With iconic brands like SOCIAL, Smoke House Deli, and more, Impresario Handmade Restaurants have partnered with Mumbai’s dabbawalas to brave the storm together. 

In a first-of-its-kind pilot project, Impresario Handmade Restaurants is employing several dabbawalas in Mumbai who will service direct delivery orders received on Impresario’s tech-enabled platforms for brands like SOCIAL, Smoke House Deli, and Salt Water Cafe. Orders from these restaurants in the Lower Parel, Bandra (West), and BKC areas will be fulfilled by Mumbai’s dabbawalas starting this week. The association will roll out in phases over the next few months, each employing more dabbawalas and further strengthening the partnership.

Mumbai’s dabbawalas

While restaurants have been devastated by the lockdowns and subsequent drops in revenue over the past year, Mumbai’s dabbawalas have been tragically out of jobs thanks to office closures and suspended railway travel, leading to tiffin services becoming a thing of the past. As the original backbones of Mumbai’s food delivery system, both entities have now come together. They are forming a symbiotic partnership to empower and enable each other over the next few months.

Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants says, “Mumbai’s dabbawalas are the backbone of the city. Partnering with them to weather the second wave is the best thing we can do for each other. Ordering directly from restaurants (and not through aggregators) empowers us to have direct relationships with our customers. It saves on prohibitive commissions. We are then able to pass these savings on to our customers and allow them to benefit from ordering directly. Now, ordering directly is also helping to provide employment to our dabbawalas, who’ve lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic. We need to support each other through, and this is Impresario’s way of meaningfully extending a helping hand. We’re hopeful that this association will trigger the rest of the hospitality industry to employ them too.”

Mumbai’s dabbawalas

Impresario will be using its kitchens to service the local community by launching a subscription-based meal service in Mumbai shortly. It will bring healthy home-cooked food right to your doorstep. The meals will be nutritious and packed with signature flavours, and delivered by the dabbawalas. The Ghar Ka Khana subscription meal packages from SOCIAL start at INR 6000++ per month. It will be available across Khar, Vikhroli, Versova, and Lower Parel starting from 24th May 2021.

Ulhas Muke, President, Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust – part of the Mumbai Dabbawala Association – says, “When the first lockdown hit, it was the toughest time we’ve ever faced; our members were left with little to no money in their bank accounts. Although there are many restaurants and hotel chains in our city, we’ve only catered to office-goers at their workplace in the past. Now that work from home has become the norm, it’s important to go where the customer is. We’re delighted to partner with Impresario Handmade Restaurants to help customers get fresh and delicious food delivered at home. We will provide Impresario and its customers with our unmatched efficiency, trust, and service. We’re sure the people of Mumbai will support us in this endeavour.”

Also Read: Here is a list of NGOs and organizations providing food relief to people during the COVID-19 crisis!

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