While ordering food has changed a lot over the past 2-3 years, dining out has also undergone a technology upgrade in the backend, which is often not visible to diners beyond discounts on platforms such as Dineout. But Dineout also works with restaurants in helping them manage diner inflow, discounts and promos. Now the Noida-based dining out platform is now adding another facet with Dine-in.
Talking to Inc42, Dineout cofounder and CEO Ankit Mehrotra said that Dine-in is a digital menu solution with support for variable and dynamic pricing thanks to data analytics and artificial intelligence processing of that data.
Dine-In Brings Data Into The Kitchen
Dine-in partner restaurants would have a QR code on the table for customers to browse through Dineout discounts through a digital menu. Mehrotra added that customers would get recommendations based on their past orders, if that data is available with Dineout. In any case, the restaurant can offer customised discounts and promos. At the same time, Dine-in would help restaurants understand popular menu items, and customise their pricing accordingly.
He explained that Dine-in is integrated with the company’s Torqus POS system. The company is betting that by reducing table turnaround time and by providing customers with unique discounts, the restaurant’s efficiency will be boosted, while repeat visits are more likely. Dine-in is already in pilot with 20 Dineout partner restaurants.
Mehrotra said that with Dine-in, these restaurants are seeing a revenue per table increase of 10-12% and while 13-14 minutes are being shaved off on average in the table turnaround time. The company is now launching the product at its partner restaurants in Tier 1 cities in India, and its international locations such as UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and East Africa.
Along with Dine-in, the company has relaunched an updated version of inResto 2.0. It integrates a CRM (existing inResto, which Dineout acquired in 2015) with Torqus POS (acquired by Dineout in 2018) to provide an end-to-end solution for customer management and digital payments tracking. It will help restaurateurs to pinpoint the ordering patterns of customers to run customised loyalty programmes as well as collect real-time feedback from diners. Currently, Dineout has close to 8K restaurants using inResto, all of which will be upgraded to inResto 2.0.
Dineout: Growing B2B And B2C Dining Services
Founded in 2012 by Ankit Mehrotra, Vivek Kapoor, Nikhil Bakshi and Sahil Jain, Dineout claims to currently serve more than 20 Mn diners across 40K restaurants in 17 cities including Delhi, Mumbai among others. The company was acquired by Times Internet in April 2014.
The company offers multiple B2B and B2C services. This includes Dineout Pay, Gourmet Passport, Torqus POS, InResto etc. Mehrotra told us that over the last two years, the company has grown 6x. To continue this trend, Dineout aims for 300% growth this year. It is also aiming to reach 40 Mn diners this year, having launched in nine new Tier 2 cities in the last 12 months.
For its loyalty programme Gourmet Passport, the company claims to have signed up 275K users, while Dineout Pay is showing scalable growth, according to Mehrotra. He added that Dineout Pay aims to process monthly exit rate of INR 80 Cr worth transactions this year, while Torqus processes more than $300 Mn worth of transactions annually. But as it continues to invest in service expansion and spends capital to chase revenue, Mehrotra said Dineout has not yet reached profitability.
In terms of the split of B2B and B2C revenue distribution, the balance is tilted in favour of the former, with 60% of the revenue coming from B2B channels. But B2C is growing faster and Mehrotra expects a 60:40 revenue split between B2C and B2B this year.
Delivery Or Dining Out: Where Is The Growth?
As the Indian foodtech industry grows at a breakneck speed, food delivery majors such as Swiggy and Zomato have cemented their place in the unicorn club, and restaurant reservation platforms are also attracting and retaining users.
The National Restaurant Association of India’s India Food Services Report had an interesting story to tell. In the overall food services business, ‘affordable casual dining’ continues to dominate the market and is the fastest growing vertical within the industry.
Despite increasing technology and digital play in the industry, the NRAI report says that the home or online delivery of food market constitutes only 25% of the market. The industry report expects factors like changing demographics, increase In disposable income, growing urbanisation, internet penetration and proliferation of online services to accelerate the growth of the industry.
The Indian food services industry has an estimated market size of INR 4.23 Lakh Cr 19 and this is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9% to reach INR 6 Lakh Cr over the next five years.
With Indian food delivery startups preparing for an inevitable customer acquisition war, the players focussed on out-dining such as Dineout, Zomato Gold (Infinite Dining included), EazyDiner, Eatigo etc have a long way to dominance.