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Zomato is racing time, but at what cost?

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Zomato is racing time, but at what cost?
By Jay Kapoor • Issue #28 • View online
Zomato is ready for the race against time, but how will they do it?

In 1984, a company decided to race against time to drive sales. Today, that company is the largest player in their industry and a formidable food giant. It was Dominos with its 30-minute guaranteed delivery service.
30 years later, this race is now competitive. Time has always been of the essence, but now it’s disruption at play.
Lately, the startup world has been seeing the rise of 10-minute grocery delivery services. While they’re met with appreciation and ridicule alike, this highlighted another problem that hadn’t been solved at scale yet.
Everyone talks about 10-minute groceries but honestly, what problem does it solve? Leave aside the vanity, how many people have you seen have a problem with their groceries being delivered late? Most of us get our groceries once a month and when we run short, guess what? There is always a general store within a five-minute radius from our place.
But do you know what’s urgent and not always available nearby? It’s GOOD food.
That’s what netizens on startup twitter realised as well, and there was one player ready to take the challenge.
On 21st March 2022, Zomato’s founder Deepinder Goyal put out a tweet announcing that the food delivery giant will be entering the race against time to get our favourite food delivered to us within a mere ten minutes.
Deepinder Goyal
Announcement: 10 minute food delivery is coming soon on Zomato.

Food quality – 10/10
Delivery partner safety – 10/10
Delivery time – 10 minutes

Here’s how Zomato Instant will achieve the impossible while ensuring delivery partner safety –
He called this service ‘Zomato Instant’ and attached a blog link answering the FAQs. Well, you need not read through all their jargon now that you’re reading this.
Let’s address the two most common questions that have arisen since this announcement.
How will they prepare food and deliver it WITHIN ten minutes?
Groceries are one thing; they are mostly ready to go, you just need someone to pick and drop. The items are static in their existence and don’t pose a lot of logistical challenges. Fresh food, on the other hand, is a much more complex task to handle.
Zomato plans on operating with dark kitchens, a concept tested by Blinkit and Zepto in the form of dark stores(that are basically mini-godowns that are present at multiple points in their operational territory). Zomato will use data to find out the most popular food items in a certain area and that collection(20-30 items) will be made available for their Instant service.
Will the delivery partners be pressurised?
With the advent of quick deliveries came a wave of backlash from the netizens pointing out that the items have to be delivered by partners who will invariably be pressurised by the company to deliver in time. This seems to disregard the fact that there are countless variables while delivering a food item. People have pointed out how the partners might need to rush to reach the destination on time, leading to multiple risks on the roads.
Deepinder clarified on Twitter that ‘Delivery Partner Safety’ was one of the things they would do ‘no compromises’ on. It states right away that there will be no pressure on delivery partners to deliver food faster in order for Zomato Instant to succeed. On the road, no management would take place, and delivery partners would be unaware of the specified delivery time. Instead, “a dense finishing counters’ network,” algorithms, and in-station robotics, among other things, would be required to meet the speedy delivery guarantee.
Zomato has all your answers when it comes to customer, restaurant, and delivery partner concerns. What will happen is something we will know when the pilot kicks off in April in Gurgaon; as of now, let’s ponder upon if our favourite dish would be added to the menu.
Written by: Siddhansh Agrawal
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