Zomato prepares to deliver restaurant food in 10 minutes

Zomato is preparing for a future where even 30-minute food deliveries just aren’t fast enough.

Gurugram’s 10-minute hot food delivery service, Zomato Instant, will be introduced to its home next month.

As fast-paced commerce gains traction in grocery stores – Zomato itself backs Blinkit – “no one in the world has yet delivered hot, fresh food in less than 10 minutes at scale,” the CEO wrote. Deepinder Goyal in a blog post on March 22. “We were excited to be the first to create this category, globally.

Zomato may be onto something, experts say. But is there enough demand for it?

“Unlike groceries, food as a category is more likely to succeed in the 10-minute delivery format,” according to Yugal Joshi, partner at consultancy Everest Group. “People may not want to plan their food like they would for groceries. They may want to order things on the fly. However, these are extreme cases.

Zomato’s plan

The food and restaurant delivery aggregator plans to disperse “finishing stations” with 20-30 top-selling items from various restaurants based on demand predictability and hyperlocal preferences. With this format, it will lower prices for customers by 50% while preserving margins and income for restaurant and delivery partners.

Pizza chain Domino’s last year reduced its delivery window on most orders from 30 minutes to 20 minutes by opening more stores and investing in prediction models that allow kitchens to start your order even before to make the payment.

Additionally, Zomato can “guarantee the highest quality ingredients and hygiene practices” throughout the supply chain. The challenge for Zomato is that “its core value proposition has a lifespan and is replicable. Therefore, it needs to keep adding these new offerings,” Joshi said.

But there are too many moving parts — Zomato’s own kitchen, its partner restaurant, its delivery partner, and its algorithms — that could make the experience a black hole for the loss-making company. The way to succeed “will be to fail quickly. They have to be brave enough later to shut down a service if it doesn’t work.”

Effect on workers

Zomato claims there is no pressure or penalty on delivery partners to meet deadlines.

“If order-heavy areas are well identified and there are dark stores nearby to fill, the delivery time may actually be as little as five minutes,” said Mayank Sahni, product operations manager at fintech Finbox. tweeted. “Five is for packing and delivery, people can be parked in stores instead of having to go from one part of town to another.”

But even if Zomato manages to get it right, reviewers aren’t convinced by the move to faster deliveries. They still fear that gig workers will be exploited. In addition to insufficient pay and long working hours, they are “devoid of basic employee rights – health insurance, employee provident fund, base salary,” Kushal Vala, a machine learning researcher, wrote on LinkedIn. .

“The biggest problem in the capitalist ecosystem is companies trying to outdo themselves, with complete disregard for their workers on the ground,” Vala said. “As Zomato is a publicly traded company, adopting this heinous model could have repercussions. I won’t be surprised if in the future Nykaa, Amazon, Myntra do the same to catch up with the rest of the pack.

However, these problems exist whether or not the deliveries take place hyper-locally, says Sahni.

“Speed ​​of delivery should not frame our arguments for or against workers’ rights…It should be about a more nuanced understanding of technology, fleet management, order management and benefits, and policies for partners.”

This article first appeared on Quartz.

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