In a unique pilot project, restauranteur Riyaaz Amlani’s Impresario Handmade Restaurants has joined hands with the dabbawalas of Mumbai to double as delivery partners. By Bayar Jain
Restauranteur Riyaaz Amlani’s Impresario Handmade Restaurants—the overarching umbrella brand for restaurants like SOCIAL, Smoke House Deli, and Salt Water Cafe—has teamed up with Mumbai’s dabbawalas to double as delivery partners for its restaurants, according to an issued statement by the multi-city hospitality company. With this move, the pandemic-induced jobless community not only get employment, but it also facilitates direct orders from local restaurants, which face diminished profits and increasing economic losses owing to restaurant aggregators.
Dabbawalas are a community of people signature to the Maximum City. Prior to the pandemic, the community would provide homemade tiffin services to office-goers in the city by ferrying it around efficiently in the highly-intricate local railway network of Mumbai. With the raging Coronavirus wave in the nation, not only have their services been halted, but most of them have lost their livelihoods as well. “When the first lockdown hit, it was the toughest time we’ve ever faced; our members were left with little to no money in their bank accounts,” says Ulhas Muke, President, Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust—part of the Mumbai Dabbawala Association.
Currently, the pilot project will be set in motion across restaurants in Lower Parel, Bandra (West), and Banda-Kurla Complex (BKC) areas, states the release. Expected to be rolled out in phases over the course of the next few months, this move is also aimed at encouraging direct orders. “Ordering directly from restaurants—and not through aggregators—empowers us to have direct and deeper relationships with our customers, and saves on prohibitive commissions being paid out to them,” adds Riyaaz Amlani, CEO and MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants.
In order to assure safety and hygiene, Mayank Bhatt, Business Head, SOCIAL—who is spearheading this project internally—states that all government-mandated SOPs will be followed, regular health checkups will be undertaken, and hygiene practices will be implemented.
Notably, the Impresario Handmade Restaurants’ kitchens aim to launch subscription-based meal services in Mumbai by May 24. The Ghar Ka Khana subscription meal packages from SOCIAL, in particular, will be priced at INR 6,000 per month. It will be available across Khar, Vikhroli, Versova, and Lower Parel. Moreover, by ordering directly, one can also avail a 25 per cent discount on the meal package apart from free deliveries.
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