Lip-smacking food at a click

The urge to tickle your taste buds can strike anytime and those wanting to try delicacies beyond regular home fare can simply go online and order their choice of food from restaurants, and even temples, across town.

By ANWESHA AMBALY in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 19.07.16
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Bhubaneswar, July 18: The urge to tickle your taste buds can strike anytime and those wanting to try delicacies beyond regular home fare can simply go online and order their choice of food from restaurants, and even temples, across town.

Several young entrepreneurs have cashed in on people's love for good food to experiment with various business models of online food delivery services.

Brothers Soumyaranjan Nayak and Biswa Nayak gave up their MNC jobs to start a website that delivers food from all the popular restaurants in the city. The website, 0km, was started in 2015 and within one year of its functioning, it receives a minimum of 150 orders each day.

"The number of orders goes up to more than 200 on weekends. We offer customers 'no minimum order value' policy from any restaurant across the city. This attracts people to our service as they can order a single plate of biryani worth Rs 100 from Patia and get the delivery at Khandagiri or further," said 32-year-old Soumyaranjan.

He said Odias from many countries, including US, Singapore and UK , have used 0km to get food from city restaurants delivered to their loved ones living in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Apart from the website, there are a number of ways to use their services such as through their call centre number, WhatsApp or their mobile App.

"We have a set of customers who love to try food from various restaurants across the city. We also have clients from various segments such as corporate employees, students, senior citizens and homemakers," added Soumyaranjan.

The initial journey was not easy, they admitted.

"Restaurant owners and residents were not aware of the concept so it took us a lot of time to create that confidence in them. We had to market the concept extensively to bring them on board. Also, people did not understand that restaurants need some time to cook the food and they needed to consider the time taken by the delivery boy to arrive. We had to face a lot of brickbats from the customers," added the entrepreneur.

Yet another group of entrepreneurs got their idea from the fact that people stand in serpentine queues for hours outside city shrines to sample temple food.

A group of five techies cashed in on this to start a food delivery service that allows you to order meals from all the major temples in the city by simply visiting their website.

The start-up, Templethali, has on its menu options such as "normal abhada", "special abhada", "temple thali" and "special khaja".

If you order "normal abhada", expect anna, dal, besara, saga, khata and kheer for Rs 110. Order "special abhada" for Rs 130 and get kanika, dal, khata, besara, saga and kheer. The items for both these options are procured from the famous Ananta Basudev Templelocated in Old Town.

Their "temple thali" includes anna, dal, vegetable curry , khata and kheer, which is obtained from a number of temples located around the city while the " khaja", a sweet delicacy that originated in the Jagannath temple, is obtained from Puri.

"A number of people in Odisha prefer vegetarian food on most of the days of the week especially Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. On these days, we have seen people waiting in long queues outside temples to buy meals. We decided to make the process easier," said Abhisek Khemka, one of the partners of Templethali.

On an average, they receive around 100 orders a day. All these young entrepreneurs are graduates from the College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar.

Apart from their website, you can also place orders on their Facebook page and their mobile app. "At present, we are focusing on maintaining the quality because temple food has its own flavour and taste. Once we gain momentum in the city, we will venture into cities such as Cuttack, Khurda, Puri, Berhampur, Balasore and Rourkela," added Khemka.

"I am a strict vegetarian and the service has come as a boon for me," said Anuradha Biswal, a regular customer of Templethali.

Puri Jagannath temple's mahaprasad can also be ordered from www.shr-ikhetra.com. Several other websites such as www.onlineprasad.com and www.pra-sadseva.com offer services that are similar.

Other online food ordering services that have come up in the city include Dabawalas, which supplies food to major corporate houses in the state capital.

The menu includes various Indian cuisine items delivered in lunchboxes or trays.

Other home-grown delivery services to name are www.foodcitybhubaneswar.com (Food City), www.deliverydoots.com (Delivery Doots) and www.foodkhoj.com (Food Khoj), most of which have been started by young entrepreneurs.