Over the last five years, the India food services sector has evolved with the changing consumer landscape. Increased organised presence of ethnic cuisine restaurants, rise of various food tech models, enhanced use of technology to improve consumer experience and continued use of social media for consumer engagement has given a new wings to the new age food tech players.
“Natural evolution of the customer behavior, rise of e-commerce has given a new dimension to online delivery business. For few years aggregators and delivery players focused on top 20 cities and the assumption was that this was where the purchasing power was. For ex: we started delivery in Nagpur and within six months the number of orders delivered per restaurant partners were 2x to that of Delhi,” shared Rakesh Ranjan, Vice President - Food Delivery Business, Zomato that has touched the 101 cities mark earlier this month.
There is no denying that delivery is growing by leaps and bound in tier I cities and the same is happening in other geographies. People are becoming aspirational, they give preference to convenience and hence we see lots of cloud, dark kitchens brand popping up and they are all scaling to a new height. There is lots of potential in smaller cities. “There are also lots of demands for new brands to come in and build that market further. And, that was our objective to reach to every market in India,” added Ranjan.
Commenting on the same, Ashish Chaterjee, Vice President, Swiggy pointed, “We also thought that top 15 cities would turn out to the biggest consumption market but to surprise every third or fourth city we launched turned out to be a great market,” adding that it’s not that tier-2 or 3 has less spending power, it’s just that its geographically distributed and also people in these cities are very aspirational.
It’s all about convenience
Technology is disrupting the market with the advent of web-based ordering and use of AI and IoT in ordering. These developments are set to revolutionise home delivery with faster availability of food at home or office. “Food tech will continue to “Organise the Unorganised”– driving increased focus on consumers, food innovation and efficiency Restaurants will increasingly focus on consumer engagement using technology,” said FICCI-PwC report.
“We consume food in four manner- food that we typically consume at home, online delivery services or straight up call restaurants for delivery, dining at restaurants and fourth is consuming food at the office premises that’s where we operate,” added Uttam Kumar, Co-founder & COO, HungerBox that is trying to revolutionise the B2B food ordering space.
Commenting on the same, Biju Jose Thomas, Director & COO, Vasudev Adigas Adiga’s mentioned, “Food delivery business is an extension of the takeaway business. The average delivery time which was 40-45 minutes has come down to 20-25 minutes which proves that restaurants are now focusing more and more on delivery based order.”
Hence, we can say that delivery business is the future of food service at home. As customers looks for more convenience we will see more and more players entering the space.