How often have you dreaded eating low quality, tasteless food in Indian railways ? Well, if you are a regular customer of Indian railways and is pretty much fed up of what they have to offer, try YatraChef.
Incubated by startup village, Cochin, YatraChef is an online marketplace which provides food to railway passengers round the clock at chosen destinations.
The idea is to give the passengers of Indian railways a culinary journey where they can enjoy their favourite food or favourite cuisine or just try out the local delicacies en route without having to ever worry about the hygiene.
To order food, the users are required to enter a PNR number on the website, using which, YatraChef automatically generates a route map. They can then choose the station, check the menu, place the order and get the food at the selected station. Customers are only get charged once they receive the delivery.
YatraChef follows a revenue-sharing model to monetize. The startup has tied up with restaurants, food joints within a 2 km radius of railway stations to ensure speedy delivery.
Claiming to be a true marketplace aggregator for hotels YatraChef commits that they have “the widest selection of restaurants, caterers and fast food joints at each station they serve the food”. TravelKhana and MeraFoodChoice are two other platforms working in close competition to YatraChef, however the team believes that they are more of a food provider who focus on a replacement option for the food already served in trains.
“We focus on giving out the maximum number of restaurants per each station, so that the passenger themselves can order their favourite cuisines from the hotels they like. We are not making them order from what we have but rather what they want.” claims Suchithra Sumadevi, cofounder and CTO at YatraChef.
Currently bootstrapped, the founders Arun Rajan, Rameez Ashraf and Suchithra Sumadevi, are now looking for angel investment to accelerate the growth of YatraChed and expand the services.
Went live in October, YatraChef claims to get an immense and extremely overwhelming response, considering that “absolutely no publicity was used except for social media promotions”. The website received more than 15,000 unique visitor placing more than 1000 orders.
“Almost 9 billion people use Indian Railway system annually. But our addressable market is .45 to .5 million people who are booking train tickets online daily. (.18 billion annually) . Opportunity is immense considering that food is one of the most important basic needs.” claims Suchithra.
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