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Kerala Startup Facilitates Virtual Food-courts Using Food Vending Kiosks

In Business
October 19, 2022

In one-of-a-kind startups in India, a trio of entrepreneurs from Kerala have launched a new startup that allows customers to place their food choices from multiple restaurants on a single bill and get them picked up at designated locations in a hassle-free manner.

To begin with, the smart kiosk product, VendiGo, will be launched in the capital city soon. It is an initiative of Versicles Technologies, a fledgling startup that has been set up by Manoj Dethan, the founder-CEO; Aneesh Suhail, the founder-CTO; and Kiran Karunakaran, the investor with experience in the e-commerce sector.

Explaining the functioning of kiosk, Manoj said it is a virtual food court that allows customers to order from multiple restaurants in a single order with pick-up at their convenience. Thus, one can order soup, biryani, noodles, dessert, and even Italian takeout from different local restaurants without paying separately.

“A customer can make an order in the VendiGo portal and specify the pick-up time and location. The ordering system is integrated with the payment gateways and once payment is successful, customer will get an OTP with the kiosk box number for pick-up,” he said. “By streamlining the last mile delivery and ensuring orders are processed in a unified platform, it also assures quality and customer satisfaction.”

VendiGo, which hosts curated lists of top restaurants, cafes, and bakeries in the city, provides an omni channel platform for restaurant industry with ordering, tracking and delivery to a pickup kiosk near the customer. It provides an e-commerce platform that can take the orders and have it delivered through these kiosks. Sometimes, these kiosks can also have a cloud kitchen associated with it, so chefs can go there, do the cooking and sell through the kiosk.

“It is like a cloud kitchen set-up which helps restaurants to expand to a new virtual location and transform their digital customer experience. VendiGo takeout kiosk can be placed in restaurants or malls or any convenient location as desired by the restaurants”, Manoj pointed out.

Suhail said VendiGo is Thiruvananthapuram’s first ‘Multi-Restaurant Ordering’ to-go experience, and has the potential to emerge as the future of food takeout and delivery segment.“It’s the only destination that allows foodies who love variety to order meals from more than ten restaurants, all on the same bill.”

Thus, one can place a single order catering to different dietary preferences – from low sugar to pure vegan and health-conscious to comfort food. It can cater to palates of different foodies in a household.

“We’re revolutionizing the restaurant industry by automating operations. We seek to minimize costs and maximize profits by prioritizing seamless delivery. All you need to do is to cook,” pointed out Karunakaran. “Our mission is to enable people with passion for cooking to become an entrepreneur without an upfront investment. Opening a typical quick service restaurant can cost easily 10 lakhs and then the restaurant owner can spend on marketing and software. VendiGo is a “Retail as Service” concept where we provide all the physical and digital infrastructure for a fee.”

The founders of VendiGo said they have digital tools to increase the profitability of an existing restaurant. “VendiGo can be added to streamline take out operations in a busy restaurant and improve the customer experience for pick-ups by promoting a contactless kiosk delivery. Their marketing automation can help restaurants to engage with their customers through discounts, announcements and social media promotions.”

VendiGo provides customers with an option to savour the cuisines they may have not tried out. For instance, Five Star chefs cook for customers on demand for special events, thereby promoting their brand. “Lot of people have reservations going to a star restaurant and order the exotic food if they have not been exposed to it previously.”Our idea is to democratize those experiences and also improving the approachability of those star restaurants.

“We strive to build a community around food that both customers and business owners benefit”, the entrepreneurs said.