In a tete-a-tete with Restaurant India, Saket Khanna, Co-Founder at MealTango, shares that in addition to the unique dishes they offer from all over the world, 'ghar ka khana' is also present on their menu.
How do you go about designing your menu?
We work hard to ensure our menus are balanced every day. Seven key parameters are considered in designing our daily menus, including veg/non veg mix, Indian and international foods spread, pricing range, dish types etc.
It is important that our customers who have diverse food preferences have their needs met. One of the advantages MealTango has over the conventional restaurant is the fact that all the foods are made by experts in their own right. So, we aren't limited by one head-chef and his range of expertise. We have a large number of home chefs each exhibiting their strong suite of skills.
What are the new recipes you have developed over a period of time?
The great thing about MealTango is that we are constantly unearthing a wide range of dishes customers have never experienced before. For example, we were the first ones to make 'Pathare Prabhu' cuisine available to the masses. The Pathare Prabhus are the original inhabitants of Mumbai and only 6,000 or so are in existence and their cuisine even includes unique European influences like quiches and pies.
We also have brought to the fore, authentic Anglo Indian fare, South African dishes like the Bunny Chow and Sosaties and many other unique dishes people may not have experienced before. At the same time, 'ghar ka khana' is ever present on our menu, so if you aren't the food adventurer and yearn for authentic homemade food, you can get that every day from MealTango.
What are the challenges you face at the time when you get numerous orders?
We pride ourselves on our USP that our food is NOT bulk produced, is preservative-free and never older than a day. Our home chefs are never pushed to produce food in large quantities, beyond the numbers they are comfortable with.
Therefore, due to extreme surges in demand, just like in restaurants have waiting, we have stock outs. However, we are constantly adding talented home chefs to our network and will be able to serve very large number of customers.
How do you decide the pricing of the menu? What are the elements you keep in mind?
One of our key values at MealTango is that our home chefs should receive handsome remuneration. We believe this means that people are enjoying their food and recommending it to their friends. It also serves as solid validation that our model is working. For this reason, we have a very transparent pricing model that rewards our home chefs for their efforts. In fact, our home chefs make the lion’s share of revenue on each sale. Our model accounts for fluctuations in ingredient prices, and desire for bulk discounts from our consumers, while keeping our home chefs' interests in place.
Do you see any threat from your competitors?
When others see success, competition in any sector is a natural phenomenon. We welcome competition, as it helps bring in efficiencies in the market and keeps us on our toes. Another one of our key values is customer delight. I believe more competition will establish the home chef market, and give customers more confidence in making healthy food choices.
We believe that our focus on customer delight will be our key differentiator. We keep our eye on growth and are intent on achieving sustained 50 per cent plus growth month on month (we are currently hitting almost 100 per cent growth MoM).
Meal Tango arranges festival-based experiences or cooking workshops. How does this help your website in return?
These are excellent opportunities for prospective customers to try MealTango food in a friendly arena and have fun! It's also a good touch point for us to interact with our customers. After all, great food and great times go together.
What is your expansion plan in terms of numbers of outlet and cities?
We are looking at expanding to 100 plus delivery hubs across all metros within the current financial year.
How do food sites help to attract investors and customers?
Yes, we are very attractive to both - investors and customers. In fact, we are looking for full time staff to work with investors due to a large amount of interest in MealTango.
In terms of customers too - all our marketing is done through word of mouth, at present. Our marketing budget is less than the average family bill at a restaurant! Even with this minimal marketing spend; we are seeing almost 100 plus MoM growth.