Before we even talk about this, we will start with a clarification – to fulfil our quick delivery promise, we do not put any pressure on delivery partners to deliver food faster. Nor do we penalise delivery partners for late deliveries. The delivery partners are not informed of the promised time of delivery. Time optimisation does not happen on the road, and does not put any lives at risk.

The fulfilment of our quick delivery promise relies on a dense finishing stations’ network, which is located in close proximity to high-demand customer neighbourhoods. Sophisticated dish-level demand prediction algorithms, and future-ready in-station robotics are employed to ensure that your food is sterile, fresh and hot at the time it is picked by the delivery partner. 

Why 10-minute food delivery?

Customers are increasingly demanding quicker answers to their needs. They don’t want to plan, and they don’t want to wait. In fact, sorting restaurants by fastest delivery time is one of the most used features on the Zomato app. 

In addition to that, after becoming a frequent customer of Blinkit (one of Zomato’s investments in the quick commerce space), I started feeling that the 30-minute average delivery time by Zomato is too slow, and will soon have to become obsolete. If we don’t make it obsolete, someone else will. 

Innovating and leading from the front is the only way to survive (and therefore thrive) in the tech industry. And here we are… with our 10-minute food delivery offering – Zomato Instant.

How is this even going to happen?

Nobody in the world has so far delivered hot and fresh food in under 10 minutes at scale, and we were eager to be the first to create this category, globally! 

We deeply care about how we do what we do. So the first thing we told ourselves when we thought about instant food delivery was “no compromises”. We narrowed down to these eight principles around which we are building Zomato Instant– 

  1. (Almost) as affordable as home-cooked food
  2. Highest quality of fresh food
  3. World class hygiene practices
  4. Minimal use of plastic packaging
  5. Convenient packaging for quick/easy consumption 
  6. Traceable supply chain (v2)
  7. Delivery partner safety 
  8. Deep collaboration with restaurant partners

Each of our finishing stations will house bestseller items (~20-30 dishes) from various restaurants based on demand predictability and hyperlocal preferences. Luckily, the experience of having delivered 1.35 billion orders across India over the years makes our job a little easier.

Due to demand predictability at a hyperlocal level, we expect that the price for the customer will get significantly reduced, while the absolute ₹ margin/income for our restaurant partners as well as our delivery partners, will remain the same.

Better food for more people

We are going to pilot Zomato Instant with four stations in Gurugram from next month onwards. This is one of the biggest endeavours towards our mission statement of “better food for more people”. We have always believed that in order to compete with home cooked food, restaurant food needs to work on the following four tenets – 

  1. Affordability 
  2. Accessibility
  3. Assortment
  4. Quality

In short, AAAQ. And if Zomato Instant works as envisioned, it will create significant impact on Affordability (at least 50% reduction in cost to the end customer), Accessibility (reduction of delivery time from 30 minutes average to under 10 minutes), and Quality (with influence over the supply chain, we will be able to ensure highest grade ingredients and hygiene practices across the supply chain). 

At Zomato, we believe that our best products are yet to come. We sincerely hope that Zomato Instant makes food experiences even more enjoyable. 


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