I think one of the toughest parts of my day is deciding where to order lunch from. While my colleagues think I am dedicatedly typing away to meet my 4 pm deadline, I’m actually making my head spin trying to decide between an egg-chicken roll and a meaty bacon burger. Then there’s that guilty voice at the back of my mind, whispering that maybe it’s high time I order a salad instead. With the multitude of hungry, miniature angels and demons dancing over my shoulder and effectively confusing the daylights out of me, you’d think I’d give up and just bring in a plain old cheese sandwich from home. But wouldn’t I be missing out majorly if I did?
That’s the influence of the new food-tech startups in India’s current ecosystem. These startups are innumerable, and each of these offers unique features that are sure to attract the regular customers and hail in many more.
On this extremely auspicious day for all of us foodies, also known as World Food Day, here are a list of ten food-tech startups that have managed to change the face of office-lunches, for the better.
(Disclaimer: Since Zomato is the linchpin in the food-tech startup ecosystem, we have not mentioned it in this article.)
I can’t imagine a day without Swiggy. It is an app that my fingers automatically twitch towards as soon as the clock strikes one. It is a friend, family and lover. Founded in August 2014, Swiggy may be a Bengaluru-based startup, but it has now spread its wings across most of the metros – including Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. Its USP of quick and cost-effective pick-up and delivery from restaurants within a certain kilometre radius has raked in millions of users and helped it mark a net-worth of over three crore rupees with a turnover of over seven lakh rupees (according to the RoC data filed by the Company in April, 2016). You can scout for restaurants according to your preferred price choice, cuisine, delivery time and ratings, so you can order the most cost-effective and reliable meal in the shortest of time.
Bengaluru-based FreshMenu, which came about only two years ago, has become quite the favourite among foodies across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and Gurgaon, with its rotating menu of 20 new dishes every day. From Chinese to Thai to Continental, the options are many and the quality, even better. Although the prices may be a bit high for the everyday customer, with your standard main course being in the range of Rs 200-350, it is still a great option at the beginning of the month for great quantity (you can almost never finish it in one sitting) and good taste.
Box8 is a known favourite among Mumbaikars. Since its inception there, it has expanded to Pune and Bangalore as well. Founded in 2012, it offers value-for-money meals of all cuisines, which are both filling and tasty. Most of these are combo meals and are a hit favourite among office-goers looking for a filling meal for under Rs 200.
Another Mumbai favourite, Faasos was founded back in 2011 and was one of the first of its kind in the food-tech startup ecosystem. Its menu boasts of a variety of options that include wraps as well as heavy Indian meals like a Biryani and Raita. The prices differ according to the dishes, ranging from Rs 49 all the way up to Rs 650. It allows you to filter dishes according to specific price ranges as well as the kind of spice levels. Faasos now has branches in 13 cities in India.
Indore-based Oye 24 has become quite the go-to food site for office goers. Claiming the ‘fastest food delivery in Indore’, its 24/7 free delivery services with no minimum order size, consistent food quality and pocket-friendly prices makes it unique from the others occupying the same market. Started in November 2015, it offers varieties in North Indian, Chinese and South Indian cuisine for a decent price range.
Started in Gurgaon last year, InnerChef is one of the fastest growing food tech ventures in the country and is a prime competitor to Fresh Menu. Its dishes are globally-inspired and mostly include European, Mediterranean and modern Indian cuisines. Currently, they operate in Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Noida and offer prices similar to the ones offered by FreshMenu.
Positioning itself as a ‘perfectly engineered meal replacement shake’, the startup claims to provide recipes that will meet the daily nutrition quotient of the human body. After gaining approval from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), it offers various ingredients to help you make a perfectly healthy meal as well as offers recipes to make the same. Although the products are slightly on the expensive side, it is still doing great in a market of consumers that are seeking healthy food and eating habits.
Another favourite in Bengaluru, this startup was established in April 2010 and fulfilled the basic necessity of your typical Indian customer slogging away at the desk – chai. It delivers different kinds of chai from their estates and tea companies in Assam, Darjeeling and the Nilgiris in a typically traditional ‘chai flask’. This USP has made the company quite popular among the people of Bengaluru and the NCR, where it caters to presently.
Started in 2014, Holachef’s service can be compared to Masterchef dishes delivered at your doorstep. With a variety of simple and fancy dishes made by professional cooks at reasonable prices and great quantity, this is a good option for office-goers for a filling yet reasonably healthy meal in the afternoon. The menu keeps changing every day, and the dishes fall under the category of quick eats, lunch, dinner and desserts – the combos being a favourite pick among its regulars.
So where are you going to order from today?