Today I am going to the write about the most comfortable restaurant in the history of restaurants. The one where service always exceeds expectations and anticipates everything one can need even before you suspect it. A place where the furniture is just right, the lighting to your taste, and the guests never complain. The prices are comparable, if not outright cheaper, than the finest of outlets you would have otherwise considered and the best part, you never need to drive back with a few drinks in
I am talking about eating in the comfort of your own home, of ordering food in and relaxing with it while you binge watch whatever online media consolidated format throws up as currently trending. In the last few years, ordering in has come a long way, from the local dhaba where one sent the atta and got back cooked tandoori rotis to curating a Southeast or Far East Asian menu with all the necessary condiments, home delivery has made me less social than the worst of WhatsApp groups!
Today ordering in is such a lucrative category that a lot of restaurants regard their brick-and-mortar outlet as merely a shop window to the real cash cow. They put up with exorbitant rents in ludicrously posh markets just to get people to try their ware and then get the hitched on to the, pun intended, delivery wagon.
Just look at Noshi, they charge a hefty 10 per cent as packing charge and I never once shudder while paying it because the way their food turns up at home is better than what many a restaurant can manage in their salons! Similarly, Thai Crate does a top-notch job. Good-To-Go is another app, I heavily rely on for my raw ingredients (meats mainly) and their carbon-ice fresh delivery standards have got me fish so fresh I could style sushi out of it. With all these fellas, the USP is quick efficient deliveries at a premium but one that’s worth it.
Even the local desi kitchens have upped their ante: from heat-preserving packaging to heat-and-serve
(and reusable) containers, it’s very commendable. Domino’s was possibly the first success in the delivery space but since then have lost their edge: their pizzas were barely average but their 30-minutes-or-less standard still made them a reliable proposition.
Now, with that time promise out of the window, they have surely lost ground. But I do commend them on having being extremely eco-friendly with their packaging since the beginning. In fact, the only thing that I would like to see going ahead is for this industry to have a growing reliance on recyclable and sustainable materials over non-biodegradable plastics. A bit has been progress but a lot remains to be achieved on this front.
But home delivery is certainly the future. I know because even I succumbed and downloaded the Zomato app for ordering food home: I grudgingly admit that it makes life much simpler. I am still resisting Swiggy and yet I still console myself that I shall never be the guy who walks into a restaurant and asks for the table reservation app-related discount that was promised while booking!
The writer is a sommelier.