A big customised van arrives in the parking lot outside the house. Based on your order, a team of chefs, ensconced within the closed vehicle, are busy finishing off the pizza. Once done, the order is delivered from the mobile kitchen to your doorstep in a matter of seconds. This unique F&B brand, My Love Triangle, ought not to be confused with a food truck, which parks itself in a neighbourhood for days, and then caters to orders from people in the vicinity. Rather, this particular brand, powered by Foodtech Ventures, allows food to be cooked while being delivered anywhere in Gurugram.
The roots of the brand lie in founder-CEO Ashutosh Mahendru’s personal enthusiasm for food. “I eat out a lot and almost order in on a daily basis. But no matter how expensive the restaurant or what the cuisine, once the food gets delivered, it seems to have lost its soul. The long delivery time and the packaging seems to have killed it,” he says. This led Ashutosh to think of ways to enhance the experience. “Cooking on the move is a crazy idea. No one seemed to have done it before, and it would solve this problem completely,” he adds. Ashutosh started with pizza, as it was the dish he would order the most.
Ashutosh asked his acquaintances a simple question: would you like your pizza 30 minutes or 30 seconds out of the kitchen? A majority of people voted for the latter. And thus he started My Love Triangle just before covid-19 hit in 2020. But the pandemic made it difficult to put the logistics together remotely. “We managed somehow. And it’s heartening to see that the brand is helping people enjoy a great meal during these difficult times. However, its true potential lies beyond the pandemic,” says Ashutosh, who doesn’t hail from the F&B space. He has worked in quite a few industries before this—maintenance, repair and operations, and industrial chemicals, to name a few. However, he feels that most disruptors hail from outside the industry. And in a space so competitive, one can succeed only on the basis of a compelling idea.
My Love Triangle launched last month in Gurugram with two mobile kitchens. However, Ashutosh will be launching eight more vans in the coming weeks, before expanding to other major metros. It is not just the novelty of the experience that appeals to consumers, but other details such as terracotta packaging instead of regular pizza boxes as well. “We work around five touch points: the ease of ordering on the website, which we are not happy with and are fixing; the van that drives into your yard; the person who comes up to deliver it; the packaging and finally the product,” elaborates Ashutosh. Besides generating employment for artisans, who create the earthenware, there is a functional element to the packaging: it keeps the food warmer and can be reused by the customers. The menu includes a selection of Neapolitan pizzas such as Formaggi, Bianca Royale and Burrata, besides a range of sides, antipasti and dessert pizzas.
The facility is based in DLF-Phase 2 in Gurugram. There, he created a bio bubble for the team. The members would head out only for deliveries, while following strict protocols. He invested in UV lights, ozone generators, PPE kits, and more, to keep the safety standards high. While the initial investment was made by Ashutosh himself, it was because of the continuous endorsement and financial backing from few initial investors, such as Ashish Saxena, that the idea could be converted to reality. And now an angel investment cohort, with names from Singapore, India, Dubai and Taiwan, are supporting the venture. “The response from the customers has been overwhelming, and thus this cohort is now growing,” he adds.