Tech Thursday: Foodiebay - Food that just clicks!
By Lavanya Srinivasan | Published: June 03 2010
A stack of menu cards and home delivery guides of various eateries at their Office Cafeteria prompted two IIT Graduates from Delhi to set up the online restaurant directory – Foodiebay.com
The need for a one-stop forum for restaurant and home delivery
guides that listed all the eateries in the city prompted IIT graduates Pankaj Chaddah and Deepinder Goyal to quit their cushy jobs at a multi-national company and start-up, foodiebay.com
Foodiebay is an online food guide, restaurant directory and menu-pages website for anyone who is looking to either dine out or order food. Latest addition to Foodiebay is the launch of Bangalore section of the website which has over 500 menus and also focuses on user reviews for restaurants which showcases the collective opinion of a large number of foodies rather than that of a single person.
Pankaj Chaddah and Deepinder Goyal, alumnus of IIT Delhi launched Foodiebay in July 2008. “The problems of not having ready access to menus of restaurants when we were in hostel made us come up with this. The internet provided only the list of nearby restaurants but there was no way that we could fathom what kind of food they served. After graduating from IIT, we decided to hunt down the menu cards of every restaurant in town and put it up on a website so that people like us had ready access to the kind of food they would want at their dinner table,” Explains Pankaj.
In addition to the menu, reviews, ratings, average cost for two people and contact details, a host of other useful information is also available. A team from Foodiebay reviews and rates the places on the service, ambience and food. Users can also submit their reviews too. “The food review guide is gaining popularity; we have atleast 20-30 reviews coming in from users every month,” Says Pankaj.
To keep their website abreast with the latest happenings, all the sections are updated every three months and lists of restaurants and eateries are added every single day. “Our website
gets over one lakh hits every month and it has to be updated regularly, so we are constantly tracking new places to eat and the information is made available on the website immediately,” he says.
The major homework prior to setting up the website was about getting hold of the menu cards of restaurants in almost every nook and corner. “We also had to talk to people and gauge the perceived need of such a website most websites shut shop within just two months and we surely did not want that to happen. Besides, we found that people in metros who are internet savvy felt the real need to have something like this,” elaborates Pankaj.
Ask him about the response from restaurateurs, Pankaj says, “Initially they were wary of us because we are not a huge company with a big name backing us. But now, after being in existence for over a year, we have had some restaurants calling us stating that they would want to advertise with us. That is very encouraging indeed because it reaffirms our faith in our chosen revenue model.”
Most of our revenue comes from advertising and revenue-sharing models with restaurants. We do not charge restaurants for listing their menus on our website, but we do plan to do that eventually,” he says.
As for the future plans, they plan to set up Foodiebay
in all the major cities in India and also expand to other countries. “Till about a year we weren’t making any profits but now we are slowly growing. If all goes well, we’ll have a similar portal set up in Singapore as well,” Says Pankaj.