Until two years ago the only visible food deliverers zipping across busy city roads carried pizzas in oversized hot-packs dangling precariously from their motorcycles. The delivery boys risked their lives to meet the 30-minute promise. Affordable smartphones with the option of downloading more than a dozen food-ordering apps have changed that, as well as how Indians eat.
The HT-MaRS survey of smartphone users shows nearly one in five people have ordered food using an app. A third said food has become a lot more enjoyable when ordered using a mobile app.
Data from Foodpanda, a food ordering apps, provides more tell-tale signs. Mined from nearly 300,000 users over a year, it reveals these broad trends:
1. 97% said they prefer online ordering instead of calling the restaurant, primarily for the discounts and flexible payment options
2. 60% of the customers are single
3. 60% said ordering in was more like a ritual and an everyday activity, not just a festive or occasional one
Data from the Top 10 Tier 1 cities also shows a bias in favour of mobile phones. The number of orders placed using mobile phones is on an average twice as many as those placed using desktop computers. Tier 2 and 3 cities have also started to trend in the same direction.
The convenience and flavour, however, comes at a price: more than half the HT-MaRS respondents said their expense on food has gone up “a lot” since they started ordering on the smartphone.