Home delivery of food is probably one of the best things technology has gifted us. Hyderabad-based FoodHosts.in is a platform that offers food you cannot find in restaurants. Made by city-based home cooks, the dishes vary from regional specialities and Mediterranean cuisine to Continental and American.
Initiated in March 2021 with 15 cooks, the idea was to connect a select range of independent artisan cooks to food lovers. FoodHosts.in founder, 29-year-old Srujana Kanumuri, explains, “I want to offer home cooks a platform to showcase their skill. Food aggregators offer almost the same dishes. We are not just offering non-commercial food to diners, but also empowering home cooks to become foodpreneurs. We handle their operations while they work their magic in the kitchen. This has resulted in discovering several hidden gems among cooks and dishes.”
How to order
From the platform’s browser page, you can select dishes from the home cooks listed according to their speciality, mention your preferred delivery date (works on pre-order) and make your payment. The platform takes care of the pickup from the cooks and delivery to the customer.
Pre-order is mandatory as home cooks make the food in small batches. Currently, the platform has close to 30 home cooks.
Home cook Urmi Chakraborty (Chakraborty’s kitchen) says the platform has fulfilled her dream of being an entrepreneur. Even though the 58-year-old loves cooking and has been cooking on orders for a select group of friends, she did not know how to reach a bigger clientele. Urmi says, “This platform has helped me deliver food across Hyderabad and Secunderabad. More than the business, it is the love that pours in from customers that makes me the happiest. I have repeat customers for typical Bengali dishes such as macher kalia, patishapta, kach kolar kofta and basanti pulao and a lot more.
Talking about what made her start Foodhost, Srujana says, “I was working in business marketing in Canada. On moving back to India at the end of 2020, I wanted to do something on my own and I saw the void in the organised platform for home cooks. It took me a couple of months to identify home cooks and bring them on board. The most important criterion for this was to list people who offer food that is not available in the commercial space and do small batch-cooking and stay professional,” she adds.
Drawbacks? Being home cooks, they usually have to work with a limited number of orders. “We cannot force anyone to scale up because when they sign up, we do not give them an assurance of a number of daily orders. Plus when they go on vacations, like other food aggregators we too mention ‘unserviceable currently’,” explains Srujana.
Each home cook has a name for their kitchen, some go by their own names.
Roshni and her husband Errol Nathan joined the community in 2021 as ‘The Kitchen Table’. Roshni says it is nice to get feedback and joy that people express through their messages on the platform. “Having worked in the F&B industry for over a decade, I always encountered people who look for something special and different Restaurants have certain restrictions because they have to go by a menu. These restrictions ease up with a platform like Foodhosts, which offers multiple choices of non-commercial cuisines through home cooks.” The Nathans specialise in Goan, Mangalorean, Anglo-Indian and Continental cuisines.
Srujana says they are yet to reach out to the outskirts of the city where the delivery services are still not in place.