Atchayam Food Box delivers food in 90 seconds. That’s Amazing !
Chennai, India | Red Newswire | Source: ET Bureau | Nov 7, 2015 06:34 PM IST.
The queue in front of the Atchayam Food Box at Chennai Central Railway station moves even faster than that in front of an ATM. From curious experimenters to long distance travellers, people place their orders one by one and in just 90 seconds the food comes from their favourite restaurants on conveyor belts, piping hot and well packed. No waiters, no crowd, no confusion.
Founded by Satish Chamy Velumani in 2013, Chennai’s own food box is in full swing and is opening its first outlet outside Chennai in the coming week.”We are planning two outlets in Bengaluru and another additional outlet in Chennai,” said Velumani. “The plan is to have 20 odd outlets by the end of next year,” he added.
A day at Food Box starts with discussions with the restaurants on what sort of menu is to be offered through Food Box at what prices.
Ahead of each mealtime restaurants get notifications on what needs to be packed. As the product reaches the outlets they are stored in cooling banks of the dispenser. Meanwhile, the dispenser goes through a learning process to understand which product is stored where, so that when a customer places an order it is picked up, heated and given out, all in 90 seconds.
“Earlier I had to be contented with a packet of chips or biscuits for the night when I was rushing to catch a train to my native place,” said Namitha Thomas who works with a private bank in Chennai.
“But here I get the full restaurant-kind meals in time less than that is taken to buy a packet of chips,” she adds gladly.
The customer can opt from 25 different food items from seven different restaurants. Velumani notes that the goal is to limit the number of restaurants to 10 and explains why. “This is not like a simple order aggregation, this is actually retailing for the restaurants. When you facilitate retail and when the restaurant realises it can sell 200-300 packs to you, you get more favourable rates for the consumers.”
Mukesh Kaushik, owner of Delhi Highway which ships around 500 boxes daily to the Food Box outlets, agrees.
“It works as an additional channel and gets us better brand visibility. Particularly the outlet at DLF IT park which has a lot of North Indian population has gained us a lot of customers,” he said, adding that their food is priced at a lower price than that at the restaurant.
Finding almost 1,500 orders every day the Food Box serves around 40,000 food packets to its hungry customers every month and expects the number to touch 60,000 by the end of December.
ET View: Even More Hungry Kya?
Automated dining is on the rise as restaurants look for high-tech ways to lower labour costs and also work faster behind the scenes.However, it may take a while for vend ing machines to become a main stream choice in this country, given the inhibitions people have about microwaved food.Of course, the more healthconscious among us would prefer freshly cooked food. But consumers are happy when offered more choices. And more competition among startups in this space is healthy too.
(This article was first published by ET Bureau.)