I have concerns.
Remember when Ola started Ola Cafe? The icon was there on the Ola app for a year and then it vanished. I never used the app, but my friends who did say that they didn’t really have options in terms of restaurants and the food that the restaurant sold. There was also a point where they partnered with Zomato on their Ola Play app. But why would riders want to order food while they’re in a cab? I don’t tally get the concept, maybe that’s why it vanished as well.
Now, let talk about FoodPanda India. They haven’t been doing well in India. They tried being the yellow pages of restaurants but Tomato has them beat. They tried food delivery but there are just different review portals that have people complaining. One of the major complaints is that there is no feedback segment where users could voice their concerns and the customer support was not helpful. Another drawback was that food panda only accepted card payment. Basically, people haven’t been happy.
Deserts at Rs. 9, Snacks starting at Rs 19, Biryani starting at Rs 79
Ola acquired FoodPanda India, in December 2017, in exchange for Ola stocks. And have now announced the integration of FoodPanda in its app, though only on iOS. The “Snacks” icon with he FoodPanda logo just redirects you to the FoodPanda app or to the PlayStore, in case you don’t have the app. That’s the same as What Uber does with Uber eats. However, Ola hasn’t been able to match Uber’s rate in general, will it be any different in the food sector?
I have to say, the new offers are really tempting. Deserts at Rs. 9, Snacks starting at Rs 19, Biryani starting at Rs 79. Those prices will draw any bachelor in, especially everyone got a newsletter from Ola announcing “The Crave Party”. But, will they be able to deliver?
We tried ordering one of the Rs. 9 desserts from our vicinity but were told that for this specific offer, the radius is just 100 meters. Not to mention that even though Ola can detect the location of my phone, the FoodPanda app fails to recognise it. Maybe that means, no FoodPanda for my cynical existence. I’d be fine with that.
Will FoodPanda India be able to redeem itself now that it's under Ola?
Ola and FoodPanda haven’t left a stone unturned with the promotional campaign for The Crave Party. They have three ad films doing the rounds around the theme “Craving can hit you anywhere”. I guess, FoodPanda is hoping that Ola’s customer support will be the turning point for their service. They’re also supposed to hire 60,000 delivery riders in the next 2 months to meet the delivery needs seamlessly.
That sounds amazing, but…
My question is- What about now? Your Crave Party has already begun, how will you meet these needs?