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New app delivers Rama Nayak idlis to your home

An app that delivers Mumbai's iconic dishes, including Muchchad’s paan, home

Forty-year-old Kartik Keni is a votary of mixed marriage. But, that doesn’t stop him from admitting that being married to a Catholic means he misses Mangalorean fare.

And, when the craving gets out of hand, Keni orders a thali from Matunga’s Rama Nayak. “I order it every week, and the rasam, sambar or dal has always been spot on.”

Like Keni, foodfeasts.com has catered to hundreds of foodies who wish to savour an iconic dish from an eatery, but have no time to drop in for a bite.

Founder of Foodfeast.com, Devendra Kamtekar. Pic/Sharad Vegda

In December 2014, Devendra Kamtekar quit his IT job to launch a venture born out of hunger.

“The idea was to aggregate authentic and iconic must-have foods from the city, including the most famous vada pav joints, paanwalas and traditional eateries,” says Kamtekar, who launched the website this March after a round of market research.
In July, when the site had gathered 1,000 customers, he launched an Android app.

) Kartik Keni accepts delivery of the Mangalorean Thali from Rama Nayak.  pic/Tushar Satam
Kartik Keni accepts delivery of the Mangalorean Thali from Rama Nayak. Pic/Tushar Satam

“With the technical model ready, the tough part was to get orthodox, traditional food outlets onboard, like Mamledar Missal at Borivli, Crystal at Charni Road and Fort’s Jimmy Boy. These do roaring business and don’t need to be online. But there are days when people don’t want to brave traffic or wait for a table,” he says.

The platform lists famous eateries from across the city that consumers can place an order from. Backend work requires that emails or text messages are sent to the eatery’s owner to confirm the availability of the order.

A customer can choose to pay online or opt for cash on delivery. The dynamic delivery system calculates the convenience cost, depending on the distance.

“Once, we were distributing pamphlets to passers-by at 5 am outside Ram Ashray in Matunga, and a group of 50 people rushed in the moment they opened shutters at 5.30 am. That minute, we knew there were enough fans of this food sector, who’d value their favourite food arriving at their doorstep,” says Kamtekar.

His packaging ensures the food reaches you warm, if not hot. “Food tends to get soggy when the steam is stuck in the box. We have designed containers that let the steam out but keep the food warm. During the testing phase, I took a parcel of idlis from Rama Nayak in Matunga to Kandivli in an AC car. I didn’t have to reheat it before eating,” he recalls.

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