In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, Sheetal Bhonsle, Co-Founder at Once Upon My Kitchen speaks about a market place where home cooks can publish their home cooks â€œat homeâ€ and â€œtake awayâ€ meals.
Great food is being cooked in kitchens across the world but few have access to it. Additionally this food and their great home cooks are not getting their due place in the sun. Once Upon My Kitchen was conceptualized to provide a platform for home cooks to share the food they are proud off. The partners at Once Upon My Kitchen believes that the tastiest food comes out of home kitchens and people are losing out without an opportunity to experience it. As far as the guest is concerned they seek out people who want to explore beyond the conventional forms of eating out and dining in and opt to explore the joys of unique home cooked food. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
How the idea of starting Once Upon my Kitchen initiated?
The journey started for Once Upon My Kitchen when I was based in Cayman Islands. The constant refrain from all our friends while eating out in different restaurants was stuff like “You should check out how my mom makes these Empanandas” Or “My aunt makes this Paella....” It became very apparent that home cooked food was accorded a different status irrespective of culture or geography. This is where the germ for incubating Once Upon My Kitchen originated.
What are the ingredients you used to execute healthy food in your menu?
We are by definition a market place where home cooks can publish their “at home” and “take away” meals. Apart from verifying the host’s credentials like a valid home address we don’t interfere in the food preparation style, cuisine or form. The success or failure of the host’s offering will depend on the word of mouth, social feedback and guest reviews of their meals. Needless to say, it is a well-known fact that home cooked food with the freshest ingredients is fundamentally a healthy option.
What are the logistics challenges you face?
Primarily, the schedules of the host and guest meeting in unison are the main challenge. Geographical proximity of guest to the host home is also a critical success factor. As we expand our offerings, the challenges and their nature will change.
What is your method of working, at the time when you get numerous orders?
Every host has a login module where he/ she can specify the number of orders possible at one particular time. They also have a feature called response time to confirm a booking to a guest and the guest request for a meal or take away is confirmed only after the host accepts the booking. This ensures there is no guest dissonance.
Tell us about the business model?
We charge a commission from the host and guest for each meal booked using our platform. Also a Convenience charge to cover for payment gateway fees is levied from both host and guest. The commission is 10 percent for host and 10 percent for guest. The convenience charge is 3 percent for host and 3 percent for guest.
What is your expansion plan?
We want to increase the depth and width of our offerings without compromising on the brand principles. Home food and its makers have various dimensions and offerings which we would like to leverage across various E-commerce offerings, social networking and storytelling.
Are you looking for any external accruals as food-startups are the new hot trend among investors?
Yes, We are keen to partner with likeminded investors, who come on board to augment the vision of the brand.