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A unique platform for Kochi's home cooks to sell their dishes

The startup, the brainchild of Kozhikode-native Sajna Veettil, not only aims at nurturing healthy eating habits, but also empowering women entrepreneurship.

Published: 22nd August 2019 02:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2019 02:52 AM   |  A+A-

DineUps CFO Mark Wong

DineUps CFO Mark Wong

By Express News Service

KOCHI: There are many food delivery apps in the city catering to the hunger pangs of Kochiites. While all these food apps deliver food from hotels and restaurants, there is nothing soothing or homely about the food. This is where DineUps, a food app, differs. 

The startup, the brainchild of Kozhikode-native Sajna Veettil, not only aims at nurturing healthy eating habits but also empowering women entrepreneurship.  “Nearly all home cooks are women and we want to empower them. Providing them with a platform to earn while doing a job they have been regularly engaged in gives them their much-needed independence. They can use the platform to showcase their talent all the while setting up a pathway to a successful career as a chef,” said Sajna, president of DineUps.

According to her, while the platform provides an avenue for the home cooks to sell their dishes, it also helps people who miss homely meals. “Think of a scenario where you have elderly parents at home and are in a rush to reach office. You might not have enough time to cook a wholesome lunch palatable to your parents. This is where DineUps and its bevvy of home cooks come in,” she said.

DineUps was launched in April in Kozhikode. “The app has been received well in Kozhikode and at present have 500 downloads. We also have a list of 60 to 70 home cooks logged on our app in Kozhikode,” she said. 

“DineUps’ easy-to-use, location-based search enables diners to pinpoint and order food options in their vicinity. The payments can be made electronically via the app, eliminating the need for cash transactions. Buyers can select home delivery or in-person pickup, and submit feedback about the experience through the app,” she said. 

DineUps, however, doesn’t deliver the food. “We just provide a platform for the chefs to sell their products and the customers to buy them,” she said. The startup has engaged a third party to pick and deliver food.

The app will be operational in Kochi on September 1. “Our market research has shown that residents of this city are familiar with other food delivery apps and solutions. We plan to tap into this trend with a healthier option using home-cooked foods,” she said.

According to her, DineUps app is available in the Google Play Store. “An iOS version to be launched by the end of this month. DineUps is also launching an easy-to-use subscription-based service where buyers can set up recurring deliveries for lunch or dinner,” said Sajna. 

However, not everyone can register themselves as chefs on the app. “For this, the person needs to provide a certification by the Food and Safety Services Authority of India. Also, the dishes prepared by the chefs will be judged by customers who can then post their feedback on the app,” said Mark Wong, CFO. 

According to him, the food can be sourced and will be delivered in a 5-km radius. “A minimum amount of Rs 30 will be charged as delivery charges,” he added. The revenue for the startup comes from the surcharge charged in addition to the price of the dish and the delivery charges.



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