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Unkrate Exclusive: This Mumbai-based startup is using WhatsApp to directly connect restaurants and home chefs with the customers

Suman Prasad

While there has been a severe impact on the economy and jobs due to the nationwide lockdown in India as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, it has also allowed people to think differently and develop new products or start a new business. One such startup is BroEat, a WhatsApp-based menu discovery platform aiding restaurants, home chefs and small businesses to get orders from the customers.

Karan Tanna, Founder of Ghost Kitchens and Pawan Shahri, Founder of One Hospitality came together to start BroEat last month. It can enable contactless delivery using the merchant’s own staff or third-party last-mile service providers to handle deliveries.

BroEat comes with an integration of all popular payment gateways and last-mile delivery service providers. It was conceptualized on the basis of the fact that almost everyone today is on WhatsApp, and is a platform that is already equipped with end to end encryption which safeguards it from security issues, that a regular app might face with user data.

“Keeping in mind WhatsApp’s wide audience base and it’s the ease of use, we decided that it was a better platform for our business. We are reaching out to people through various hospitality groups and word of mouth,” says Pawan Shahri, Co-Founder of BroEat.


Initial Challenges
The biggest challenge before conceptualising BroEat was to find what format of business will work in the long run – if it was home delivery or eventually dine in. The other problem was gauging and understanding consumer behavior in the post Covid world as they had very little data on the change in consumer behaviour in India when it came to this industry, as it was still evolving. 
“After conceptualizing the idea, we were posed with the question of which platform would serve us better in a user friendly and cost-effective way and chose to build a WhatsApp based community platform over an app or website due to its end to end encryption which safeguards it from security issues. Keeping in mind WhatsApp’s wide audience base and it’s ease of use, we decided that it was the best platform to create Bro Eat,” adds Shahri.

Breaking the Clutter

The major reason for BroEat’s existence is to not compete with aggregators but create its own space in the delivery system. “We are telling the restaurants to deliver their orders, restaurants to handle their own backend and which in turn lowers the total number of the commission that they have to pay. We are basically unbundling the services where the margins are more and the cost is lesser,” says Shahri.

Role of WhatsApp as a business platform for BroEat

BroEat is a WhatsApp based community platform, which allows reaping the benefits of WhatsApp’s end to end encryption that safeguards it from security issues, which are faced by regular apps in terms of user data. Also, WhatsApp has an existing wide audience base.

To access BroEat, the customers have to go onto their website or their social media and scan the QR code or contact them on WhatsApp and say ‘Hello’, which gives a link through which you can access the restaurants in your locality and order food directly.

BroEat’s Presence

BroEat is going live with the restaurants in Mumbai. They will begin their operations from Andheri to Bandra in the coming week. However, they already have150+ brands and close to 2000 outlets on board, which includes names like Mainland China, Shiv Sagar, Frozen Bottle, Tanjore Tiffin Room, NomNom, Royal China & more.

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