After a couple of hiccups, I have used Tiny Owl pretty regularly, and whilst there is a bit of convenience, there is much more that they need to do, maybe even ask the users and add. The benefits I see is

1) Convenience
2) Payment online – helps when you do not have cash; want delivery to a different address etc.
3) Have a 99/- deal which is quite nice.

Against this, I see

1) Mostly delay in delivery at home and office
2) Feedback is barely taken into account, unless tweeted.
3) A wrong delivery at office (agreed amount was just 30/-) was just ignored.
4) Call back is the same template response, ‘Yes Sir, Sorry Sir, Three bags full sir”

Soon enough Zomato started delivery. It has been pretty good service, response as far as I was concerned so decided to try it out. They have a different app also for that, wonder why? Removes the convenience factor doesn’t it.

Ordered once to try it out. And it was OK, nothing to write home about.

Saturday, decided to try out both at the same time, ordering from restaurants that were equi distance, had a reputation of less than 30 min delivery always, using two different phones at the same time.

As usual, Tiny Owl said out for delivery, but no sign of the delivery boy. Zomato managed to deliver within the stipulated time, though the delivery was done by a man wearing Grab a Grub Tee and carrying a similar branded bag, not the restaurant colors.

Tiny Owl came later, after the sophisticated app, apologised and said they would take it up with the restaurant, which has been earlier also.

Overall, not too much difference between the two, once the online payment of Zomato will be activated.

One differentiator that I liked, was on the menu in Zomato was the ability to customise the food ordering – without onion etc.

As a customer, what I would like to know from them:

1) How do they plan to differentiate, at least in the main areas, where delivery is the norm.
2) Most delivery times written by them, are barely adhered to; however if ordered directly from the
restaurant, it reaches 15-20 minutes earlier. EG Shabari/Shreejee in Lokhandwala, Andheri, Mumbai
has given me a customer number and when I order and quote that, the delivery is 15-20 min.
3) What are they going to do about feedback, provided, just tell the restaurants? And then what?
4) In the race to accumulate users, the money that is paid out is brilliant, but do not see
anything to ensure stickiness of those customers. Only convenience will take you so far.
5) In a lot of ways I see this very similar to Retailers vs Etailers, where Etailers are offering
discounts to woo customers.

Having been a part of all these industries, there are many relevant questions, answers and changes that need to be done, but guess the disrupters would learn, find and apply.

Till then, those who like deals will open multiple accounts and earn, whilst the sellers will laugh and VCs will continue to fund.

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Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends