Gone are the days when Patnaites used to prefer home food or savour Litti-Chokha. Today, the average Patna wallah digs into Italian, Mid-Eastern, Thai, Chinese, and continental food. Thanks to the online food ordering apps, people now have plenty of food options, and the food is delivered to the doorstep!
In the tech-savvy environment of the 21st century, every business and organisation is pitching to online audiences and customers.
With birth of the online bazaars, it’s only natural that on-line food courts would soon follow.
Food tech -restaurant to home delivery start-ups like Zomato, Swiggy and the uberEats are probably the beginning of the online food bazaar experience for Patna and the people seem to be lovin’ it.
Whether that order is finger lickin’ good is beside the point, one swipe of your handy mobile app will get you to food heaven, and as the song goes, very soon the delivery boy is knockin’ at your door.
The new foodies are hooked on the convenience of it all. Customers who browse through a menu in the app are more inclined to explore , and usually end up spending more than they would when ordering over the phone or in person.
Online food ordering apps are multiplying and they aim to provide a variety of services, beyond ‘home delivery’ including advance reservations at premium restaurants and attractive discounts for eating out at the best places in town. They provide good servicing for the customers from different areas, places and clients along with fabulous taste.
Add on the fact that Patna is rapidly expanding and is now home to some of the well-known eating-out franchises. Many of these are really swanky outfits that many from the home-loving, middle class, older generation don’t feel comfortable visiting. Thanks to the app, grandma and grandpa don’t need to endure the long wait at the restaurant. They can enjoy the most delectable of dishes in their dressing gowns and slippers!
Some see these systems as beneficial for the culinary circuit, restaurant and food supply chain. Restauranters are able to broaden their client base, gaining the app users’ attention by allowing them to browse through the entire food menu, with images, specialty, and price mentioned to help them take an unhurried decision. Integrating an online food ordering system is no doubt a good decision for a restaurant.
A radio cab service has also integrated a ‘food app’. In a mega city, while commuting by cab, one can locate a restaurant en route, order a meal from based on their current location, and coordinate with their cab driver via GPS so they arrive at the restaurant just as the order is being prepared. So seats are ready, food is served in a jiffy, and the busy businessman saves on waiting time!
The app cuts wastage time taking orders over the phone, and the orders received online direct from the customers have matchless accuracy. During rush-hour/lunch-time, the counter staff are less stressed because of the shorter queues at the counter. Online ordering is clearly making phone-based ordering obsolete.
‘What’s really wonderful about these apps is that you can order a treat for a friend or loved one living in a different city. One of my friends received a wonderful surprise from her daughter studying in Delhi, who gifted her a delicious dinner for six right in the comfort of her home. She ordered in Delhi, and it was delivered in Patna!’ says a fan of this service.
What about the dark underbelly of these online apps? Yummy-looking food pictures, discounts and cash-back offers may very well expand your waistline.
Young people with a fast or hardworking lifestyle may just get addicted to the convenience factor, and end up burning a hole in their pockets. Everyone knows that home cooked food is healthier and cheaper!
It’s not really possible to physically check out the restaurants, and one can’t really be sure that a joint with a fancy name and menu on the app is actually a hole-in-the-wall site using dubious ingredients and stale meat. One has to trust the app. Though most services have reliable redress systems with full refunds offered at times, and a feedback system, you can never be too sure.
For the restaurateurs, especially the startups, some learn the hard way. Many of the app clients are serial discount hunters and only order food from a restaurant as long as the ‘offer season’ is on.
The long and the short of it is that we’ve been bitten by the online food order bug, and even though the system may have the odd hiccup, it’s finger-lickin’ good and we’re just lovin’ it.
With inputs from Shradha Chhetry