Flight Plan

Skip the queue, grab a bite and a cuppa on the go!

Sangeetha Chengappa | Updated on May 31, 2019

Passengers who don’t want to fly hungry can do just that before boarding their flight

On a recent visit to the US from Bengaluru via Delhi Airport, a standee in Terminal 3 departure area caught this writer’s eye. The message read, ‘Never Fly Hungry, just GrabbnGo’, directing one to a self-ordering kiosk.

Starting April, Delhi Airport is offering travellers the option to order food from the Airport’s food and beverage outlets even before they reach the airport, via the GrabbnGo app. Orders placed on the app can be picked up from an Express Pickup Counter with zero waiting or be delivered at the boarding gate. The service, a first-of-its-kind in the country, has been conceived by frequent fliers Santosh Pericharan and Gaurav Gutgutia, who invariably ended up cranky when faced with the prospect of long queues at F&B outlets, after navigating serpentine lines at the check-in counter and security gates.

“It is a frustrating experience to travel when you are hungry or are craving a hot cup of coffee. We first launched GrabbnGo in June 2017 to enable drive-through orders in 200 restaurants in Bengaluru to beat long commute time to office and back. While we have delivered 20,000 orders with 96 per cent accuracy rates, we realised the market is not yet mature enough to enable drive-through pick-up. Airports proved to be a great use case for our technology,” says Santosh Pericharan, co-founder and CEO, GrabbnGo.

The GrabbnGo Airport Kiosk in Delhi Airport has already processed 3,000 orders where travellers can self-order from multiple F&B outlets with just one payment and pick it up from the Express Pickup Counter or have it delivered to the boarding gate. If you are in the airport food court, the kiosk helps skip long lines and order from any outlet.

How is all this facilitated? GrabbnGo has worked with the Delhi Airport Authority that, in turn, put it in direct touch with master concessionaire DFSPL (Devyani Food Street Private Ltd), which operates 9 F&B outlets in Delhi Airport. GrabbnGo has a signed contract with DFSPL for these outlets. GrabbnGo is also working with independent outlets that do not come under DFSPL to be part of its offerings.

What is the revenue model? For every transaction made on the GrabbnGo kiosk or app, the start-up receives a commission.

GrabbnGo is set to go live in Mumbai Airport next month with Express Dine-in where travellers who do not want to carry a parcelled order will have their orders ready on arrival and can enjoy a sit-down experience with no waiting time. This will be followed by delivery at boarding gates in July.

Hot off the app

In Mumbai Airport, GrabbnGo has tied up with all 160 F&B outlets facilitated by the Mumbai Airport Authority and has signed contracts with over four master concessionaires who each operate a set of outlets.

“When a traveller uses GrabbnGo, he just has to place an order and pay on the app without scheduling the pick-up time. The order comes in and suspends in our ecosystem, because if we pass it on to the store immediately they will go ahead and prepare it, which does not work, as the food/beverage will get cold. Therefore, if coffee that a traveller has ordered takes three minutes to prepare, the order will also track his movement as he is heading to the airport and just five minutes before he approaches the outlet, the order will hit the store, which immediately prepares it, so it is freshly prepared and piping hot. This is done through our patent pending algorithm JITO (just in time ordering)” explains Gaurav, co-founder and COO, GrabbnGo.

With Mumbai Airport to go live with GrabbnGo very soon, the start-up is on track to offer its services to India’s top seven airports over the next two years.

Airports around the world are trying to create delightful experiences for travellers who are usually rushed for time. For instance, Toronto Pearson International Airport is running a pilot programme in partnership with Uber Eats and food and beverage operator HMSHost International to bring Uber Eats to its Terminal 3 International and Domestic Departures area, whereby passengers using the Uber Eats app can choose to have food from their favourite HMSHost restaurants — from burritos, burgers, to smoked meat or fish and chips — delivered right to their Gate. Similarly, Schipol Airport, Amsterdam, launched a pilot last year in partnership with food delivery firm Deliveroo to order food and drinks on their mobile phones that will be delivered within 15 minutes to the Gate.

Published on May 28, 2019

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