From Desktop to Doorstep, Ordering Food Online has Never Been So Easy for Mumbaikars - The DeliveryChef Story
In conversation with Aditi Talreja, founder of DeliveryChef.in, Abhilasha Dafria for YourStory.in finds out how with just one click the food is delivered from your desktop to your doorstep.Tell us about you, your background and tell us about your startup. What exactly is DeliveryChef.in?
I’m a young foodie entrepreneur – I studied Finance & Accounting in New York University’s Stern School of Business and that’s when I first heard about ordering food online and began doing it on a regular basis. I then worked with Morgan Stanley in New York and later London before moving back to India to launch DeliveryChef.in
DeliveryChef.in allows companies and individuals to order food online from their local eateries – restaurants, bakeries, mithai shops and more. It’s quite simple actually. Log on to DeliveryChef.in, select where and when you want food and click START. You see a list of all the eateries that deliver to you. Choose one to see the entire menu online. Just click on what you want, and the food is delivered from your desktop to your doorstep.
How is the order executed?
When you order on DeliveryChef.in, it is automatically instantaneously electronically transmitted to the eateries. We don’t lose any time in doing it – we understand that the first priority of a hungry foodie is to get his food as quickly as possible. We also have a call centre to manually track the order and ensure timely delivery.
So how did you come up with this idea?
I’ve always been fond of eating good food and visiting new restaurants. When I moved back to Mumbai from abroad, I kept wanting to order in, but all the paper menus were always scattered around the house or had food stains on them; and half the time, I didn’t know which new places had opened in the neighbourhood, etc. Ordering online is a very popular concept abroad, and I really missed it here. I noticed that here too, people tend to order in a lot and it would be so convenient for them if they could find a list of all the places that delivered to them online, see all their options, see the menu online and simply click to order. Once we started food, we began expanding into cakes, cupcakes, gourmet foods and even mithai seeing the demand!
What were the challenges you faced while starting up? Tell me about your initial hurdles.
Starting out afresh was challenging, but at the same time, a lot of fun. I had to work really hard and long hours in the beginning to get restaurants on board and make the platform go live. But I enjoyed every minute of it, and now the excitement of seeing it actually grow is great!
Since when have you been operational? How big is your team? Are you looking at hiring?
We just had our 1 year anniversary yesterday! Our team is moderately sized with about 8 -10 people. Since we are growing rapidly, we’re constantly looking for more foodies to come join us!
How many food outlets do you have tie-ups with; as of now in Mumbai?
We have about 300 tie-ups with food outlets across Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, but hope to be present in many more cities by the end of this year.
How do you market DeliveryChef.in’s offerings?
We are very active in the social media space on Facebook and Twitter. We constantly hold contests there and put up special offers for our fans and followers. In addition, we do other forms of online marketing and interactive promotions with our food spot network.
How does the revenue model work with the food-chains you are tied up and the customers?DeliveryChef.in is a free service for customers. You pay the same or less than what you pay the restaurants directly. Our revenue comes from a per transaction fee from the outlets on board with us.
Are there other players in the market doing similar things?
As of now, our biggest competition is from phone orders with restaurants – many people are not aware that ordering food online is so fast, convenient & cost-effective. That’s what we’re here to simplify, just like everyone got used to making travel arrangements online and booking movie tickets online. We’re enjoying the benefits of being a first mover in this field.
Can you share with us some interesting trends about the market that you are trying to capture?
We’ve only been in business for a year, but it’s been a great experience for us. Over the past one year, we’ve grown exponentially. Each month is a new high and each week is better than the previous week. Deliveries are getting more and more popular in India, with the growth of double income nuclear families, food solutions are becoming critical – we’ve all seen the growth of the quick service restaurant and pizza home delivery segments and this is here to stay.
Where and how do you see yourself going ‘bout this and making it bigger?
DeliveryChef.in is here to facilitate transactions in this market. It is also a medium through which the unorganized market becomes organized – besides listing restaurants and organized eateries on our site, we also work with entrepreneurs that cook and bake from home – they generally have no way to compete with the chains and reach out to large audiences, but through DeliveryChef.in, they can be on the same platform as the bigger companies.
DeliveryChef has successfully captured the Mumbai’s Online Food Ordering market. It would be exciting for us to wait and watch how they go about scaling their venture to other cities in India. And, we promise to keep track of this promising startup’s story for you!
Meanwhile, you check out http://deliverychef.in/