Zomato Intercity Legends will soon deliver Kolkata sandesh to you in Delhi in 24 hrs. What do you have to pay?

Akshata Kamath
Akshata KamathAug 30, 2022 | 16:38

Zomato Intercity Legends will soon deliver Kolkata sandesh to you in Delhi in 24 hrs. What do you have to pay?

Zomato is testing a new intercity delivery service. (Photo: DailyO)

Zomato is testing a new pilot project called Intercity Legends, through which it will deliver iconic food specialties across Indian cities in 24 hours. The food items will be cooked, frozen, and then shipped via air or road. They will reach you the next day.

The project, for now, is available only in select cities.

Zomato, the funky innovator: Zomato has always been in the news for its multiple product and service innovations, which have created a lot of hype but may or may not have really taken off as intended. Remember when BlinkIt (owned by Zomato) launched printout delivery as a service? BlinkIt launched a service to deliver a document to your doorstep in 11 minutes if you uploaded a soft copy on its app. But this irked shareholders because BlinkIt charged Rs 9 for a black and white printout, Rs 19 for colour printouts, and Rs 25 for delivering them. The irony was that one can get this done at a normal Xerox shop for Rs 2 to Rs 10.

Photo: Twitter

Zomato has had one major problem for some time now - it launches services and then withdraws them citing logistics or other issues. Be it Zomato's 10-minute delivery service or its grocery delivery business, both were launched and withdrawn. Of course, customers started feeling annoyed as these half-baked innovations slowly eroded their confidence. 

Weirdly, Zomato's latest intercity delivery service looks like an idea copied straight from a Shark Tank pitch by Swee Desi. If you watched Shark Tank India Season 1, you might remember Swee Desi, a company that delivers sweets from local halwais to customers in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Jaipur. Though the company did not receive funding because of logistics issues and unsustainability, Zomato seems to have taken this feature seriously. 


So, what is Zomato's new service all about? Zomato has been testing a new service called Intercity Legends, through which it will deliver iconic food items like Hyderabad's biryani, Kolkata's sandesh, Bangalore's iconic Mysore Pak, Lucknow's juicy kebabs and much more across multiple cities. This is because we often travel to these cities to have these iconic food items to understand what the hype is all about. Zomato wants to fulfill this desire of people by getting these popular food items for you at your home, directly from outlets in these iconic cities. The best part - the delivery occurs within 24 hours. 


How will Zomato's 24-hour intercity delivery work?

  • According to Inc42, Zomato has listed multiple restaurants in each city, from where you can place intercity orders for iconic foods, just like a normal Zomato order.  Since this seems to be a pilot project, the option doesn't seem to be available for everyone at the moment. 
  • Say, you order some Mysore Pak from Bengaluru or sandesh from Kolkata through this particular service on Zomato's app. The restaurant in the other city will accept the order, prepare the food/pack the food and freeze it till the time it is shipped by Zomato.
  • Though Zomato will ship the order via air or road and deliver your order within 24 hours, some orders may take more than 1 day. (So, basically, you are not going to be paying for "fresh food".)
Photo: Getty Images

How does the service fare in terms of cost? So, we found 2 reviews from a Twitter user and Inc42 respectively.

Inc 42's experience: A normal biryani order in Hyderabad (without any intercity delivery situation) costs around Rs 350. When Inc 42 ordered biryani from Hyderabad using Zomato's 'Intercity Legend' delivery service, their biryani cost them Rs 700 instead of Rs 350. Here's how:

  • Cost of biryani: Rs 280
  • Delivery and shipping cost: Rs 350
  • Total cost including taxes: Rs 700

Another Twitter user, who tweets as @GabbbarSingh and is based in Gurugram, Haryana, ordered 10 units of baked rosogollas and 10 units of baked sandesh from Kolkata. Since his order was not as costly as the biryani from Hyderabad, this person seemed to be quite happy with the service. 

But is it economical for Zomato?  

  • To promote its new service, Zomato is providing a discount of Rs 200 on a customer's first intercity order and a separate discount for bulk orders. This means that Zomato will be incurring an additional cost per order, which it would not have incurred had the orders been from within the same city.
  • Customers will end up paying more than normal prices or at the maximum, paying twice the cost of the food considering that food delivery via air is not cheap. Though there is no doubt that authentic food items will always have demand, metro cities are quite developed and people do not mind eating at alternative places where prices are cheaper.
  • Zomato has not yet mentioned its intercity cost structure or logistics setup. Also, Zomato will have to figure out its food packaging systems, since intercity deliveries might be more complex than intracity ones.

What do you think about this? Will you pay a higher price for Bangalore's Mysore Pak in Delhi or Mumbai?

Last updated: August 30, 2022 | 16:40
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