Amazon ventures into food delivery business in India, starts ops in Bangalore
The food delivery business has a new entrant – Amazon Food. Coming from the e-commerce giant, the food delivery app could give serious competition to existing players like Zomato, Swiggy, Dunzo, etc. As per reports, Amazon Food is currently available in some parts of Bangalore such as Bellandur, Haralur, Marathahalli and Whitefield.
Customers can order food from some select local restaurants and cloud kitchens that meet Amazon’s high hygiene certification standards.
Earlier this year, TechCrunch had carried a report that Amazon was planning to enter India’s food delivery market. The development came close on the heels of Uber Eats’ exit from the Indian market. The report had stated that Amazon was testing the food delivery service with some restaurant partners in Bangalore.
Amazon Food’s launch comes at a time when the restaurant business is yet to get back on its feet amid the over two-month long lockdown period. During this period, food delivery platforms such as Zomato, Swiggy, Dunzo have been functional. With no Government directive yet on when restaurants will be allowed to reopen, for Lockdown 4.0, the Government has allowed restaurants to home deliver their food. Even as restrictions are being eased, people are mostly preferring to stay at home due to the growing number of COVID-19 positive cases across the country. This provides a great opportunity for the food delivery business.
On the other hand, things are not all that rosy for Swiggy and Zomato. Hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, both food delivery players have reported losses and are also laying off part of their workforce. Meanwhile, the two companies have been given permission to deliver liquor in select cities, given the high demand for alcohol during the lockdown.
Despite the setbacks faced by Swiggy and Zomato, the food delivery space is set to see more entrants. As per reports, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) recently revealed its plans to venture into the online food ordering and delivery business. The Association wants to cut down restaurants’ dependence on food delivery apps, which, it feels, resort to deep discounts and high commissions that only benefit these apps and not the restaurants. NRAI reportedly represents around 6 lakh restaurant businesses.