Zomato Fails To Deliver Food In 10 Minutes As Logistics Challenges Pose Hurdle; Will It Get Cancelled?
Zomato will reassess its plans to expand its 10-minute delivery service called Zomato Instant.
It had launched a pilot program in Gurgaon.
However, it was unable to meet the target for orders during the pilot run.
It saw delays of 15-20 minutes as a result of a shortage in the delivery fleet and intense heat wave in the North.
Moreover, Zomato Instant does not even have a separate delivery team yet.
But the company doesn’t seem troubled, believing that the plan, which began in April, is running as expected.
A spokesperson said that the pilot in limited locations of Gurgaon is “on track”.
The intention was to gauge customer demand and it has succeeded in that.
They added that its future aim is to deepen its presence in Gurgaon before scaling it to other cities, and fine-tune a model that would work best for its restaurant and delivery partners.
CCI Enters The Picture
Zomato Instant was almost launched in Bengaluru this month but this has now been halted.
It had to change track after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) got involved as part of its ongoing inquiry into Zomato and its peers over platform neutrality and data masking.
Zomato Instant was met with opposition from several restaurant chains.
They say that it is impossible to wrap up the process of making the food and delivering it to the customer in just 10 minutes.
An executive believes that eventually the 10-minute number will be changed to one that is sustainable in terms of “cooking, payout to the delivery boys, and probably charging a premium for ultra-fast delivery”.
Quick Commerce In Food Unfeasible
Another chief executive of a large quick service restaurant chain said that food delivery is different from grocery delivery since groceries can be pre-packaged.
However the dynamics of fresh food delivery are very different.
Replicating quick commerce in fresh food needs to be accepted by both restaurants and consumers.
A person who was approached to participate in the pilot said that customers may have doubts regarding the quality of the food if it arrives in 10 minutes.
Options Being Explored
Zomato makes use of mini ‘kitchen stations’ within neighbourhood clusters for the Instant service.
It is currently exploring various commercial arrangements.
It could buy a pre-decided quantity in bulk from restaurant partners and sell it to consumers at a markup.
This will help it capture a larger chunk of the commission.