Aishwarya Ramesh
Points of View

Blink or miss? Analysing the 10 minute food delivery promise

Ola Foods follows Zomato with the 10-minute delivery promise. Here’s a deep dive into the feasibility and potential of the move.

What can you do with ten minutes? Take a walk? Make a cup of chai? Watch a funny video on your phone? Zomato, and now Ola, want to make it possible for you to order and receive a full meal in ten minutes. When Zomato made this announcement in April social media users were up in arms, concerned about the delivery personnel’s safety.

While Zomato Instant is all set to begin its pilot - Ola Foods announced a similar promise last week. Ola first forayed into the food business in 2019 with its flagship brand 'Khichdi Experiment'. The larger phenomenon of quick delivery (or quick commerce as its popularly referred to) was introduced by grocery delivery platforms like Dunzo, Swiggy Instamart, Zepto, Bigbasket and others.

The brands under Ola Foods' banner
The brands under Ola Foods' banner

Ashit Chakravarty, EVP, Dentsu Webchutney

Food is generally a heart thing, even more so when it is being ordered in. One will be happy to wait just a little longer if the heart really wants to indulge in something scrumptious. However, there are moments when the currency of time trumps the desire to indulge. The 10-minute delivery will tap into any moment where time is of the essence.

For instance in-between mealtime opportunities like skipped lunches, hunger pangs. before dinner, impulse moments, people dropping by and so on. In fact, it will start competing for a share of the stomach with things like instant noodles and other ready to eat options.

Ashit Chakravarty
Ashit Chakravarty

Food delivery in ten minutes sounds gimmicky when it doesn’t happen but when it does, it is brilliant. Years ago when Domino’s first promised a made to order pizza in 30 minutes it did sound like a gimmick. Today, 30 minutes is the norm. Let me put it this way, if the success stories outnumber the outages, 10 minutes will be the new benchmark.

Having said that, it will be incorrect to view consumers with a single filter of impatience, despite it being omnipresent. There are also moments when people like to take it slow. In this case, outrage occurred because people are concerned about the quality of the food, safety and health of the riders because they fear that 10 minutes promise pushes the system even more. The onus will be on the service providers to rest their apprehensions so that while catering to the impatient needs of the people, it is done in a sustainable way.

Divyapratap Mehta, founder, Intertwined Brand Solutions

A time-based promise such as that of 10 minute delivery can put a lot of pressure on the delivery ecosystem. When Domino’s made the 30 minute delivery promise, they made sure they had the logistics in place to ensure fulfilment. To make a promise of ten minute delivery in a country like India, where sometimes the roads aren’t very good - it's bizarre.

Divyapratap Mehta
Divyapratap Mehta

In Domino’s case, they had the fulfilment down to a science - the pizza would take four minutes to cook, and they had outlets at every nieghbourhood to ensure that they could make the deliveries on time. In Zomato’s case, it will be following a model where the food can be readily cooked and a lot of it is pre-prepared. If they made such a big promise, they have to make sure that the backend calculations regarding preparation and delivery need to be timed in order to fulfil this promise.

It also makes complete sense that they’re running the pilot in Gurgaon - it has a young population who have access to a disposable income. The way the layout of the city is planned will also help Zomato facilitate these deliveries.

Abhishek Chaturvedi, SVP & head of planning - Digitas India

Ten minute delivery is not driven by a gimmick, it is driven by innovation. The promise of making a delivery in ten minutes comes from an innovation in an existing business model. When Domino’s offered delivery in 30 minutes or less, everyone in the food delivery business had to comply with that benchmark. Today, these benchmarks are broken every quarter.

A tech innovation is what is powering this shift - and that’s what differentiates the promise they’re making. There are companies already in the business of doing ten minute deliveries - such as Blinkit and Zepto. I think it’s a race in the right direction because it’s actually delivering innovation to consumers.

Abhishek Chaturvedi
Abhishek Chaturvedi

It’s a win-win situation for the customers who are getting their food quickly as well as for the delivery personnel who are not at risk because of rash driving. Tech innovations always happen before labour laws are made, so there might be concerns about how the delivery partners will be affected by this, but overall, people already do work at breakneck speed, so we’ll have to see over time how this plays out.

(Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash)

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