Let’s talk about the restaurant industry in the country and the funding that goes with it. The restaurant industry has seen a massive drop in operations due to the COVID 19 lockdown. It was one of the industries most affected during the pandemic. The restaurant industry saw a decline of around 53% in FY2021 compared to FY2020, according to reports from the NRAI, which represents 5 lakh restaurants.
Fiscal year 2021 also saw the closure of more than 25% of restaurants, resulting in the loss of jobs of nearly 24 lakhs across the country. In fiscal year 2021, the value of catering industry was INR 2 lakh crore, while in fiscal year 2020, the catering industry was worth INR 4, 2 lakh crore, thus showing a decrease in the valuation of the sector.
The country’s restaurant industry is a huge source of employment and opens up employment opportunities to nearly 73 lakhs. The segment of Indian food industry is divided into two sectors, one being the organized sector which is worth INR 148,353 crore, and the other being the unorganized sector, which is worth INR 2 75,512 crore.
Some of the attractive trends in the restaurant industry are as follows-
Product Sustainability – Customers are increasingly aware of and prefer organic, low-carbon foods without artificial fertilizers. They now know the relationship between food, health and the environment.
Cloud Kitchen: This model has grown. It is a take-out point of sale, and there is no catering service. With the COVID 19 outbreak, people only prefer deliveries. Thus, restaurants are moving from the traditional, regular dining room model to the cloud kitchen model.
Packaging and waste: Customers now prefer sustainable and healthy products. Edible packaging, micro-packaging and various other forms of packaging are used at a rapid pace.
The Indian catering industry has more than 1.5 million catering outlets, of which 3,000 are from the organized segment.
India’s food industry is expected to reach 9.2 million in 2022-2023, and the size of the food industry will reach INR 5 lakh crore by 2025. Now let’s talk about the exciting financing of a restaurant startup that has happened recently.
Funding announcement for a catering startup
Restaurant PoS (Point of Sale) startup Petpooja raised $ 4.5 million in funding as announced on November 15, 2021. This funding round was Round B and was led by Aroa Ventures, including Bhavish Aggarwal tracks. The other participants in this round of funding were GVFL, Udaan and Dr Mayur Desai. Some angel investors even participated in this round of funding.
The startup plans to use the funds raised as part of its expansion to reach regions of the Middle East and Africa. The startup plans to expand its supplier hub. The Supplier Hub allows Starter Platform customers to come together for large, bulk purchases of ingredients and pieces of equipment. Last year, a unicorn startup, Udaan, also invested in this startup.
About the newly funded catering startup
The PetPooja startup was founded in 2011 by Apurv Patel and Parthiv Patel. The startup started out as a simple PoS billing solution for restaurants. But over time it has changed and modified and is now a full restaurant operating system. It is now also engaged in offering modules for inventory management, CRM and online ordering, among many other services.
Its mission is to be the operating system of reference for all F&B retail businesses around the world. The startup is not just a service provider. It also believes in providing a product that provides consistent and sustainable solutions to its restaurant partners.
The startup’s product philosophy is based on the four pillars-
Price, simplicity, innovation and support.
The types of plugs supplied by the starter are-
Fine Dine, QSR, cafe, food courts and canteens, cloud kitchens, ice cream and dessert shops, bakery, bar and brasserie, pizzeria or pizzeria and large chains.
To talk about the journey of the startup, in 2011, when it was created, it was a food delivery platform for companies. It was like Swiggy or Zomato, but for corporate bulk orders. With this business model, the startup reached its first mark two years later, that is, it had served 200 companies by partnering with more than 300 restaurants.
But the startup then realized that due to the lack of appropriate technology, there were a lot of operational inefficiencies and the restaurant’s processes were not scalable. By watching and closely observing the daily struggles of the restaurant, Petpooja has created what it is now, cohesive restaurant management software.
The startup currently has more than 25,000 restaurants in India, the United Arab Emirates and Africa. It has over 1.5 million orders per day and has an annual GMV of $ 2.5 billion. The big names on its client list include La Pino’s, Giani’s, Thalappakatti and many more. The startup’s competitors are POSist, a Delhi-based startup, and Lime-Tray, based in Gurugram.
What was said about the deal?
Parthiv Patel, co-founder of startup Petpooja, said catering is the most digitized market with over 100 B2C players such as delivery aggregators, catering orders, online orders, table reservations, loyalty, payments, ERP, and many more. He added that the startup has over 100 integrations that allow restaurateurs to manage and interact with gamers from a single screen.
Gaurav Gulati, director and IT director of Aroa Ventures, said the catering service is finally getting back on track after COVID 19 and the lockdown. He said that with the changing times, people are making full use of products like Petpooja. He said the organization has complete confidence in the startup’s vision and mission to transform restaurant operations digitally and generate profits for restaurant owners.
The startup has something different and refreshing to offer. We wish the startup luck and a bright future.
Article reviewed and edited by Shreedatri Banerjee