Perhaps you don’t have the time to cook. Or you can’t stand the thought of having to clean up a sink full of dishes afterwards. Or you just want a break from having cooked all week. There are many reasons why people reach out for their favourite food delivery app – a business model that has seen fresh life injected into it since the start of the pandemic in March. But the decision often comes with a pang of guilt that ‘ordering in’ generally brings with the ring of that doorbell.
A brand-new Dubai app, launched last week, promises to put your worries to rest with a unique offering that’s probably a first in the country: affordable meals prepared by at-home chefs in your neighbourhood and served in 60 minutes. The Oven Market is all about connecting hungry customers with a “diverse network of home cooks and cuisines”.
Founder Ahmed Hawas says, “We are living in the era of tech. The pandemic made us realise that food delivery apps can become a helpful medium to many: for those who are confined in their homes and craving a homemade meal to home-cooks who are looking to make extra income and those whose livelihood entirely depends on the food industry.”
So far, about 130 chefs are on board with over 100 orders already delivered. To ensure a delivery time of under an hour, consumers will only be able to see chefs from their respective neighbourhoods on the app. Requests can be accommodated if you’re craving food from a home chef on the other end of town, although that would affect delivery times.
Registration for interested home chefs are open on a daily basis. However, not all chefs are released on the app immediately. “The vetting process takes about 24 hours,” says founder Ahmed Hawas. “There is an internal approval process which includes hygiene, food quality and food supply resources. We treat our chefs as restaurants to ensure our customers receive high quality food.”
Once the home chefs are approved and introduced onto the app in phases, they are further vetted on a weekly basis to “certify that all kitchen appliances, hygienic methods and food handling meet the UAE municipality’s safety policies.”
The app is a great opportunity for aspiring chefs looking for an audience and an additional source of income. For verified home chefs, their entire focus will be on creating authentic dishes, while the team at The Oven Market will assist with all the necessary promotional channels to ensure that chefs are well exposed to the community. They will also be given access to ingredients at discounted prices.
Currently available only in Dubai, the brand’s projected strategy includes growth in other UAE emirates in 2021, as well as an international expansion plan in Sweden, Kuwait and Saudi Arabic over the next three years.
It is available for download on Android and will become available on iOS in November.
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