Zomato on Monday promised to deliver food within ten minutes of ordering, arguably becoming the first company in the world to do so. So, what does it mean for the food delivery ecosystem?
The announcement divided the social media. Those in favour said that they will now get their French fries and burgers before they go soggy. And soft drinks before they lose the sting.
While another section alleged that this rush will endanger the life of delivery partners. It also gave birth to a barrage of memes. With one of them saying that he wanted his food delivered even before it was ordered.
The criticism forced the Zomato CEO to come forward with another round of clarification. The first one had come with Monday’s announcement itself.
CEO Goyal claimed that Zomato does not force riders to deliver food faster. In fact, he claimed that delivery partners are not even told about the promised time of delivery and that time optimization does not happen on the road.
Goyal said that the riders are neither penalised for late deliveries, nor incentivised for on-time deliveries. He also claimed that 10-minute deliveries would lead to lesser time spent on the road per order. Concerns, however, remain.
Zomato meanwhile expects that prices for customers will come down by 50% without affecting the incomes for restaurants and delivery partners.
CEO Deepinder Goyal said this new category is borne out of customer preferences as they are increasingly seeking quicker answers to their needs. He said that sorting restaurants by fastest delivery time is one of the most used features on the Zomato app.
How does the company plan to execute this? Let us find out. The 10-minute food delivery service, called Zomato Instant, will rely on a dense network of food finishing stations that will be located at certain high-demand customer neighbourhoods.
These stations will house 20 to 30 best-selling, standardised menu items from various restaurants based on hyperlocal preferences and demand that can be dispatched in two minutes.
The backlash will not deter the startup from piloting Zomato Instant with four stations in Haryana’s Gurugram from next month. Zomato believes that its experience of delivering 1.35 billion orders across India will help it innovate and stay ahead of the competition.
Ultrafast grocery delivery from the likes of Blinkit and Zepto became all the rage last year. And Zomato wants to replicate this with food delivery. It will be arguably the first in the world to try out this model.
Zomato explained that its in-station robotics will ensure that the food is hot and fresh at the time it is picked by the delivery partner. We will soon know how it manages to balance its business objectives with the safety of delivery executives and quality of food.
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