Read this article in 'The Telegraph'.
Dialled dinner delivered at doorstep - Scooter-borne network picks up food from restaurants, brings it to caller’s home free
Condos of swank steel and myriad marble are reshaping Calcutta’s urbanscape and the ever-widening base of ICE-age (information, communication and entertainment) pros is changing the way the city eats — outdoors and in. With dialling for dinner fast becoming a way of life, the need for meals on wheels is growing by the night.
Enter, WoW! or Waiter on Wheels, a “unique free door-delivery system” that picks up food from various F&B outlets on phone-in orders to serve both domestic and corporate clientele in town. “An informal survey showed a defined need for a service like this,” says Vikas Thakker. The 42-year-old marketing man has kicked off the WoW! delivery device with a fleet of Honda scooters, a call centre and a tie-up with three outlets for starters.
The service for the moment is operational in south Calcutta, and the munch menu comes from Copper Chimney on Theatre Road, Azad Hind Dhaba in Hindustan Park and Green Chilli on Rashbehari Avenue.
The central business district and Sector V are next on the radar, besides expanding the domestic domain.
“We plan to have 18-20 two-wheelers in the next six to 12 months and eventually cover the entire city with our door-delivery network,” promises Thakker. To beef up the cuisine count, WoW! is looking at “one or two options on Park Street”, restaurants in Chinatown, Salt Lake, VIP Road and the Phoolbagan-Kankurgachhi belt in the immediate future.
The WoW! army aims to break the common ‘two-km-radius’ boundary for home delivery. “The concept is nice and as long as they have a solid database of clientele from good eateries with a proper mix of menus, it should work. Similar services are quite popular in Bangalore and Mumbai,” observes Debasish Ghosh of Mainland China.
Rajiv Kothari of Bar-B-Q agrees. “There is immense potential in home delivery, and many families would love to have their favourite restaurant food in the comfort of their homes during weekends and even on weeknights after a gruelling day. No one has done it in a professional manner in Calcutta till date and so it hasn’t taken off yet.”
Thakker is aware of the huge dormant delivery market and is keen to serve it right. “The restaurant owner gets to provide an additional service with existing infrastructure, and the customer gets his/her favourite fare without budging from home,” he stresses.
While dishes from the existing restaurant roster come at “no extra cost” to the consumer, WoW! promises to deliver “any order from any reputed eatery” in future at “a nominal additional price”.