GourmetItUp.com is an e-commerce company that partners with high-end restaurants in Mumbai, and claims to provide dining experience at affordable prices.Dining experiences are essentially a line-up of curated meals and beverages, culinary demos and interactions with chefs . For the same, the company has partnered with select restaurants in Mumbai including Busaba, Cafe Zoe, Vinoteca, The Table, Koh, The Tasting Room, Lagerbay, Neel & Olive Bar and Kitchen as well as hotels like The Oberoi & Sahara Star.
Portal: To explore dining experiences at Gourmetitup, users need to signup on the website. The website does not support any social signups but offers users the ability to sign up via email address and a password. Once a user signs up, the portal displays current dinning experiences available on the website in a Pinterest-like UI.
On the restaurants page, the portal displays information such as restaurant info, menu that users can take advantage of in the dining experience, how to make a reservation, and the location of the restaurant embedded via Google Maps. The portal does not allow users to make a reservation from within the portal, which breaks the continuity of the booking experience. To make reservations, users need to call the number 9619551387. According to the company, currently most experiences are paid for when the guest visits a particular restaurant. Once its Customer Royalty program is introduced it intends to collect payments online.
Launched in August 2012 by Deepa Jain and Kunal Jain, Gourmetit is a self funded startup, however, the company is in talks with investors for their first round of funding. Gourmetitup informed MediaNama that they will be launching the next phase of operations in November and that it plans to expand its operations in Delhi and Bangalore by early next year. Apart from offering dining experiences at select restaurants, Gourmetitup also plans to organize kitchen tours, classes with celebrity chefs, and organize events that will allow customers to meet with food and beverage experts.
Our Take: While the internet would surely aid discovery for these businesses, we feel that not integrating payments kind of defeats the whole purpose of taking these dining experiences online. Also, what will these niche sites do if bigger players like Zomato and JustEat start their own niche ‘dining experiences’ sections?
Other similar developments: In June 2012, Bangalore-based Viverati Interactive, which operates Poshvine, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from MyFirstCheque. Poshvine allows users to discover new dining and culinary experiences, and book them directly from the website. The company claims that it has partnered with industry people and enthusiasts to create unique curated experiences pertaining to food which is generally not available elsewhere, something similar to what Gourmetitup.com is trying to do.
Recently, we have seen a flurry of startups in dining experience category. On October 8, Dineout Services Pvt Ltd that runs an online restaurant booking site Dineout.co.in, raised an angel round of funding from the founders of Travel Boutique online. Dineout offers online booking of restaurants as well as booking from phone. Apart from that, it also offers discounts while booking a restaurant, and also allows users to book restaurants over BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). The site currently accepts booking in Delhi – NCR and claims to have tied up with more than 200 restaurants in the region.
Tablewalla.com, an online restaurant reservation site, which recently launched its website in Beta and has started accepting table booking for restaurants in Mumbai and Delhi. There’s also JustEat, which launched its services in India by acquiring HungryZone. JustEat lists “750+ restaurants” for takeways and table bookings, and has only expanded to Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. FoodPanda, an online food ordering service owned by Rocket Internet, which launched in India in June this year. FoodPanda lists 232 restaurants in Delhi. Bookurtable.com, a web and mobile service that allows users to make restaurant reservations and order food in seven Indian cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi/NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. TableGrabber is another online service that allows users to book and get confirmed restaurant reservations in Delhi/NCR and Mumbai.