Food is both a serotonin boost as well as an excellent source for socializing and bonding. Who doesn’t love to dine out and enjoy some scrumptious dishes, be it in solitary after an exhausting day or to catch up with friends for lunch on a much-awaited weekend!
Since dining out projects this much importance, aspects like the ambiance of the location, the quality of the food, and the overall dining experience become elements that need to be impeccably sketched out. Yet quite often we end up revisiting the same dining outlets on every new occasion, largely to avoid the hassle and fuss involved in searching for new outlets, which ends up with us missing out on a plethora of adept dining options flooding our neighborhoods.
Yet another hindrance encountered when it comes to dining out is the effort involved in reserving a table at our preferred restaurants owing to them being booked full in advance or the failure to coordinate with the restaurant on time as well as the long waiting time involved. Churning out a solution to these problems is Dineout, a platform that aims to simplify the whole process so that booking and selecting restaurants is no longer a complication when it comes to dining out.
This blog will provide you a gist about Dineout, its founders, its business model, its funding, its success story, its origin, its growth as well as its revenue model.
Dineout is an online table booking platform that has been established with the purpose of aiding its users in discovering the best and most suitable restaurants near them and to help them in easily booking reservations.
The platform had been established in 2012 by Ankit Mehrotra, Nikhil Bakshi, Sahil Jain, and Vivek Kapoor. Following the years of its establishment, Dineout has consistently upgraded its offered services. Alongside helping their users in discovering suitable restaurants, the platform also facilitates various more services that effectively attract users. The users of the platform receive access to special offers across over 40,000 restaurants in the nation.
Dineout joins its users with the best cafes and restaurants in the city. They also facilitate a cashless payment experience across eateries, rewarding their users with an opportunity of gaining cashback on every bill. Via these services, the users can save over 30 per more in contrast with the regular restaurant consumers. The platform also facilitates an exclusive program termed the Gourmet Passport, which provides a great degree of perks for all foodies.
One factor that makes the platform stand out in the industry is how it applies data in order to comprehend what the user requires and then supply them with suitable recommendations. A number of aspects which include the chosen cuisine, size of dish ordered, the time of day/week/month the user ventures out to dine, offers extended by the restaurant and reservations are all taken into account.
“It’s a really difficult and time-consuming journey where a consumer reviews multiple restaurants at various platforms, checks with friends or family and then finally where to go. That is a key problem that we are looking to solve at the Dineout.”
- Sahil Jain, Cofounder, Dineout to Economic Times
Dineout has been founded by Ankit Mehrotra, Vivek Kapoor, Nikhil Bakshi, and Sahil Jain.
The primary founder and CEO of the platform is Ankit Mehrotra who founded the company in early 2012. Ankit launched his career at BNP Paribas where he worked as an analyst. He also has a bachelor's degree from the University of Essex in Computers and Telecommunications Engineering in 2011. Following this, he concluded his education at CFA Institute.
The co-founder of Dineout is Vivek Kapoor who was previously a chief officer Prior to this, he was the chief officer at British Petroleum for 4 years. In 2002, he had concluded his schooling at Modern School.
The co-founder of Dineout is Nikhil Bakshi. Prior to joining Dineout, he had been the manager at DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund. He graduated in B.Com from Delhi University.
Another one of the founders of Dineout is Sahil Jain. He began his career as a Software Engineer in Sasken Communication Technologies Ltd. He was also a Senior Business Analyst and Associate Manager at Mu Sigma. He had also been the Senior Market Analyst at Nextag for a period of less than a year.
The concept of Dineout originated when its co-founders Ankit Mehrotra and Sahil Jain engaged in a discussion regarding the dining options they have. Amidst their conversation the duo came to the realization that their friends troop generally visited the same restaurant each time, tending to stick to their comfort zones to avoid disappointment. So they decided to launch a website which could inform people about the best dine-outs in their neighborhood.
“When we started in 2012, it was of the most difficult times to start in the table reservations space. Everyone wasn’t as savvy with the online world as they are now and nobody would look at reserving tables online, especially in India,”
- Vivek Kapoor, Founder, Dineout.
Despite the wave of challenges and difficulties witnessed by the platform initially, it had been able to achieve a great degree of success. Within merely two years of its establishment, the platform had been able to achieve over two lakh registered users.
An aspect that sets this platform apart from the other platforms in this industry is the strong connection it holds with the dinners, which makes the payments both easier as well as beneficial on the part of both the platform and its users. In Dineout’s second year of business, the platform gets acquired by Times Internet in a 10 million dollars deal. The deal with TimesCity allows users to enjoy a variety of other features and benefits apart from discovering restaurants.
Dineout’s Business Model
The platform facilitates its users with various B2B and B2C services. The firm holds a basic and smooth business model. The primary purpose of the firm is serving its customers by aiding them in booking tables in restaurants and hotels. It has collaborated with various restaurants and pubs in order to aid its consumers in discovering the most suitable offers. They also offer discounts regarding their promotions and in case of rise in the downloads.
“We are one of the oldest foodtech players in India, and over the years, we have actually gone through a lot of changes and evolution. We have been able to position the business very successfully across two distinct verticals – B2C and B2B. On the B2C side, we offer 360-degree service to diners for their dining out needs, and on the B2B side, we are able to offer 360-degree service to our restaurant partners, helping them improve their services,”
- Ankit Mehrotra, CEO, Dineout to Your Story
The platform charges an annual subscription rate from their restaurant partners and also from the customers. Revenue is also gained through each transaction executed on the platform, although it varies according to every restaurant and the cities where they are set up.
We have multiple revenue models in place. We have a few products for which we charge an annual subscription price from our restaurant partners as well as our consumers. We also have a performance-driven transactional model where we make money on every transaction done through the platform which varies as per restaurant and city. Our organization structure backs up the growth strategy. We have a dedicated team and their function heads for each revenue stream. Also, we have decentralized operations across all the cities we are in. This helps in faster decision making and helps us scale up.
- Ankit Mehrotra, CEO, Dineout
As confirmed by Economic Times, during the initial days of the COVID19, Dineout set up a special project named Project Thali, aiming to cease hunger and malnutrition and for making food accessible for the ones encountering struggles in surviving amidst the lockdown.
'Project Thali' is a community-driven initiative which has been set up with the purpose of combining volunteers, NGOs as well as the government and ensuring that everyone, including the vulnerable communities, receive access to food and nourishment.
As confirmed by moneycontrol, Dineout has recovered 60 percent of its business compared to pre-COVID times and it plans to reach 100 percent recovery by the year end.
The use of digital payments via Dineout pay at partnered restaurants has also risen to 80 percent as an increased number of users have been opting for adopting digital means to settle bills.
Dineout has recently expanded its services and has also set up contactless ‘Takeaway’ on its app. This feature will allow users to pre-order food and opt for safe self pick-up via their favorite restaurants to enhance safety efforts for their diners.
“Dineout’s Contactless Dining abilities help restaurateurs avoid extraneous contact points inside the restaurants, while still providing their diners a flawless and safe dining experience. Takeaway is going to emerge as a key revenue line along with home deliveries for most restaurants and food tech players would adjust to this new normal. The quality of food, service and hygiene will be paramount and use of technology to ensure cleanliness, social distancing and as a tool to save costs for the restaurants is becoming supreme,”
- Ankit Mehrotra, CEO & Co-Founder, Dineout.
Recently in the month of October, as reported by ET Brand Equity, Dineout has combined its ‘Dineout Plus’ facility with its premium membership programme ‘Gourmet Passport.' The platform will also be offering its members with Dineout Pay cashback perks as well as early access to a handpicked collection of food-related events such as wine tastings.
In the year of its establishment, Dineout raised Rs 60 lakh from high net worth individuals.
Till now Dineout has acquired 2 companies. Its most recent acquisition was announced on 9th August, 2019 when it acquired Binge Digital at an undisclosed price. The firm also acquired Torqus Systems on back in November 28, 2018.
As Dineout has recently begun steadily venturing its reach across international markets, from Asia, Africa, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Kenya, Saudi Arabia to East Africa and spreading its wings in Tier || and Tier ||| cities in the Indian nation this year, the platform shows great promise for further growth and expansion in the future and in paving its way towards becoming one of the leading food platforms globally.
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