Two years ago, when Aniruddha Patil started his business PuneOrders.in – the first food delivery platform based in the city – he aimed to provide an alternative to established players who charged high commissions.
“While charging a commission is a legitimate way to run businesses, established players charge commissions of up to 20-30%. Small and medium players can ill afford it, but given the duopoly in the market, they have little or no say,” he said.
Patil’s platform charged amounts as low as Rs 1,000 per month while allowing restaurateurs the ability to “unbundle” the various services offered by food delivery platforms. With more than 30,000 orders delivered in two years, Patil’s company is now ready to offer bespoke services to food and other start-ups.
Patil, a software professional with years of experience in the IT industry, is a well-known figure in the city’s food and hospitality industry. As the founder of the Pune Eats Out Facebook page, Patil has over the years nurtured and built a community of serious foodies in and around the city. What started as a social media reviews page has grown into a community of 1,70,000 enthusiastic people.
The platform counts among its members connoisseurs, restaurateurs, home chefs and others.
After being associated with the food industry and working closely with them, Patil realized that the high commission charged by food delivery platforms was a common complaint.
“The idea of food delivery is great…they have bundled together a range of services like payment, delivery etc. and restaurant owners have no choice but to accept that. So even if the customer is just down the street, the outlet has to pay the commission,” he pointed out. PuneOrders.in tackles this problem by “unbundling” services and enabling direct communication between the and customers.
When an order is placed on the platform, the business owner has the option of choosing either all the services or taking only part of the services offered. “We can help with delivery and collect payment if the business owner wishes. On the other hand, the business owner can choose to deliver the order and collect payment themselves. This option lacked on food delivery platforms,” he said.
This service flexibility is an added incentive and companies can choose to join the platform by paying Rs 1,000 per month as a fee.
With over 500 businesses now part of the platform, PuneOrders.in offers star hotels like
The Conrad as well as companies like Tata Motors Grihini Social Welfare Society, an organization specializing in homemade snacks.
“The flexibility of options helps every business owner choose the best deal for them,” he said. Two years later, Patil’s platform has broken even and is ready to scale to new models. “We want to explore models that will allow food start-ups and home chefs to pay per order and other revenue models,” he said.