Understanding Foodmandu: A platform connecting the hungry you with your favorite food

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Understanding Foodmandu: A platform connecting the hungry you with your favorite food

Source: FoodMandu Blog 

For a person working nine to five in an office, the lunch-time and lunch experiences aren’t very good. Be it because of the food on the table, the time your eatery takes to serve your lunch or packed atmosphere in your eatery nearby- office employees regularly are forced to gulp down their food than enjoying them. Another common experience, if you are specific about food choices like me, is you don’t get everything you want at one place. And you can’t always afford to keep hopping from one place to another. And sometimes, there are just times, when you want to have a feast at your home but you don’t want to cook yourself.

Before Foodmandu started its services in November 2010, you could hardly think of anything, in case you faced any of the stated problems. Today, there are more than one food delivery company, and Foodmandu stands out among all of them not just because it was the first to enter the food delivery market, but the first and only one of its kind to enter a service platform. Be it, satisfying your hunger, connecting your favorite food outlets with the location you are in or bringing together all you want from more than one place, Foodmandu is just the right solution for you.


An opportunity based on a problem

Before Mr. Manohar Adhikari made  Foodmandu or his software company happen, he worked at a job that he had to attend by 8:30 in the morning. He was allowed half an hour for lunch break in the noon which was barely enough to go to a restaurant, order food and then have a nice meal. “A food delivery company would’ve been a blessing,” he thought. Foodmandu is those exact thoughts of Adhikari taking shape.

It took three years of working in his own software company before the Foodmandu we know today, came into existence. Adhikari wanted to start an e-commerce company and he took a problem that he had faced himself. On 11th of November 2010, Foodmandu started delivering food from 10 restaurants and 15 employees.


Overcoming initial hurdles

“I joined Foodmandu a year after Foodmandu was launched. At that time, there were around 60 partner restaurants, and working in business development, I must admit, that changing the mindset of people is a real challenge,” says Caesar Shrestha, “I wonder how difficult was it in the initial days.”

As a first-mover in the industry with a platform model Foodmandu faced the two-pronged challenge of behavioral change--- getting restaurants to partner them and getting customers to order food.

“Changing mindset of both providers as well as the customers was quite difficult despite the value offered by the platform.”

Foodmandu started with only ten restaurants with readiness to change as partners. They worked day and night to prove their business model with the initial 15 employees they hired. On the other hand, Foodmandu used cash on delivery model to generate trust from customers. They took measured steps towards growth investing more on logistics and quality service instead of marketing.


Going beyond selling

Eating, although an absolute necessity is not always easy unless you’re in the mood for junk or someone else is cooking for you. Most of us cannot find the time to go to a restaurant and even when we do, we have to go through some of our least favorites--- dealing with the traffic, finding the space for parking, availability of food at a restaurant. Foodmandu solves all such problems and more.

The numerous Restaurants within these regions have their peak hours where they cater to most of their customers. At other times, their tables and their time, two of their most important resources cannot be used to a higher utility. Yet, it is their food that customers order and since Foodmandu vouched for delivering those orders when made, eateries can achieve a higher utility.


Purposeful Growth

As a service company, Foodmandu believes their strength lies in their customer retention which is at 80%. “But, if you do not acquire customers fast then you don’t grow. Customer acquisition is costlier than customer retention but if your operation is solid, both the mentioned costs will decrease after some time” according to Shrestha.

Rather than investing heavily in marketing, they invested on the logistics and focused on delivering quality service for good word of mouth. After six years of measured and sound growth, today, Foodmandu delivers an average of 200 orders every day from more than 160 partner restaurants and with more than 30 people running on wheels.

Foodmandu’s growth and success have set an example to aspiring entrepreneurs, startups and onlookers alike. Many ponder the key towards Foodmandu’s growth. And the key in summary from what we have observed is nothing more than approaching the right problem, with the right solution, and the right attitude.


Foodmandu in Function: Order-to-delivery

There are three ways of placing an order at Foodmandu. You can either use their app, their website or call them directly. Venture into any of the tools you want to use, look for Foodmandu and then, choose your order from the menus of different restaurants listed on the platform. You will receive a verification call with the delivery time. Your food will be delivered via bikes with food contained in a bag that retains the heat for a considerable time. You can pay for your food when your order is delivered.


"The key in summary from what we have observed is nothing more than approaching the right problem, with the right solution, and the right attitude."


What Future Holds

The six years of continuous and consistent effort has seen Foodmandu grow from a startup looking for a business model to a business based on platform serving customers regularly. This growth noticed by everybody in the startup ecosystem in Kathmandu led to them getting investment and acceleration from Entreprise-an accelerator by True North Associates. This acceleration and investment brings with it- the startup ecosystem’s trust on the company and its business model as well as adds further responsibility and resources to grow further. The Kathmandu-based startup with the added resource might soon see them go beyond Kathmandu and Lalitpur to serve other customers. What exactly future holds is still uncertain but going by their journey and current success, seems like the sky is the limit for this Kathmandu-based startup.


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