KATHMANDU: The dining experience of valley dwellers is being reshaped. With the establishment of foodmandu.com — the first multi-restaurant food delivery service provider in the country, dining in is taking on a whole new interest and Manohar
Adhikari, chief executive of Foodmandu Pvt Ltd, is the man who has brought this unique online service to the fore since 2011.
Recalling the germination of the idea, Adhikari says, “I had a tough time eating out around my office, as there was a dearth of restaurants. So I decided to start this service to make things easier for people who face a similar ordeal.” Adhikari, a software developer by profession, initially targeted working people, but now people from all strata enjoy this service. Talking about the initial hiccups, Adhikari says, “Our biggest challenge was convincing the restaurants, as only a few were supportive, whereas the majority turned me down.”
However, Adhikari was steadfast in his determination. He explains, “Although several restaurants offer delivery, their service extends only to a limited distance from their location. We have greatly improved the scope and range.” Having begun with 15 member restaurants, the service currently includes more than 70 in Kathmandu and Lalitpur. “Seeing the sincerity of our service, several restaurants are now approaching us for membership,” he adds.
At present, foodmandu.com offers delivery within a radius of up to 11 kilometres from the restaurant and promises delivery within 45 minutes. “We try to maintain a speedy and efficient service, but face challenges due to unavoidable circumstances such as traffic jams and difficulty in tracing the exact location,” adds Adhikari. Foodmandu.com usually charges only the restaurant menu price after delivery. However, additional charges are levied according to the quantity ordered and distance covered. For example, if the order is large but the distance is more than 11 kilometres, the company does not charge extra. But if the order placed is of less than Rs 500 and the destination is beyond outer Ring Road, then customers have to pay delivery charges.
The company currently employs 18 staffs, who take orders through the website as well as phone calls from 11:00 am to 8:30 pm. The company is also planning to extend its last order by one hour.
While the service is gaining popularity among customers and restaurants, the company is still operating under losses. However, Adhikari is optimistic, and says, “Loss is to be expected as we have high operating cost and people take time to
accept a new business.
But clients are beginning to turn to our service for everyday purposes as well as special occasions.”
According to him, they interact with the custom-ers and encourage feedback so they can improve their service. Foodmandu is now collaborating with a few restaurants to offer
a new menu for set lunch packages targeting the corporate houses.