I got a chance to catch up with Pankaj Chaddah , one of the founding members for foodiebay.com , over email recently and he generously consented to a small interview which is published below. For those unaware , Foodiebay is an initiative by group of IIT Delhi guys and Alumni and is essentially a restaurant directory covering the Delhi , Noida and Gurgaon area.
You might ask or suggest that this is just another fish in the pond, but the differentiator for this site among all the others is the strong menu resource ( An idea i was hoping to capitalize on sometime, and now out of the window 🙂 ) . All the restaurants covered have their menus scanned to the site as well and gives you a more accurate picture of the food variety and importantly prices as well. In my opinion , its a an excellent feature and if updated and handled properly over the coming months will be a significant traffic generator as well.
Enough of me , lets have a word with Pankaj :-
What made you start the site? Is there enough of an opportunity for a resource like this ??
The stack of menus that our company used to order food from various places actually inspired us to start the site. Since then a whole lot of users have stopped filing menus in their drawers and are using the website exclusively for home delivery purposes.There is enough opportunity for this resource , a similar website in the US , menupages.com , is very popular.
One of the best things i like about the site is that fact that it has menus available. In my opinion, it hs to be one of the strongest points for the site..
Totally !! This is the core of the website. The whole website is modeled to be the ultimate menu resource either for home delivery or as a reference for eating out.
How do you procure the menu’s? Is there a field team doing it? I know there is an upload menu feature on the site but how many owners actually use it?
Yes , we have a field team. The upload menu feature has actually never been used so far (maybe the restaurant owners are not very internet savvy ) but we have received a lot of emails from owners requesting us to put their menu’s online.
Why are the menus restricted to food only? Why do beverages appear to be missing?
Most menu’s have a beverage section on them. If you are talking about bars and lounges, then we dont have many of them but are in talks for a collaboration.
What about keeping the menu’s updated….?
We have a 4 month cycle to update all menu’s on the site ( the last cycle was April and we are currently updating them) , for popular restaurants (traffic drivers) like Pizza hut , Domino’s , Mc Donalds we update any changes asap.
Whats your revenue stream? Online advertising , essentially, or other streams as well?
Indeed ! Online advertising is what we are looking at.
What kind of traffic is the site getting right now? What’s the growth?
I cannot disclose the exact numbers , but looking at Alexa , we are way ahead of our nearest competitor already.
Are there plans to expand into other cities or is this going to remain a Delhi centric Initiative?
Currently it will be Delhi centric. We are in advances stage of talks with inventors are are planning to launch in Mumbai and Bangalore. Pune, Chennai , Kolkata and Hyderabad are also in the pipeline.
How is the company shaped up. Whose doing what?
The student team does all the execution on the technology and the content front while the mentor team helps establish relationships with investors , restaurants and also pitches in with marketing.
There seem to be some very obvious places not included. Angles in my Kitcken in defence Colony for example…
Coverage is not a 100% right now. This is because we have quickly scaled up our operations putting menu’s from restaurants which we could easily get hold of. Now that we have attained critical mass , we are contacting owners who are difficult to approach. However with the pace new restaurants are opening up in India , i dont think we will ever be able to provide a full coverage.
User reviews dont seem to coming in…?
We get about 15 reviews a day , which is great number given that we are not a review site. They are ofcourse a great source of unbiased opinion and will only increase in number as we grow bigger.
Anything else in the pipeline that you are rolling out soon?
The current focus is on increasing the content database and marketing the product that we have right now.There are features in the pipeline but will have to wait till the time is right to launch them , both from market and capabilities perspective.
Best of luck Pankaj and the team at Foodiebay.com!