They are known for finding quick solutions to complex problems. But now students from IIT-Delhi have found a solution to a basic problem: hunger. Three alumni and two students of the Institute have made eating out—or ordering in—easier for you.
In the beginning the search was personal. Deepinder Goyal, 26, remembers how he got fed up searching for restaurant menus while working long hours in the college lab. Goyal, who studied Mathematics and Computing at the Institute, decided to create a website that would list all restaurants in the NCR along with ratings, reviews and, of course, their takeaway menus. After brainstorming with a few friends, foodiebay.com was born in January this year and by July it was up and running.
“I am a complete foodie and like to try out various cuisines. In college we would be constantly looking—and not finding—the menus of Dominos Pizzas. Now with the help of this site we can choose from various cuisines as well as spot a restaurant’s location,” says Goyal, who works as a management consultant.
With over 1,300 restaurant listed, there’s something for everyone. However, while you can spot your restaurant and also order in, the website doesn’t assure you free home delivery. “We did not want to get into that aspect since a lot of operational hassles are involved. We will have to ensure a minimum time for delivery plus we will have to fix our cut with the restaurants,” adds Goyal.
To make the site more user-friendly, Goyal roped in a junior from the same course, Amritanshu Nanda, 20. “When I joined the project, the site was very basic. I included the facility of tagging your favourite restaurants, a log in feature (like Facebook) as also images of every dish you click on. Now I am hooked to it,” laughs Nanda, who has a keen interest in web designing.
So, how does one navigate the site? You select your locality and the site lists the restaurants in that area and also in its neighbourhood. It also gives ratings, reviews compiled from different sources on a featured restaurant, tells you whether it has smoking or non-smoking areas, gives you the price of a meal of two and lets you know whether it will deliver food home.
“We want this site to be a one-stop shop for everything on food in the city,” adds Nanda. “This site did not cost us anything except the money needed for the initial set up. The rest has been the travel costs from one restaurant to another,” says Pankaj Chaddah, a graduate of the Class of 2007 IIT who does the marketing for the site.
The techies are not stopping at this success and are constantly upgrading the site’s features. In a few months, they will post directional maps to restaurants, list separate restaurants as vegetarian and non-vegetarian and will also say whether they accept credit cards or not. “We keep updating the menus every four months and also get free meals in the process. And we know where to look once we are hungry. In fact, our friends call us up asking for restaurant recommendations,” says Goyal.
But if you are not a friend, you can just log on to their website.