Kochi eateries come up with their own delivery system

Kerala Hotels and Restaurants Association to launch its app in two months, says no to third party apps
Illus   Express
Illus  Express

KOCHI: Mirshad Suhail’s phone is ringing non stop these days. With customers calling incessantly, this hotelier is struggling to manage food orders to be home delivered. Mirshad is one of the many restaurant owners in the district who has quit depending on mainstream food delivery apps, to start his own venture. And, it is paying.

With dining-in becoming a distant possibility due to the Covid situation, many like him have turned to fetching revenue through independent door delivery services. Taking a cue from the trend, Kerala Hotels and Restaurants Association (KHRA) is going to launch its app for the purpose within two months. Kochi’s food delivery sector is about to embrace a silent  co-operative revolution.  

“Collaborating with Swiggy and Zomato takes a huge amount from our daily collection. So, we have no other option but to bring about a change. On an experiment basis, we are using our staff for home delivery and stay afloat during the economic slowdown. Currently, we are taking the orders through phone calls and SMSes,” said Suhail. 

Though it meant to be a pilot project in Kochi, KHRA aims to develop a ‘state-wide app’ which caters to the need of restauranteurs even from a remote location.  “We have been thinking about such a facility for a while. As people’s lifestyle and dine-in food habits are changing, we have to be aligned with the trend. Being a necessity during Covid times, these food aggregators are charging up to 30 per cent per order as the delivery fee.

Putting an end to this exploitation, we are coming with our app which deliver the products on actual price,” said G Jayapal, general secretary, KHRA. He said many of these food items are overpriced based on the timing of the order. “If the actual price is Rs 100, the customer will have to pay Rs 125 or Rs 130 and the hotel owner get only Rs 75. Both the seller and customer are forced to bear the unwanted expense. This has to be stopped.

We are planning to sell the products on actual price and charge a nominal fee which remains constant throughout the day. It will create a level-playing field for everyone,” he said. Irrespective of the class divisions, the association’s app will ensure a space for every shop registered under it. “Be it a regular tea shop or a high-end restaurant, everyone will be accommodated in the platform. If they are working from a remote village,  the app will assist them to deliver to distant locations. Out of the 80 per cent functioning shops, only 40 or 50 have regular customers. We are hoping to rejuvenate the sector through these new measures,” said Jayapal.

The App 
Though it meant to be a pilot project in Kochi, KHRA aims to develop a ‘state-wide app’ which caters to the need of restauranteurs even from a remote location. he said.

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