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Order In | Transforming The Landscape Of India's Restaurant Industry

Motorbikes labeled with ‘Swiggy’ and ‘Foodpanda’ stickers are a common sight in today’s urban structure. The metamorphosis of the restaurant industry into ‘food on wheels’ has progressed and expanded the business fading the boundaries set by existential paradigms

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Motorbikes labeled with ‘Swiggy’ and ‘Foodpanda’ stickers are a common sight in today’s urban structure. The metamorphosis of the restaurant industry into ‘food on wheels’ has progressed and expanded the business fading the boundaries set by existential paradigms.

The weekly family gatherings at fancy restaurants have declined significantly as the trend of food delivery and e-delivery is gaining momentum across India. A recent report by RedSeer Consulting, a research and advisory firm, highlights that there has been a 30 per cent increase in the delivery market between 2015 and 2016. Consequently, start-ups such as Swiggy, Foodpanda and UberEATS have successfully managed to fill the void between small and large-scale restaurants and the lazy consumers. Not to forget Zomato, which has already set a trend as a dine-in and take-away service aggregator.

Emergence of e-delivery

Online food delivery grew at a pace of 150 per cent from 2015 to 2016. Major online food delivery players handled on an average 160,000 orders daily in 2016, the report suggests.

Taking advantage of the digital wave, online food portals have introduced their innovative landscape of providing reviews of restaurants, authentic food distribution and then providing the journey of food order digitally.

The newly-indulgent domain has witnessed the success of Zomato, FoodPanda, Swiggy and the newly introduced UberEATS, among others. Swiggy at the end of 2016 had over a million app downloads and claimed to have 25 per cent month-on-month growth.

“Online food ordering and delivery has become an integral part of the food experience of Indians, and Swiggy has been instrumental in this change. Today, consumers trust Swiggy not just for its lightning-fast and reliable service, but also because of benefits such as no restriction on minimum order, live order tracking, continuous customer support, and choicest restaurant options — from global QSRs, to the city’s most iconic restaurants and trendy new cafés,” says Srivats TS, vice-president - marketing at Swiggy.

According to their annual report for financial year 2016-17, Zomato hit 2.1 million monthly order volumes in March this year. Also, the online food ordering contributes 20 per cent revenue to the overall topline.

According to the report, the restaurant industry stood at $56 billion as on February 2017, witnessing a growth of a mere 11 per cent from 2015 to 2016 while the value of the online delivery market stood at $15 billion in 2016, witnessing a 30 per cent year-on-year growth. At this pace, the delivery and e-delivery market is set to grow faster than the restaurant industry. At present, 61 per cent of the organized restaurants in Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai offer delivery services.

Why this paradigm shift?

The corporate pathos since the last decade has a fixed hour of morning reporting but the time of exiting the office premises is unknown to most. This unplanned change in lifestyle has consequently boosted the delivery market among cafes and restaurants.

After a long working day, many prefer ordering food, especially when there is an easy access and availability in the market, including healthy food. The increase in disposable income of employees in different sectors has also added to the food ordering proposition.

“Jobs have become the priority these days… many don’t know how to cook, others are too busy, and it is convenient to order in. I’m glad food services such as Swiggy and FoodPanda have filled that gap,” says Vernika Awal, food blogger and founder of Delectable Reveries, an independent website on cooking and food.

Additionally, there has been a gross increase in the share of women workforce. As the conventional norms stand, the responsibility of a woman rests as the role of a wife, mother and a ‘homemaker’. Not many households can boast about the male in the family as good cooks.

Consequently, the lifestyle of the younger generation has embarked upon a path that diverges from the traditions of a family. Staying away from home for study, work or other duties has forced the younger lot to rely more on restaurants and local eateries.

Summer is here. People mostly prefer staying indoors to avoid the scorching heat and what do they do if their taste buds tickle for a delectable meal? Order in. Prioritizing their comfort and getting food delivered is a more viable option for most.

However, there are a few lazy denizens who do it a bit more. “Even though we are in the same building, most of our customers ask us to deliver the order to their office,” shares Uma Sharma, owner of Food Safari Restaurant in Gurugram.

There is also something positive about getting your food delivered in. Instead of every household getting their vehicle to the restaurant, they could deliver the orders, if in the same radius, simultaneously. That way, it helps save fuel and money.

“Our lives have become so busy that we hardly have time to go out just to eat; it is mostly for occasions when we want to go out. So, brands are gradually shifting their marketing campaigns towards apps and online ordering services from the traditional restaurant advertisements,” says Pallavi Malhotra, content strategist at LimeTray.

As India moves towards digitalization, the war between conventional and new-age services has got bigger by the day. While it may seem convenient to quench our luxurious appetite, there’s always room for a middle path where both coexist without eating into each other’s businesses.

Tags assigned to this article:
zomato Swiggy foodpanda Restaurant Industry Food Delivery