HomeChef tastes success through Facebook
Order fresh and healthy dishes prepared with love and passion by home chefs across Karachi - this is the promise with which Uzair Anjarwalla launched HomeChef, an online catering business in 2015.
It coincided with a time of greater awareness of healthy eating and the benefits of home cooking. However, what really helped the business take off was its savvy use of Facebook to connect with the customers who mattered.
Understanding the profile of people who valued home-cooked meals and building an online community to support talented home cooks were at the core of HomeChef’s social strategy. “It was a no brainer because everyone was on Facebook and so it enabled seamless, effective communication within the platform,” said Shahryar Khan, Vice President Marketing at HomeChef.
“HomeChef allows me to work from home. Being a mother, a wife, a daughter-in-law, you can manage your daily domestic responsibilities and still earn an income,” said Chef Saira Adnan of Delightful Bites. “It's a growing industry, and there is significant potential. Catering from the house also has the benefit of cooking the same exciting meal for your family members too!”
Prior to the applications available on both the Android and iOS platforms, posts were made on Facebook every day. This aided the discovery of the service by more people and helped the business grow. HomeChef has delivered over 50,000 meals in Karachi and now plans to expand to other major cities like Lahore and Islamabad.
The food delivery tool allows customers to order delicious home-cooked style food, including daily specials and weekly orders that range from tempting fudge brownies to savoury dishes such as fragrant Bengan Aalu ki Sabzi.
In a competitive home food delivery market, HomeChef is proving that there is a huge demand in Pakistan for fresh, healthy cooking. The company also brings together chefs who are passionate about their mission to serve healthy meals. Think noodles in a delicious coconut curry brought to your door without the hassle of preparing and cooking the meal.
Before the rise of social media, companies would sometimes spend a huge chunk of their budget on advertising in newspapers or on billboards. Facebook and other social media platforms have transformed this ecosystem. They’ve also increased the likelihood of a business reaching the right consumer with their products.
This is something that HomeChef is keen on doing more of, said Khan, adding that the company is exploring the use of Facebook Groups to connect one-on-one with their customer base. “We look forward to using it to be able to have our users connect person to person, have discussions and really create a HomeChef-specific subculture and lifestyle,” he said.
This is also at the heart of Facebook’s commitment to helping Pakistani businesses grow by helping them connect to the customers who matter. Facebook continues to invest in Pakistan through programs such as SheMeansBusiness and the Facebook innovation lab in Lahore and have plans to launch such labs in Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. In addition, Facebook is supporting mentor startups through the FBStart program by investing over $1.6m in programs and services for these startups. This support is important as according to a 2016 estimate, only 3 per cent of the around 300-odd startups that emerge in the Pakistani market annually, go on to be successful.
For HomeChef, success has been a product of its promise of home-cooked food validated and celebrated by its community.
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