One of the things that is uniquely Singaporean is their hawker centers. Cheap, good quality food. Of course, being a vegetarian, my options in a hawker center are quite limited. And you can find one in every other block – basically you are never too far away from good food. Perhaps why services like Food Panda are not a major hit. Besides the hawker stalls don’t cost you any more than $3-$4 for a good filling lunch. I don’t think anyone can quite beat that deal at all. Also, delivery services are quite expensive across the island. Perhaps just the cost of employing personnel wouldn’t really help you cut down the cost any further. Maybe this space is open for some innovation, but that later.
I sometimes wish I could order food that I want and get it delivered. But usually delivery only works for a certain minimum order and even then it adds to the cost of the food. So doing something like this everyday will dig a hole in your budget. You could collect a group and then amortize the cost in a potluck style sharing. In your schedule, it is quite painful if you needed to do organize the lunch, right?
Can you automatically amortize cost for the customer? That is, can you be a delivery service that can collect food from a bunch of food stalls, hawker centers and/or restaurants if they are all within a certain 100m radius and deliver them all to a collection point again within a certain 100m radius? Let us say it will cost someone $2 to bring 3kgs worth of food from point A to point B. Let us say 3kgs of food can serve 5 people. Then if you have at least 5 people wanting food from A delivered at B, then you can charge them each 40cents for the delivery and all this without them having to organize this. Let’s say it is some groupon style bidding that is open for about 20 minutes around lunch time and you can pick and place your order. You’ll be notified if there is a critical number of orders required to honor your price. If not, you have the option to choose to pay for the delivery in full.
Where is the monetization in this? I don’t know. I am still wondering if there is a business hidden behind this. Maybe it won’t sell in Singapore, it just might sell in Chennai or Bangalore in an IT Park that is really isolated from civilization and traffic really deters you from driving down to that favorite restaurant. I think I should try to work out some numbers to see if this makes sense at all.