It’s still early days, but first-mover restaurants, according to Rungta, are already reporting that 20-30 per cent of their orders are coming via the #OrderDirect route. The new system has also dramatically extended the delivery radius, from 5km, which is the cap placed by the big FSAs, to the entire city of Mumbai, for instance, in the case of #OrderDirect.
It has democratised the marketplace as well by opening it up to other technology solution providers. #OrderDirect was launched with three such platforms – Dotpe, Thrive and Peppo – and four delivery services: Danzo, Wefast, Pidge and Shadowfax. Today, as many as 15 tech platforms, apart from a number of local delivery services, have signed up with the NRAI – and “more are getting in touch with us every week”.
Restaurants that have moved to #OrderDirect, according to Rungta, are reaching out to their database of repeat customers by using “the power of WhatsApp” to transmit a QR Code or a light PWA website link. The customer who receives the QR Code, or PWA website link, clicks on it to check the menu, place the order, and make the payment via Paytm or Google Pay.
As soon as the payment is confirmed, the restaurant sends a confirmation, followed by an order tracker, to the customer, also via WhatsApp. Once the order is delivered and both the delivery service and the customer confirm that it has been done, the transaction is closed. In the process, the restaurant is able to capture data on its regular customers and keep reaching out to them with reminders and targeted offers.
The multiple functions involved here – order aggregation, integration with the PoS and the kitchen, customer interface, coordination with the delivery service, confirmations and follow-ups – are managed seamlessly by the tech solution provider. It charges a “nominal fee” – and not a hefty commission – for this service. Additionally, the restaurant has to pay the payment gateway charge.
“In the post-Covid world, everyone’s feeling the pinch,” Rungta said, and predicted that in the not-so-distant future, it’ll be a 50:50 split between direct and FSA-mediated orders. The NRAI has taken the leap of faith – and already, there’s change in the air.