Just got back home, man. Waiting for my order to be delivered now." Ashish Gupta, a 27-year-old business consultant, pings at 2am in the night (or morning for you purists) on a Whatsapp group chat. He, like thousands of other young people these days, works when the rest of the city sleeps. On rare instances when he isn't attending 1am meetings, he is out partying, or playing video games, or watching a match on TV. "When you are up that late, you often feel hungry, no?" chimes in his friend Abhinav Verma.
"Before, I would either make some Maggi or warm up some left-over lunch," the 26-year old research associate says. Ashish's big problem was running out of smokes. "Then we would have to drive to the nearest 24X7. Now I simply call up one of the late-night delivery services and have them delivered." Adds Abhinav sheepishly, "I sometimes order some food on the pretext of ordering a packet of condoms when I run out!"
Food, cigarettes, medicines, sanitary towels or contraceptives - late-night deliveries are changing the midnight snacking and nocturnal craving landscape of India's metros. Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, was the first to get a late-night delivery service some time in 2012 when entrepreneur Neha Jain started Fly By Knight. The service has a simple menu and delivers to areas from Malad to Churchgate and Mulund.
Its counterpart in NCR, Batman Delivers that is operational in Gurgaon, was one of the first ones to set up shop in the North. "The owner, fashion designer Leena Malik, returned from the US and saw the vulnerability of people going out at night post the 2012 Delhi-rape case. That's how she came up with the idea of reaching essential products to people at night without them having to venture out," says Raghav Negi, marketing head of Batman Delivers. "We also started what we call Batman Services, a first-of-its-kind service where if you need an electrician, plumber, driver or guard at night, we provide them for you."
Crave Busters, one of the newest entrants in the night delivery scene in Delhi, takes your midnight cravings very seriously. With services all over Delhi, they focus only on gourmet food in Indian, Pan-Asian and Continental categories, and made with fresh produce. Samdarsh Wadhwa, founder of Crave Busters, says, "We believe that Delhi should eat at night what it eats during the day. The clock should not be a constraint for you to eat well at any time." Hear hear!
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From HT Brunch, May 11
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