South Asian food market quickly connects to home chef platform

Diving brief:

  • South Asian online food marketplace Quicklly announced in a marketing email in late June a partnership with Shef, a home-cooked food platform, including Indian and Bangaldeshi cuisine. Quicklly customers in the Chicago, New York and San Francisco Bay Area metro areas can now place scheduled food orders with Shef.
  • For Quicklly, teaming up with Shef helps it fill a gap in its food offering, Quicklly co-founder Keval Raj said in an interview. South Asian cuisine is a big market for Shef, and the partnership allows Shef to expand its customer base while giving its chefs access to groceries from Quicklly, Raj said.
  • Separately, Quicklly recently announced a Food Affiliate Program where “Brand Ambassadors” can earn commissions for posting their Quicklly orders on social media with a unique referral code.

Overview of the dive:

Home-cooked meals are the final frontier for Quicklly as it seeks to meet demands for South Asian cuisine. The partnership with Shef furthers Quicklly’s diversification of its offerings, which include in-home dining and pantry offerings, same-day food delivery, and catering service.

Since its inception in 2017, Quicklly has grown from delivering restaurants and other local businesses in its market to offering services nationwide. In February, Quicklly announced that it had partnered with Instacart to sell meals-on-wheels deals.

Raj said Shef’s home-cooked meals are most similar to Quicklly’s home-cooked tiffins service, which provides smaller portions of simple meals or snacks. Raj sees the Shef partnership as filling a gap instead of creating competition with companies already working with Quicklly.

The partnership also marks the latest cross-platform collaboration for the startup, which has a similar marketplace model to Instacart that connects customers with local businesses. While startups usually end up competing or acquiring each other, Raj said Quicklly is looking to scale its business through mutually beneficial ties, like its deals with Shef and Instacart, and intends to continue to seek opportunities. platform-to-platform collaborations.

Hot on the heels of the Instacart merger, Quicklly saw demand soar, with around 5,000 orders in four days, Raj said, noting that the partnership gave Quicklly greater visibility outside of its mainly southern customer base. Asian. Quicklly has “underestimated” the popularity of South Asian food beyond its target customers and expects the Shef partnership, like its work with Instacart, to help diversify its dining customer base, said Raj.

In other recent efforts to diversify its offerings, Quicklly added Alphonso mangoes to its market in May and in June made boxes of desserts from Mithaas Snacks, Drinks and Sweets, a store in Little India in central New Jersey, available nationwide for one-time purchases or subscription packages.

People who sign up for Quicklly’s Brand Ambassador Program earn a 10% commission of up to $6,000 per year. They also discover new product offerings from Quicklly and some offers before others. Quicklly said in the announcement that anyone can join, regardless of the size of their social networks and whether they have already purchased Quicklly or not, and are provided with visuals for them to use in their posts. Brand ambassadors don’t need to buy Quicklly meals or products to post about them, Raj said.

People who use the referral codes will get 10% off their Quicklly order.

The brand ambassador initiative helps Quicklly lower its customer acquisition costs and encourages more people – existing and new customers – to buy from the company, Raj said.

The referral program builds on Quicklly’s efforts to further engage its customers with monetization opportunities. Last summer, the company launched “Quicklly Masterchef” to allow people to submit recipes and receive a commission, in the form of cash or rewards points, for ingredients in their recipe that shoppers purchase. Raj said Quicklly is still revamping its Quicklly Masterchef offering and has more recipe plans in the works.

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