Updated: Apr 29
It was September 2020. The weather was just cooling down around Pune and the city residents were still hesitant to stir out freely due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Businesses have taken a hit due to the pandemic and scores of them had to down their shutters for good. Abhay Phadke & Prajakta Phadke were one of the few survivors in these testing times for business. They were hoping and longing for an early return to normalcy- the New Normal being too stifling for carrying on business profitably.
Prajakta & Abhay, the couple run Food to Home- a cloud kitchen famed for homemade, hygienic, delicious and economic dishes on the Pashan Sus Road, Pune. The place was abuzz with food lovers form all over Pune and was known for its courteous and swift customer service. Abhay’s worry was the challenge of delivering food to his list of loyal customers who used to come from long distance just to pick up food from his outlet. He had everything at his disposal- the experienced chefs to churn out tasty dishes, well-trained staff to serve the clients efficiently, and a long list of loyal customers.
How to scale the business quickly to meet customer demand as well as manage last mile delivery fleet of his own - this was the problem he was finding it hard to resolve. They (F2H) started creating multiple WhatsApp broadcast groups to share their menu twice a day and take orders virtually and get them delivered by delivery boys they hired. This definitely helped them in the beginning but soon enough he started facing problems like:
Reaching to new customers or the customers who used to visit the outlet often but they (F2H) didn't have their numbers - in WhatsApp you can only add those people who you know and have their numbers saved.
As the number of WhatsApp orders grew it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep a track of payments. Abhay & Prajakta struggled to keep track of which customer paid and if the transaction was successful.
Customers' experience was getting dented due to unintentional misunderstandings, such as getting repeated calls to provide proof of payment, or missed orders, wrong items sent due to manual errors.
With huge demand, items used to get over quickly, resulting in extremely high number of cancellations even for the orders placed well in advance.
With limited numbers of delivery boys, order delivery was getting delayed at times. And the business was not ready to compromise on the quality and customers experience.
Even with the above challenges Food To Home (F2H) was thriving, but they always had this lingering thought that there is a lot of scope for improvements. They always knew that they need a formal process of doing virtual/cloud business that will give them the flexibility, growth & a great customer experience.
Prajakta & Abhay knew that they need a better system, but what was it? Was it...
Opening a full-fledged restaurant?
Hiring more staff?
Opening multiple pickup points? Creating their own online ordering system?
Or... becoming a part of an online aggregator?
All the options at that point were suitable for their business model, but costly! Being a seasoned players, they knew if they increased overhead, they will not be able to provide the value of high-quality daily food at low cost (F2H USP). Also, both were skeptical of technology and were used to with the traditional way of doing business. Additionally, they were hesitant to tie up with food delivery platforms for the fear of having to shell out hefty commissions to the platform. Prajakta & Abhay was searching for an option that would help them scale without hiking up food price for their customers.
Against this backdrop, the executives from Xirify- the hyper-local platform that was in an early stage of development was finding its takers of the idea of a Low commission, Low cost, Quick commerce platform for all types of products and services in Pashan, Bavdhan & Baner area. Around the end of 2020 – Xirify reached out to Abhay. The meeting turned out to be a solution where everyone benefits. Xirify & Food to Home came together. Abhay & Prajakta were given a demo of Xirify the app and its vision, both parties found a synergy. Both parties committed each other that one will help the other to grow by sharing their expertise in their respective fields. And the journey began!
Food To Home made a very cautious beginning in late September 2020 on Xirify after duly registering the business. The initial response was tepid, there were very few orders on Xirify, and it was hard for the Xirify representatives to counter the “I told you so” look in specially Prajakta’s face.
But as the App started maturing with time, both Xirify & Food to home saw an exponential growth. Both parties started seeing new height from Nov 2021 when Xirify launched the Xirify-Shopping App 2.0 with a completely new look & feel and user experience.
Food to home is the first business that crossed 1500 orders on Xirify by March 2022. Starting with 2 customers and 2/3 order a month the business is now receiving 30/40 order per day from a loyal customer base of 280+
From July 2021 till today their M-O-M (Month On Month) growth in all aspects is remarkable. Following are few graphs that gives clear idea about how the business grew in few months. (Hiding the Actual Numbers Due to Confidentiality Agreement)
Myths That Were Broken:
Technology is difficult and intimidating – Xirify App is simple to use and as easy to understand.
You must shell out a hefty commission to become a part of an online marketplace – Xirify doesn’t charge high commissions on orders like most players in the market. On the contrary platforms like Xirify will help you safeguard up to 30% of your revenue leakage by tracking every order and its payment status.
Once you become a part of Marketplace App, you loose loyal customers to other businesses – This proved to be completely wrong, rather it helped Food-To-Home to offer better customer experience and increase customer loyalty by many folds.
4. Once you are part of the marketplace, they overtake the operations of your business – Xirify offers flexible solutions for all types of businesses to run their operation as they were traditionally doing.
6. To scale your business, you have to spend a lot on overheads like the need to increase staff, open branches in many places etc.– Through Xirify Business like Food to Home is able to serve customers from almost 15km away, they are regularly getting orders from faraway locations like Aundh, Wagholi, Shivajinagar and delivering orders from their Pashan location.
7. It is not possible to keep shop open if business owner is going out of station or unwell – Apps like Xirify helps you manage and monitor your shop, orders from anywhere, anytime.
An Interesting story:
Abhay and his family encountered a Covid positive patient. They immediately home quarantined themselves for the safety of their customers and were planning to keep the counter closed for 14 days.
However, they were concerned about their customers- some of them were unwell and dependent upon them for food. Food from F2H was not just a regular eatery to order from, that if it is closed customers can order from other eateries, it was the need for those customers, they depended on F2H for their daily meals.
Abhay & Prajakta consulted Xirify on how to overcome this challenge. Xirify team assured full support, and Abhay, Prajakta continued running their business from the safety of their home.
“I never even imagined that I will be able to keep my kitchen running so smoothly when both me and my wife are away, Xirify made it possible! I kept receiving the orders on Xirify App, I have also added my outlet manager in the App, he too was able to view the orders simultaneously! We coordinated with customers, was able to track the orders real-time, and my team dispatched the orders from the counter, I received payments though Xirify App. It was smooth, easy and safe. The delivery boys also followed no contact delivery and all safety protocols” Abhay Phadke- owner Food To Home “This is when I realized we are not only selling food, but we are also helping people with their daily meals, especially the old age customers I have, they depend on us in their thick and thin. And Xirify made us even more dependable” He added.
The case of Food to Home is a clear take away that Online model is the new normal for business. And if you choose the right partner and strategy for your growth, you will be able to capitalize on the huge potential that the online commerce ecosystem offers. All that is needed on the part of the business owners is the ability to factor technology in your favor. Reorient and reap positive outcomes with Xirify.
For more information please visit: https://www.xirify.com/
Link To Download Xirify – Shopping (For Shoppers and service seekers) App:
Link To Xirify – For Business App (For Businesses)