Bite into the online bonanza!

Saturday, 25 May 2013 - 1:55pm IST | Agency: DNA
Food delivery portals are offering some great money-saving deals. So go ahead, surf and grab your share of the pie.

One of the first food sites that helped us browse food menus and discover new eateries from our work desk was foodiebay, now zomato.com; its founders Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah built a business out of scanned menus. A year later, beta versions of food websites began to mushroom that not only had the menus, but allowed you to place orders and pay online — food was being delivered to your doorstep at the click of a mouse. Zoom to 2013, and things are only looking brighter for foodies, who are getting dream deals. Read on...  
 
Incentives to sign up
Some of these food delivery websites have taken to the ‘carrot on stick’ formula to get you to sign up, not that you should mind, because you save upto Rs 100 on your first order, like on tastykhana.in.

Scroll down tastykhana.in’s homepage and scout for the link to Food Coupons, and you have more incentives. Like most websites in this segment, tastykhana.in also has its own phone apps that help users order food on their smartphones. Download any of its phone apps and you get Rs 100 off on orders above Rs 350.

New users to justeat.in sure will be swayed by the pop-up window showing up as soon as their homepage loads — it carries a coupon code that promises 20 per cent off on your order placed via the portal. Ritesh Dwivedy, Founder of justeat.in tells us that these discount coupons carry varying discounts amounts — ranging from 10 per cent off to even 50 per cent. Of course, we did come across a line on the Terms and Conditions page that “in the event of 2,000 redemptions made per voucher code, the voucher will automatically expire regardless of the expiry date.”

For users of zomato.com, special advertisement deals that flash on the website by different eateries could work as an incentive. One of its founders, Pankaj Chaddah explains, “On zomato, restaurants communicate very specific information to a very specific audience. For example, if you are looking for home delivery options in Bandra East, you can see ads with deals and offers for restaurants such as Burgs, Torrp It Up, Mr Chow, and Bong Bong among others. Similarly, if you are looking for dining out options in 4 or 5 Stars in Mumbai, you will see ads with deals at The Lalit, Holiday Inn and ITC Maratha.”

Reward for loyalty
Each of these websites want you for themselves, so they have their own loyalty programs.

Subscribers to tastykhana.in earn two per cent of their bill value as trinkets, whenever they order and pay online. Titbit.com gives one titbit cash for every Rs 5 spent. Justeat.in also offers reward points on every order. And these can be redeemed for free gifts like books, bags, T-shirts, movie DVDs, says Dwivedy.

Special something
Those who find it ardous to fill those long forms and type in personal details to sign up, may feel a little better if their efforts sometimes paid off. Well, it does, at least on titbit.com. Satyam Bansal, COO, titbit.com, says, “ On occasions like our registered users’  birthdays and anniversaries, or special days Father’s Day, our team emails them special discount coupons for certain restaurants like Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, and pastry shops like Birdy’s that have partnered with us.”

Deliverychef.in plans its offers by the season, says Aditi Kapur.  “In Jan- Feb, we focus on offers on healthy food, as people make new year resolutions to eat healthy and stay fit.

We’re currently focusing on IPL offers like the 20-20 IPL special 20” inch pizza from Juno’s called the Juno’s Maximum with unlimited toppings at Rs 1,000.” June will see deals on Father’s Day, and also marks their monsoon bonanza, where users can order kachoris, samosas, corn and variety of pakodas online.

A special day for the food website could mean a bag full of prizes too. As part of its first anniversary celebrations, foodpanda.in plans to give away a Nokia Lumia 720 to one of their ‘lucky’ frequent users.

Help them and they’ll help you

Somehow, dangling a carrot on stick happens to be these online portals’ favourite marketing mantra. Starting May 28, titbit.com also joins the wagon. Says Bansal, “We’ll be running some marketing campaigns on facebook that will encourage users to like and comment on our FB page. And winners will be given a away a ‘meal for two’ voucher.” On tastykhana.in, you earn trinkets every time you tweet about an order placed with them or write food reviews.

Soon, justeat.in also plans to integrate activity on their website with FB, where for every like and share on FB, users will get to accumulate more points.

Deliverychef.in has a gamification platform called Food Wars where you climb up the ladder for every order you place via them, or share, like or review an eatery. And along the way, you also rack up points. You can share  your victory titles and every badge you earn on facebook. Kapur says that they plan to introduce a scheme for redeeming points earned on Food Wars soon.

Freebies

Dwivedy says that registered users of justeat.in often get a free coke on their orders. “The offer is applicable on most of our 2500  partner-restaurants that includes Pizza Hut,” he tells us.  Other attractive offers on justeat.in include free movie vouchers, free dishes and so on. Sonali Chibber, PR, foodpanda.in says that they too regularly give movie vouchers, shopping vouchers and mobile recharge vouchers to their customers.

Five foodie-stops online
1. http://tastykhana.in/
2. http://www.zomato.com/
3. http://www.foodpanda.in/
4. http://justeat.in/
5. http://www.titbit.com/

Five reasons to take these foodie-stops

1. You can pay by card or via net banking.
2. You can gift a meal or dessert.
3. You can track your order.
4. With most of these websites having an app, you can place an order via your phone.
5. You can order items from multiple eateries in one go.


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