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Food Delivery Segment hustles amidst the pandemic

Updated: May 13, 2021

Back in January’20, when the foreigner UberEats got acquired by the indigenous Zomato, we all allowed ourselves a smirk. UberEats’ paralysis to effectively cater to the Indian Market was visible to the naked eye. But now, as we all sit at home and look back, we all will agree, that exit could not have been timed better. If you’re raising your eyebrows to that, allow us to give you a trip around the quiet pandemonium unleashed due to the lockdown:

Online food delivery orders for Zomato and Swiggy has fallen by 70% during the lockdown, reported by the Economic Times. The order volume has fallen below 1 million orders a day when the normal was around 2.5 million as less than 20% restaurants are live presently.

Things would have turned worse if it wasn’t for the local governments stepping in to allow the supply chain operations to resume. Of course, one cannot expect absolute normalcy as most of the casual workers have headed home with pink slips. At least now you can find the usual push notifications and digital marketing by these delivery companies to let you know that their front shutter might be down but they’re still functioning to deliver food at home.

In order to ensure safety, they’re also displaying their concern for hygiene: Rebel Foods,

a renowned cloud kitchen chain has started live body temperature tracker on its app: providing customers with a live feed of body temperatures of those handling their

orders from the cook, kitchen executive to the delivery person.

The delivery giant Swiggy has also introduced “Best safety standard batch” to deliver from only those restaurants that have rolled out features like temperature control, sanitation every 4 hours, use of masks and safe packing mechanisms.

Q. How do you remain afloat during a time like this when you’re only good at delivering food?

Answer: Of course, by continuing to deliver food to the people who need it most:

  • Food delivery platform Zomato has launched a campaign to provide ration to daily wagers who have lost their livelihood due to the lockdown. So far, the company has distributed over 100 thousand kits in more than 20 cities. Each kit is enough for a family of 5 for a week. So, overall the number of kits already delivered by the company will be sufficient to provide over 10 Million meals. THANK YOU ZOMATO!

  • Ola’s food delivery arm, Ola Foods has partnered with the state government to distribute over 1000 food packets twice in a day to migrant laborers across Bengaluru.

After giving us full marks for that answer (ignore the unconventional language) lets also talk about how the food delivery companies have also diversified into the grocery delivery industry, or as Sachin Bansal (co-founder and ex-CEO of Flipkart) calls it, the holy grail of e-commerce:

  • Zomato, which was already pondering to enter the grocery delivery segment heard the call of nature and flagged off its Zomato Market without further ado.

  • Pizza chain Domino’s India franchise owner Jubilant Foodworks has announced the launch of Domino’s Essentials. In partnership with packaged consumer goods major ITC Foods, the delivery infrastructure of Domino’s will be leveraged to help customers order.

  • Swiggy, which had already forayed in the sector has now also started a hyperlocal delivery service ‘Swiggy Genie’ with pick-up and drop-off of items or parcels from anywhere within the city. To maintain the activity level in its app, it is also hosting curated wellness programme for quarantined Indians, providing a range of teleconsultation sessions with health experts. Besides this, the app also allows users to customise digital and onsite wellness programs for their employees and their dear ones.

Both Swiggy and Zomato have raised ₹264 crore and ₹38.2 crore respectively to deal with the crisis. While we extend our sleeping hours at home, it is rejuvenating to see how some are still managing to hustle and for the right cause. It’s fascinating to witness the pace with which the startups are reshaping themselves by exploiting their existing value chains. During times like this, what is indeed most important is brand remembrance so that when times are better again, one can restart right from where they left off.


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