In an interview to Restaurant India, Shitiz Dogra, Co-Founder, First Eat talks about the idea of starting a meal in a box.
How does subscription model work?
First Eat offers a seamless experience to its customers with the provision of fortnightly and monthly subscription meal plans available. The user can opt for a generic healthy meal subscription plan or a goal specific plans (Weight Loss, Weight Gain, Balanced Health & NCD’s- Pre Diabetic/ Diabetic) as per the suitable duration on the First Eat App available on Android & IOS platforms.
What was the whole idea behind it?
Subscription plans bring a great deal of “convenience” to the end consumer and saves them the hassle of daily ordering. The fact that consumer interaction with the brand is so consistent that it brings the brand very closer to the customer and enhances the possibilities of customer stickiness and brand visibility as well on a daily basis. Moreover, the brand consumption in a subscription plan is more than a one-off ordering scenario, the room for innovation and customer delight is enhanced and offers more touch points and occasions to serve the customer with the best of health.
We see that there is a growing trend of subscription based model. Why so?
The subscription model is a vital tool for Food startups per say to enhance their operational efficiency massively. Subscription model brings in the big element of demand predictability and further aids the inventory planning and delivery scheduling. This model offers the huge benefit of revenue prediction through recurring sales as well. Ultimately, revenue is what irrigates any business and more the guaranteed revenue, better the chances of the startup surviving the white waters of the market volatility.
How many subscriptions do you have for a month and how does it work?
Currently First Eat has over 150+ running subscriptions wherein around 30% users avail the facility of all day meals subscriptions and the rest is piece meal subscribers.
What is the charge?
The charges for subscription hinge on the duration and the type of plan one opts for. E.g. a 1 Meal Regular Weekly subscription starts at 699/- onwards. On the other hand a Goal Oriented Monthly Diet Plan starts at 12k onwards.
What are different kinds of food available?
First Eat has something to spoil every individual in a healthy way. Zero Oil Sandwiches, Garden Fresh Salads, Air Fryed Snacks, Indian Breakfast with a healthy twist, Fresh Pressed Juices, Calorie Counted Thalis, Rice Bowl Meals and of course exclusively curated goal oriented diet meals.
What is your plan expanding the brand to other markets?
With a strong and loyal customer base, and a robust tech product; the aim now is to spread the message across newer geographies (Beginning with complete NCR coverage) with strong supply back end similar to that of Gurugram. With newer geographical presence, increased customer base, ever improving tech product, continual nutrition research, enhanced growth rate and the necessary fuel – First Eat plans to expand its overall business and hit a 10X growth in revenue in the next fiscal year as compared to what has been achieved during the seed stage (this fiscal year).Over the next two to three years, First Eat will be connecting and enabling a million users with technology and services, presence across multiple Indian urban agglomerations, and basis a sound business & revenue model - achieve a monthly break-even during the third year of Operations.
How does the backend work?
The subscription option available on the First Eat app enables the user to opt for the desired plan and an instant schedule is prepared at the backend directly accessible to the central operational team that further maps out its delivery scheduling using in-house analytics engine. The ops team passes on this detailed meal level matrix to kitchen teams for order fulfillment and track the subscriptions on a real time basis for a glitch free experience for the end consumer. The amalgamation of robust in-house tech platform and analytics engine lends support to the subscription model with precise tracking of inventory control and last mile fulfillment status.