We live in such great times where technological advancement has grown by heaps and bounds. You could be sitting at home or at work, craving a certain dish to eat from your favourite restaurant and have it delivered in minutes, thanks to food delivery apps. Zomato is one of the most widely used apps in the country. And now, the app can deliver your favourite food to you even when you’re travelling! Foodtech major Zomato has been roped in by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for the supply and delivery of pre-ordered meals on a pilot basis.

This partnership means passengers travelling by Indian railway can now choose from a broader array of food options through its E-Catering segment. According to a statement by IRCTC, this strategic alliance is set to provide rail passengers with more choices and convenience when it comes to their culinary preferences, making their travel experience more enjoyable and comfortable. The new offering will enable Zomato to expand its offerings and tap into the burgeoning railway passengers in the country.

irctc zomato e-catering

Also Read: Goibibo Brings In Kareena Kapoor Khan For Its New Campaign

This is to inform that in view of widening the range of options available to rail passengers for ordering food of their choice under IRCTC’s E- Catering segment, IRCTC has tied up with M/s. Zomato Limited for supply and delivery of preordered meals through IRCTC’s E-catering portal as a Proof of Concept (PoC) in the first phase at five Railway stations i.e. New Delhi, Prayagraj, Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi,” said IRCTC in a regulatory filing with the BSE.

Navratri Thalis

The Navratri season is well upon us. During this time many people fast to keep their bodies healthy. Ahead of the festivities, the railway catering service is coming up with special services and offers for its passengers. IRCTC’s catering arm has announced special Navratri thalis looking at the special demand of fasting passengers.

Zomato On A High 

Even as a funding crunch bites into the Indian startup ecosystem, the spell of positive news for Zomato has triggered a bull run for the company’s stock. The share price of Zomato scaled a 52-week high of Rs. 115 on October 18, 2023, the morning after the company announced the tie-up with Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corp (IRCTC). That’s nearly 92% higher on a year-to-date (YTD) basis, while its current market capitalisation stands at INR 98,004 Cr ($11.7 Bn). As per Statista, the annual railway passenger traffic in the country hovered around the 352 Cr mark in FY22. This offers a very lucrative opportunity for Zomato, even if a fraction of the total travellers pre-order meals on the foodtech platform.

The new service comes at a time when the food delivery app has been rapidly launching new offerings while scaling up efforts to shore up profitability. Earlier this month, the Deepinder Goyal-led startup ventured into the logistics space by launching a quick delivery service for merchants. In Q1 FY24, Zomato reported its maiden profitable quarter. It posted a profit after tax (PAT) of INR 2 Cr, against a net loss of INR 186 Cr in Q1 FY23. Meanwhile, revenues from operations jumped to INR 2,416 Cr in the quarter ended June 2023 compared to INR 1,413.9 Cr in Q1 FY23.

Recently, Zomato also announced the timeline for its upcoming food and live entertainment festival Zomaland, which will commence on November 4, 2023, and will be spread across eight cities, including Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru, among others. They recently shut down many of their overseas subsidiaries to focus their energies back on scaling up the Indian business. Alongside, the company has introduced artificial intelligence (AI) and imposed a platform fee of INR 2 to INR 3 platform fee to shore up its topline.

Food and travel definitely go hand-in-hand. What an exciting collaboration this is! One of the biggest food delivery companies ties up with the largest railway network. And the added festive touch to this partnership is a bonus.