NRAI Appeals to Restaurants to Become Digitally Self-reliant, Pitches #OrderDirect

Industry Watch | May 10, 2021 | News

National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI)

Amidst the rise of the second wave of the pandemic impacting the restaurant business, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) organised a TownHall 4.0 on ‘Delivering Profits #OrderDirect’ on 6 May 2021. During the meet, several industry stalwarts discussed ways to mitigate the challenges in #OrderDirect as well as best practises to follow in order to achieve this objective.

The NRAI is pitching for customers to #OrderDirect from restaurants bypassing food-ordering aggregator apps.

The event shed light on the current state of the food delivery business and underlined the criticality of creating alternative platforms of home delivery.

Anurag Katriar, President, NRAI, said in a statement, “We are committed to take better control of our business and our customer data and become digitally more self-reliant as an industry. While NRAI has spearheaded this initiative, I firmly believe that this solution will benefit the entire F&B fraternity at large, benefitting lakhs of small restaurants across the country. This humble beginning will give the restaurants an alternative to the current digital landlords. While we will continue to engage with the aggregators to achieve better terms of engagement, NRAI will continue to unveil more industry-friendly tech solutions in the coming days which will hopefully change the contours of this trade and benefit lakhs of business owners rather than a handful of digital giants.”

“Through this TownHall, we tried to decipher the challenges and solutions of why & how to enable #Orderdirect and give them some practical insights into how to manage the changing dynamics and landscape in post-COVID era. A lot of fresh ideas and perspectives were shared which I am sure will be very useful for the fraternity and will further help boost innovation within the industry. I am very grateful to all the panellists for sharing such great insights, thoughts and inspiration. I would also like to take this opportunity to urge the entire restaurant fraternity to please join NRAI Bootcamps in the coming week on 11, 12 and 13th of May. Our dedicated tech team has worked very hard on all the details with only one aim to help the industry become self-reliant and independent from these so-called digital landlords,” Katriar further added.

Rahul Singh, Trustee, NRAI and Founder & CEO, Beer Café, said, “The takeaway from today’s townhall session and the countless messages we got during it was of overall disdain over the aggregators eating into the already under-pressure margins of the restaurants. On the flip side, while we believe that the aggregators need to be more business-friendly; one can’t deny the role they have played in creating a robust distribution channel and driving up volumes for the restaurants. We therefore will continue to co-exist in the typical love-hate relationship. Tech, after all has to be an enabler, and not a distorter.”

Gauri Devidayal, Partner, Food Matters, said, “There are three important aspects that motivated us to set up our direct ordering platform: Quality, Control and Profit. Quality in terms of experience our guests have in the way the food is delivered. Receiving your pizza held horizontally, not vertically, for instance. Control in terms of data and building a relationship with our customers, after all that’s the foundation of hospitality. Knowing what our customer preferences are and being able to deliver that day after day isn’t possible if you don’t know who you are serving. Similarly, improvement through after sales service isn’t possible if you don’t know who you are serving. Last but not least, is of course profit. This is not just about saving on commissions but also by servicing an increased radius of delivery and therefore having the potential for higher revenues.”

A town hall on 6 May 2021 discussed the current state of food delivery, criticality of creating alternative delivery platforms and urging customers to order directly from restaurants.

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