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As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!




Friday, May 14, 2021: After introducing #OrderDirect movement at NRAI TownHall 4.0 last week on the 6th of May, NRAI successfully conducted three educational Bootcamps this week from May 11-13, 2021 which were attended by several industry stalwarts and thousands of other enthusiastic stakeholders from the food service industry.

 The #OrderDirect concept was launched by NRAI to counter the emerging hegemony of a handful of well-funded food tech aggregators over the digital landscape of the sector. They were emerging as digital landlords trying to control the entire ecosystem rather than being a neutral platform where buyers and sellers transact on their own terms. NRAI strongly feels that it is high time that the businesses assumed larger control of their own digital landscapes in order to protect their long-term interest.

NRAI is fully aware that technology plays an important role in expanding the reach of the business and thereby triggering a quicker growth for the business. However, it propagates a solution where the core business decision lies with the business owners and tech works as an enabler. In line with this thinking, NRAI invited two such partners, Thrive Now and DotPe to present their solutions to the business owners and managers at first two Bootcamps. The underlying brief to both these partners was that the customer and the customer data belong solely and exclusively to the business owners and they have to give this a robust yet friendly tech support.

Both the partners, i.e., Thrive Now and DotPe made very interactive presentations, laced with illustrations, and briefed the members on how to set up an independent online ordering system. They also discussed various third-party integrations, the challenges that come along with it, how to tackle them and also how to use tools that will help alter the consumer habits. After these two sessions on tech support, NRAI conducted a third Bootcamp yesterday where domain experts deliberated on brand building methods, marketing tips and best practices to trigger discovery sans the food service aggregators.

Brief Summary/Highlights of all three NRAI Bootcamps are as follows:

NRAI Bootcamp 1 – Enabling Direct Ordering with Thrive Now (11 May, 2021)

  1. Available to restaurateurs since July 2020, Thrive Now has integrations with major Point of Sale systems in India, and partnerships with Delivery Service Providers such as Dunzo, ShadowFax, WeFast and more
  2. As of date, Thrive is being used at 2300+ restaurants from 70+ cities across the country. These restaurants have saved substantial commission fees, which they would’ve otherwise paid to aggregators.
  3. This success has been achieved at brands of the likes of The Table, The Bombay Canteen, Olive, Fab Café, Belgian Waffle and many more.
  4. Key Features of Thrive Now are
  5. Restaurant menu website
  6. Order management dashboard
  7. Business dashboard
  8. Digital payments
  9. Integration with several PoS & 3rd party delivery providers
  10. In-built Marketing CRM, Sales & Customer Analytics
  11. Thrive has offered some exclusive limited period deals to NRAI Members, details of which is available on www.nrai.org

NRAI Bootcamp 2 – Enabling Direct Ordering with DotPe + Enhancing Your Audience Reach via Google My Business (12th May, 2021)

  1. DotPe has been partnering with restaurants since the first wave of the pandemic last year and had digitally powered the entire customer journey – ordering, payments, feedback, promotions, delivery solutions, and more for 15,000+ restaurants and food courts in India.
  2. The Bootcamp witnessed DotPe’s end-to-end full-stack commercial solutions necessary for empowering any F & B business.
  3. It emphasized how restaurants can establish their digital presence through DotPe’s state–of–the–art digital catalogue armed with superior UI and UX
  4. How to get orders directly from the customers and also become discoverable to them using channels like WhatsApp, PhonePe Switch, Google Spot, and Paytm.
  5. Through DotPe, restaurants can also roll out the best possible offers for their customers (store offers combined with bank offers) that can be redeemed in a single order.
  6. Apart from these, the restaurants can also ensure last-mile delivery to their customers which is critical for business in the current economic climate to survive. 
  7. Other benefits offered to help businesses get the best of existing sales were
  8. Loyalty programs
  9. Remarketing engines
  10. Customer analytics for making critical business decisions.
  11. Digital payments
  12. Integration with several PoS & 3rd party delivery providers
  13. Exclusive Deals are available for NRAI Members opting for DotPe. Details are on NRAI website – www.nrai.org.
  14. DotPe session was followed by Google’s Expert guide to ‘Unleash your brand’s true potential using Google My Business (GMB).

NRAI Bootcamp 3 – Digital Marketing Tips for Discovering Orders (13th May, 2021)

While the first two bootcamps were aimed at providing alternate tech solutions to the industry, the third edition was more about brand building, marketing strategy, enhancing brand visibility and methods to reach out to a larger audience.

  1. The bootcamp began with a very informative presentation on In-house Marketing by Divya Aggarwal, Head of Marketing at Impresario Handmade Restaurants Pvt Ltd. She shared her real time experiences, learnings, insights, successful ideas and campaigns used by her team to accelerate #orderdirect for all brands of Impresario like Social and Smokehouse Deli.
  2. She discussed in detail on subjects like effective marketing plan/strategy, value proposition, communication strategy, essential operational levers to monitor, tracking and monitoring of campaigns of ROI
  3. This was followed by covering another very important aspect of digital marketing, i.e., Performance Marketing by Ms Sunaina Basu, Co-Founder, Rafiki Marketing.
  4. She gave a very detailed presentation covering all aspects and necessary information for any brand to unlock the power of Performance Marketing for their Restaurant/Delivery Kitchen. She deliberated in detail entire roadmap for the same. Both these presentations are available at www.nrai.org.
  5. Gauri Devidayal, one of the principal architect of these bootcamps then shared her real-time marketing tips for Collaborative Marketing and also shared facts/statistics validating that how digital marketing has helped in substantially increasing direct ordering numbers of her own brands like MagStreet and Iktara.
  6. She shared a critical mantra with the Restaurant Fraternity saying that “Keep your marketing game consistent and I promise that you will see definite changes in sales and growth of your brands.

The bootcamp session was concluded with a strong and assertive message from NRAI Trustee Mr Riyaaz Amlani. He advised the fraternity to “Stop diverting traffic to aggregators, start bringing it back to your brands. People who like what you do should order direct! Let people discover you on discovery platforms. Direct ordering is the future! Let’s go back to the future!”

Speaking on the event, Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI, said “First of all, I would like to thank NRAI Tech Core Team and all the panellists for their tireless efforts in making all four sessions super successful. Eventually, NRAI wants all restaurants, whether big or small, to become more self-reliant and as a responsible Industry body, we will continue to provide necessary advice, expertise and support to the fraternity members. This NRAI Bootcamp is a step in this direction. NRAI will continue in its endeavour to help restaurants gradually assume more control over their digital landscape..

He further added,Every restaurant enjoyed an emotional connect with its guests which seems to have been lost in last few years wherein these guests have become some nameless order numbers where their names get masked by the aggregators! We think that #OrderDirect can change this and rekindle the lost emotional connect between restaurants and their patrons.

He concluded by saying that “Restaurateurs must remember, it’s THEIR FOOD that get ordered and consumed by THEIR GUESTS; technology is just an enabler. So, if they get the tools to connect directly with their guests, guests will soon start to #OrderDirect with their local restaurants again!”