply with the highest hygiene and hospitality standards. Ghost Kitchens founded by Karan Tanna deliver majorly through aggregators. “Both the aggregators have come up with strict compliance policies for safety and hygiene of food. We have seen customers’ orders increase after restaurants complying and getting a tag for hygiene,” Tanna stated. For some brands like Tanna’s direct delivery doesn’t make sense and it is not feasible for most of the restaurants. “It’s only useful for restaurants with larger ticket sizes,” he commented.
At the end of the day, we know that off-premises dining is never going to be exactly like dining in a restaurant, nor should it be! They’re two different experiences. However, looking to the future, restaurants will surely focus on delivery even more, even when social distancing is in the rearview mirror. In such a scenario, increasing guests’ satisfaction and return orders will be the ultimate goal which can be achieved by offering innovative home delivery experiences.