KARACHI: The annual ‘food ordering’ market alone in the country hovers around Rs15 billion, said Arpatech CEO Jamal Khan at the formal launch of Eatoye!, a web-based food delivery and restaurant reservation service, on Saturday.

The event — attended by bloggers, restaurant owners and young entrepreneurs from the food industry — marked the transition of online food guide Food Connection Pakistan to Eatoye!, which aims to “further bridge the gap between foodies and restaurants”.

Arpatech provides finance and technology base to start-ups and “is the muscle behind the effort” that aims to see businesses expand online, said Mr Khan.

“We target to improve business ecosystem by leveraging technology, cutting on inefficiencies along the value chain through competition based on better informed customer base,” he said.

Given the Pakistani appetite for food, food and more food, the business is booming, not only for restaurants but also for home-based establishments providing personalised cakes and health foods to food delivery websites including KhaoPiyo.pk and Foodpanda.pk.

On the occasion, Eatoye! CEO Nauman Sikandar highlighted the fact that though eating out provided the biggest entertainment to Pakistanis, there was no effort in recognising restaurants that offered good food and a quality experience.

Talking about the service delivery issues faced by customers, he said that 95 per cent of restaurants in Pakistan have no call centres. The 5pc that do, have to rely on outsourced human resources, and the service quality suffers as a result.

“The company offers its visitors customers convenience, exclusive deals, smart ordering and faster food delivery,” said Rai Umair, the firm’s chief technology officer.

With FC Pakistan alone having a decent visitor base of around quarter million visitors per month, the new company will add on to the online presence of food businesses. The service also caters to users who are not online with its call-in service.

Currently offering services in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, and having some 20,000 reviews of 700 eateries in these cities, the site is set to increase its outreach.

The website gives full attention to little details and places stress on faster and efficient delivery. In the long run, it also aims on establishing some quality control on the restaurants in terms of service delivery. “Our goal is to add 2,000 restaurants in 15 major cities of Pakistan this year,” Mr Umer added.

Arpatech’s Business Development Manager Mobin Nasir in his brief presentation highlighted the unlimited opportunities for businesses online, with 30m internet users in Pakistan.“Arpatech provides the modular path to a company for it to grow its digital presence,” he said.

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