Placing orders for food were never so easy before Faasos, an Indian fast food chain, embraced Twitter as their online platform for ‘take-away’s. Started in 2003, Faasos provided the desi alternative to the young crowd of India in forms of freshly made wraps who were on the verge of boredom with only burgers or pizzas to choose from as their substitute home-away food. Since then, it has been one of a case in Indian Social Media studies where a food outlet opted for Twitter to take their online order on this platform.
It all started when two young Indians, based on London and Singapore were having a chat over alcohol. They were two souls, far from home, tired of travelling and working, craving for home food and of course, bored of eating burgers and hotdogs. Thus started “Fanatic Activism against Substandard Occidental Shit”- FAASOS! The founders had no idea about restaurants and food other than eating out! But they had immense knowledge about technology as they both were students of IIM. Both Jaydeep and Kallol knew that technology is the next big thing; the younger the crowd, the smarter the apps; gen-next will want everything on their fingertips, even ordering their food.
Within one hour of launching in October, 2010, Faasos managed to receive fifteen orders. It might not sound like a big deal but if we think about the number of followers those 15 people had, then it goes up to at least 1500. At one go, the new food chain got acknowledged and established by a handful of young customers. The method was simple; the customers had to just register themselves with Faasos in order to access it.
Let us look at the approach taken by the young leaders of Faasos. The whole process was to create awareness and increase sale at the same time of the new product. The customers tweet their orders @Faasos and use #FaasosNow hashtag with it. Now, what could be the reason which made the founders to go app-only? It was a wonderful but calculative step taken based on the foresight that in a country with 150 smart phone users, a mobile app to order food would be the most realistic approach to get in touch with the target crowd. Now after 10 years, the on-demand food delivery business has 75 stores in ten cities in India with 97% of their orders coming from mobile app! With time the number of smart phone users will only increase in number.
After conquering Pune and Mumbai with their mouth-watering wraps and successful twitter marketing, Faasos wanted to arrive at Bangalore, the most happening city in South. They invited their customers of Pune and Mumbai to tag one of their friends residing in Bangalore to whom Faasos will send a free wrap. This got a huge response from the existing customers as everybody loved the idea of giving a ‘giftaWrap’ to their friends.
Faasos also introduced interesting twitter campaigns for special occasions like Navarattri, Rakhi and very recently, Teacher’s Day. Like their smart and quirky website, Faasos’ tweets are also apt for the target crowd.
Let us also look at the how Faasos itself describe their wraps: “A chicken tikka, medium spicy wrap in whole wheat with no onions, extra cheese, no mayo, double egg, cut in half” – and you thought only cappuccinos were made to order.” They use the language now young Indians of metro cities speak. This also is one of the reasons of Faasos’ success- they knew how to relate to the youngistans.
Let us look at the success story of Faasos and try to analyze it.
- Inability to identify the target crowd: The most important part of starting a SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprise) is to be able to identify the target audience, viewer or the target crowd. Chalking out a plan after that is a much easy task. Faasos was able to do that wonderfully. They knew that even in (India) there would be a hoard of young crowd away from their own homes, just like themselves (the founders), craving for the taste of home cooked food. Faasos went for wraps, vegetarian or non-vegetarian dry sabji wrapped in flat breads (chapatti), a fast-food avatar of roti-sabji.
- Inability to identify the incoming social change: Another factor of Faasos’ success is the ability to foresee and adapt the upcoming change in society. Young Indians in tire 2 cities are becoming more and more aware of social media platforms on which Faasos based their venture. They opened a new page in the history of on demand food business with their tweet 2 order method.
- Immediate response: Reply was a must as said Jaydeep Barman in one of his interviews. Faasos responded to all of its customers immediately after receiving their orders. They also blended little personal touches to the responses which obviously made the customers happy and special.
- Personalized service: Faasos aimed to have a personalized data base of their customers so that they could respond to them with kind of food goes with their tastes. This has guaranteed the loyalty of the customers. They took tweet as a platform to experience the firsthand views of the customers.
The data-centric approach helped Faasos to locate the right set of customers during Navaratri (an important Hindu festival when people go veg, even avoiding eating food with onion and garlic in it).
With their three years data in hand Faasos sold over 1000 Navaratri combo meals everyday during that period when most of the restaurants remained idle.
- The #60forFree contest helped Faasos to identify their target customers in Bangalore with a minimal investment. It guaranteed confidence to the new set of customers as the brand was introduced through friends. People participated in huge numbers without the any hope of reward as they were forced to rethink and recollect their friends.
As they say in their website, Faasos might not like to brag about their success story. However, they indeed were brave to experiment with simple yet path breaking services in the field of on demand food delivery. When it comes to twitter marketing in this service, Faasos will be remembered as the pioneer who dared to lead the path.
Image Credits: socialsmurf.blogspot.in, Faasos, Faasos Twitter page