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Isthara Smart Food Court expands its presence to 40 Food Courts in India

Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 11:30 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

Isthara, India’s premium Smart Food Court pioneer and co-living brand has expanded its smart food court presence in the country with the launch of its 40th smart food court in Hyderabad, taking the total tally of the smart food courts seats of the company to 10000 in the country. The new smart food court was launched in the Technology Research Park of IIT Hyderabad, which was inaugurated by Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.


Isthara has been reinventing conventional institutional food courts by pioneering tech-enabled processes in cafeterias across educational institutions and workplaces. Through these first-of-its-kind smart food courts, Isthara assumes the role of a food-tech partner and vendor aggregator to help educational institutes and corporates to digitize their food courts for more efficient management.


Founded in 2017, Isthara has been revolutionizing the co-living segment operating over 24,000 beds across Hyderabad, Bengaluru, NCR and Chennai. In 2020, the company launched the smart food court business, and signed up 50 food courts across Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, catering to over 200,000 people. Placing tech at the core of its business, these smart food courts operate a multi-cuisine, multi-vendor aggregator format to provide people a variety of food options. In the wake of the pandemic, Isthara food courts are leveraging food tech to set new standards in food safety, quality, service and choice for urban millennials, thereby redefining the cafeteria experience. In the next 3 years, Isthara aims to scale to 150,000 seats in the segment catering to over 2 million people.

Through Isthara’s unique smart food courts, the company aims to revolutionize the traditional institutional cafeteria experience by offering:

  • Large vendor ecosystem for variety of cuisines; unique pop-up stores
  • Curated food experience basis demographic preferences
  • Quality control- FSSAI standard quality checks, SOPs, audit reports and tracking
  • Contactless dining and payment options- Tech-enabled with Mobile App, POS, Mobile payments
  • Management and financial visibility- MIS dashboards available for institutions for daily review, SKU level information for better inventory management, food court trends/insights
  • Better customer experience through floor managers and trained maintenance and housekeeping team
  • Better revenue yield for the colleges / corporates by optimizing the food court space
The unorganized cafeterias, which were a pain point for educational institutions and workplaces since the pandemic, is today a unique proposition due to the unique SOP driven food-tech platform introduced through Isthara smart food courts.  Additionally, through the multi-vendor format, the smart food courts are also enabling budding F&B entrepreneurs to scale, and set new standards in the underserved institutional cafeteria dining segment.


Speaking on the expansion, Gilbert James, Co-founder, Isthara, said, “We are excited to expand our presence in the country as we continue our endeavour to bring about a world-class digitally-defined cafeteria experience that caters to the evolving millennial needs. For years, educational institutions and workplaces have been operating cafeterias with limited food options, minimal hygiene practices and no service emphasis. Since the pandemic, the gap has been even more evident from a safety and hygiene standpoint. With a unique proposition focused on curating exceptional food experiences, Isthara smart food courts are well-positioned to address this gap and solve the most basic issue of food, for the urban millennials of today. Through tech-enabled and standardized processes, we aim to provide efficient end-to-end operational support and completely transform the highly fragmented institutional food-tech segment. With safety and hygiene set to be key factors even in a post-pandemic ecosystem, this disruptive platform is set to not only revolutionize the institutional cafeteria segment, but will also drive continued innovations in the food-tech sector that is rapidly growing in the country.”


In the urban living space segment, Isthara offers services across co-living and student living segments. Through its co-living spaces, Isthara provides fully-furnished shared-living accommodation for working professionals and students, with a host of amenities paired with premium features, along with a convenient and enriching shared community living experience. In September 2021, Isthara raised a fresh round of funding from existing investors JM Financial Private Equity, along with Dubai-based Eagle Proprietary Investments and a few family offices. Recently, the company acquired software product engineering firm, ‘Letsmobility’ to enhance tech solutions in the co-living and food-tech verticals.


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