In Conversation: Capt Deepak Dahiya, Co-founder, YumBox
You love to binge on fast food, but you also want to watch that weighing scale. And then there is that deep-seated fancy that some day you will shift to organic food and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Fear not for now there is a good news for you. A new eatery in Gurgaon, YumBox, has decided to take matters in their hands and serve you your regular fast food – but with a healthy twist.
This organic fast food delivery outlet is loaded with the goodness of natural and organic products. The delicacies at YumBox are a great option to replace your regular junk.
Founded by Capt Deepak Dahiya, Neeraj Bisht, Vipin Gupta, Sameer Garibdasani, and Ritesh Sharma, YumBox encourages you to eat clean. The menu of the delivery outlet has been exclusively designed and developed by renowned Chef Suksham Mehra who is also an integral part of the team.
In an interview, Dahiya talks about the unique offerings, major challenges and expansion plans of Yumbox.
Tell us about YumBox. How did you conceive the idea?
YumBox is India’s first organic fast food provider based out of Gurgaon. With the vision of making every person fit and healthy in addition to making them feel good about themselves and their bodies, all products at YumBox are specially made from 100 per cent natural and organic ingredients.
We did extensive research on food industry over a few years and found that there was a shortage of healthy food options in the market with a very few players. People are health conscious and their choice is also health-centric with huge demand for organic food products. We found an opportunity to serve healthy food in the form of natural and organic products. YumBox is going to offer all healthy options to the food lovers since our products are completely natural and organic. We want to provide healthy food items of premium quality at an affordable pricing to our customers.
What is the menu on offer and what is the price strategy?
YumBox offers a wide range of healthy organic fast food items like burgers, pizzas, green salads, wraps, sandwiches, rice bowls, noodles bowls, parathas, pasta and smoothies among others.
People at large generally have a misconception that organic foods are expensive and tasteless due to various reasons. But, we are offering organic food to people at nominal price and with a taste which is at par or even better than traditional fast food. We have kept all our items reasonably priced starting from Rs 55 to Rs 299.
Tell us about your kitchen operations. How do you ensure that the kitchen maintains food quality and consistency?
We have an advisor, Chef Suksham Mehra, onboard who is responsible for designing the entire menu and maintaining the quality of end products. We have an experienced kitchen team with professional chefs and a baker as well, all of whom have worked with the biggest names in the food industry in the past. The entire team has a professional background and they understand the requirements of customers.
Kitchen operations are handled by Sameer Garibdasani (co-founder) who keeps a strict control over everything – right from getting an order to preparing, packing and overseeing the delivery of the final product to the customer. We carry out regular checks and audits to maintain consistency and quality of our products to ensure customer is delighted and satisfied.
From where do you procure the ingredients?
The procurement is a very important and critical part of all our operations and we can’t afford to have any loose ends. Our other co-founder, Ritesh Sharma keeps a strict quality and quantity check of materials being procured. We are presently sourcing raw materials directly from certified vendors who have certified organic products.
You work on a delivery model. What are the advantages of a delivery model over a brick-and-mortar outlet?
Delivery model vs brick-and-mortar model:-
Infrastructure Cost: A delivery model demands very less infrastructure investment as compared to a physical store. The investment can be utilized in strengthening other pillars like quality, logistics and expansion.
Transaction Convenience: Customer has ease of multiple payment options like CoD, online payment and even wallet options where as outlets does not offer online medium.
Large Target Audience : As compared to brick-and-mortar, delivery model targets much bigger audience.
Low Ops Cost: Operational expenses are much lower as compared to brick mortar thus its benefits the customer.
Time Convenience: Customers can place order as per their convenient time to get the delivery.
Please explain your business model.
We are presently following delivery business model within Gurgaon and few parts of South Delhi. Yumbox’s every meal is freshly made and packed in high quality material. One unique feature of Yumbox is that the orders from customers are delivered within 45 minutes to its serviceable areas without any minimum order commitment.
What are the major challenges and how do you overcome them?
The major challenges which we faced were sourcing of organic and natural ingredients as there are a very few and limited suppliers in the market. Since our concept was centered around organic food products, we never wanted to take chances with non-certified products. We did an extensive and thorough market study and searched suppliers who could provide us with certified organic ingredients. This particular activity took a considerable period of time, energy and negotiations with suppliers to keep a check on costs and pricing.
Another challenge which we faced was getting organic bread. We were unable to find any bakery who could provide us with certified organic bread. It was one of major challenges to us as most of our items like burger, pizza, bagel, sandwiches etc required bread in some form or other. We were determined to provide only organic food products to our customers, so we thought of creating our own bakery to bake our own bread. We now boast of having our own bakery serving organic bread and buns.
What has been the market response to organic fast food?
The market response has been really good and customers have given good reviews and feedback about our products. We are really encouraged with the response which we have received from the market.
Which are the markets you are currently present in, how many orders do you cater to per day, what is the average ticket size?
We are based out of Gurgaon region and presently catering to select locales of Gurgaon and South Delhi. We have just begun our operations in first week of April and receiving good amount of orders. We have kept our products very economical and average ticket size is Rs 250 to Rs 300.
What steps have you put in place to streamline your delivery and what are your plans to expand the delivery network?
We have presently tied up with third party for arranging our deliveries and target is to deliver our food products in less than 45 minutes. We plan to have our own delivery staff and bring down our delivery time. We also plan to expand our operations to various parts of India in near future.
What is your marketing and promotions strategy for raising consumer understanding of this format and for scaling your services?
We are presently offering 100 per cent cash back to our first time registered users and discount coupons for repeat orders. We are marketing our products through online digital media by means of Facebook, Twitter etc, and offline by means of flyers and pamphlets. We will be carrying out events and various marketing programs to educate people about organic food and positive effects of switching over to organic products.
What are your plans for scaling up the business?
YumBox is setting a target to expand its footprint to major cities in India. We are soon going to launch outlets in Gurgaon and other areas to provide ease of reach to our customers. Customers can presently order through our website or through toll free number 18002000861. We will also be launching a mobile based app in next couple of months for easy ordering and accessibility.