HungerBox Operations – Sailing through the Storm (2020 – 2022)

5 min read

The pandemic has definitely affected one and all. And we are no different. It is no hidden fact that the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry has been one of the most adversely impacted, in the last 2 years. During this tumultuous phase, adapting to the changing environment has been our guiding mantra throughout, and hence we moulded our digital café application and services to suit the need of the hour and enhance the delight we strive to provide, with each passing wave. The range of offerings were expanded to meet our client demands and expectations. Simultaneously, in order to safeguard the P&L of our vendor partners during these trying times, we also instituted mechanisms such as minimum guarantee (MG) orders, etc.

There have been various models and arrangements that we have curated and executed for our esteemed clients, during this prolonged pandemic period that has been interspersed with glimmers of hope after each Covid wave; only to be scuttled with the next deadly wave that followed. But our vendor partners have been rock solid, provided unstinted support and displayed immense will to deliver and offer services during this phase of business uncertainty. They have, and will forever be our pillar of strength. This never say die attitude combined with our agility on the technology front has resulted in HungerBox meeting all the requirements of clients, across the country.

During the initial months of the nation-wide lockdown in 2020, HungerBox was providing free food to the needy sections of the society in 7 major cities of India, under the ‘Feed my India’ umbrella programme. Parallelly, we started the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) model phase one with packed meal boxes being prepared at the vendor base kitchens, whilst adhering to the prevalent social distancing and Covid protocols, and being delivered to the client cafeterias. As the restrictions on protocols were being gradually lifted by the Govt bodies, the safe cafeteria experience started gaining traction and models such as tuck shops, bain-marie service, live counters and finally the in-house cooking got widely accepted, not only at corporate cafes, but also manufacturing sector, educational institutions, multi-tenant tech parks, healthcare establishments, etc.

The big learning for us, HungerBox as a team, during the two year pandemic period has been that adaptability and pre-empting needs of the clients goes a long way in ensuring growth and success. The company that is the market leader in B2B Food Tech and managing end to end services of India’s largest cafeterias of top-ranked clients, is bound to pave the way for a smooth employee RTO (return to office) programme. When it comes to cafeteria operations, there are a gamut of factors and aspects that are required to be closely monitored and seamlessly executed. Numerous inputs from our clients and vendor partners have been taken and incorporated in the HungerBox recommended cafeteria reopening plan.

According to statistics, approximately 60 percent of the vendors have withdrawn from the market and shut shop permanently in this period. Such has been the impact of pandemic on the F&B industry and food entrepreneurs. And hence, a huge royal salute to our warrior vendor partners who weathered the storm and have emerged ever more resilient today.

Last but not the least is the tremendous support and backing that we received from our clients in these tough times, that helped us tide over this crisis. I am sanguine that this spirit of oneness and strength from unity will stand us all in good stead for the wonderful journey ahead. Looking forward to times when our users are back to office, unwinding at the cafeterias over piping hot hearty meals.