Yandex, Russia’s largest technology company, is starting a delivery service that will let customers request meals from restaurants even if they’re not on the menu, according to a report by Bloomberg.
In a twist on the traditional delivery model, Yandex will make meal kits with ingredients from a meal the customer requests, and then send it to a restaurant nearby for it to be cooked. Yandex will then take care of the delivery.
The company has recently been ramping up its delivery services in Russia. In 2017, it partnered with Uber’s Russian unit. The new endeavor is called a “cloud restaurant” service. It’s a mashup of Yandex.eats, which delivers from restaurants, and Yandex.chef, a service that provides meal kits for home cooking.
“Restaurants can expand their menu without additional expenses on food, marketing and delivery,” Yandex said in a statement, “even if nearby restaurants aren’t specialized in it.”
So far, the meals aren’t anything that a customer can think up, but more of a list of hundreds of popular meals from its food businesses. The dishes will be priced around 250 rubles ($3.86), and will be available in St. Petersburg and Moscow to start.
“Pizza and sushi remain popular for online delivery in Russia, while burgers are declining from the peak of their popularity,” Daniil Shuleyko, who heads Yandex’s food and taxi businesses, said in an interview. “Home-style and simple food is getting traction online — like borscht, meat cutlets with mashed potatoes and Hawaiian poke.”
Yandex is a huge company that started in the early 1990s, and it has many different offerings.
“Yandex is a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning. Our goal is to help consumers and businesses better navigate the online and offline world. Since 1997, we have delivered world-class, locally relevant search and information services,” the company said. “Additionally, we have developed market-leading on-demand transportation services, navigation products, and other mobile applications for millions of consumers across the globe. Yandex, which has 30 offices worldwide, has been listed on the NASDAQ since 2011.”