When food knocks...

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When food knocks...

Mansi Bhatia, a marketing assistant, works about nine to 10 hours a day and when she comes back to her apartment, the last thing she wants to do is make dinner for herself.

She has found an easier solution — picking up her phone, opening one of the many food delivery apps and ordering something delicious. The fad of home delivery systems is spreading like wildfire in the City as people get to save time and have whatever they wish delivered to their doorstep, hassle free. However, the question arises on whether these apps are making them lazy?

To this, Mansi says, “I’m someone who orders dinner through ‘Freshmenu, ‘Swiggy’, ‘TinyOwl’ or ‘MK Dabbawala’ almost every night. I do go out to restaurants and buy something for myself at times but I’m too tired by evening to do it every night. So home delivery is an easier option. I think that it’s a boon to be able to order in, especially for people like me who don’t have a kitchen or know how to cook.”

But with many of these food delivery apps adding delivery charges and packing charges, the overall expense of getting the food is becoming expensive. However, many don’t mind the added charges because it gives them what they want at the end.

Harsha MV, director of  a startup, orders food at least six times a week. He says, “The idea is simple actually — my time is more valuable than that extra Rs 30 or Rs 50. I would rather order the food and allow the service to bring it to my doorsteps than pick it up and come back home. I get to do other important things during that 30-minute delivery time, like finish some office work or even watch television.”

Convenience is fuelling this trend. Due to their jam-packed schedules, people value anything that makes it easier for them to eat. However, it’s not just ordering from restaurants that has become popular; there are many services that make dishes in small kitchens and are meant only for online ordering — virtual restaurants that are designed only for takeouts.

Kanisha Gulwadi, a homemaker, is one such person who orders food twice a week. She explains, “I love ordering the crunchy low-calorie salads. My favourite is the Hawaiian salad as it comes with freshly cut pineapple, lettuce and bell peppers. I do think that it’s subconsciously making us lazy as I know that if I were to make the same salad at home, it would easily take two hours, especially because of the pineapple. On the other hand, the food is delivered to me within 30 minutes!” She says that she also likes how the dressing is given in a separate box so that she can choose how much she wants to add.

While one of the major advantages is that the food is being delivered to your door step, many of the apps are also partnering with restaurants across the City, giving a choice for the customer to choose any cuisine they want as well. Swati Sahoo, a business developer and blogger, says, “I like eating at the restaurants because of the service and the ambience. But there are days where you don’t want to step out and would rather be in your pajamas and eat. Now, with the choice of cuisines that food delivery apps provide, I’m sold! However, it would be great if there was an option to personalise exactly what you want, like to choose ‘Prawn Goan Curry’ over ‘Fish Goan Curry’, multi-grain breads over the whites etc.”

As convenient as this option is, it has its downside too. From delivery fees to minimum amount of food to order, and an unhealthy lifestyle that it promotes, the overall experience is quite expensive. Despite these hassles, many choose to order food home. Mansi says, “I have been sick for almost two months now, but I have no choice. I wouldn’t have any food to eat otherwise.”

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