Food Card

We are waking up to a plastic ban – no plastic carry bag, no straws, no stirrer – yet we have no issue with using plastic money.

Well I am past the credit and debit cards – cannot imagine a life without them.  We do have smarter ways – via mobile payment options, alongside using our smartphones for ATM: Mobile For ATM . However,  it would be quite some time, before these are easily available in India.

In past couple of years , we had also witnessed a surge in the usage of shopping cards and gift cards.

And as if these were not enough, we now have so-called “Food Cards”.

Experienced this first at DLF Mall, Saket , New Delhi.  Was amused for sure, but didn’t give it too much of a thought –  may be I was quite hungry and tired.

In Bangalore, as far as my journey goes, VR mall is the first to introduce these in its food court.

What exactly is a Food Card : it’s just like your debit card, but used for gastronomical transactions.

Henceforth, all my references and observations will be around VR’s Food Box.

Terms and Conditions of same are thus:


Pretty simple, isn’t .

In a nutshell, buy the card , recharge with > 100 INR, eat main course, recharge again, enjoy desserts, forget to redeem,  let them reap the benefits of the interest earned.

It’s not like I am totally against their usage, what I didn’t like was the implementation.

As soon as you recharge, there is an SMS greeting you with the remaining balance. However, there is none once you use it.  Hence, either you need to rely on your mathematical skills or be patient to be told by the counter guy, that you don’t have sufficient balance to buy your ginger tea.  What next, you either need to queue up or use their android app to recharge. Being an iPhone user, I was left with no option, but to stand in the queue for a cup of tea. The experience was okay, since the crowd is distributed across three counters and the guy behind was more than happy to hand over the change. Am not sure, if the app tells me the remaining balance. I don’t remember the name and if I search Food Box on play store, there are no results. Another bummer.

Apart from the balance info, I would prefer an automated way of intimating card owners, once the order is ready.  This would save a lot of time both for the sellers and consumers.

This card also denies you the luxury of load distribution.  In a gang of 5, am sure you would not buy 5 cards.  And GOD forbid, if each one of you try a different cuisine,  you can well imagine the chaos it would entail. ” I need one aalu paratha, I need a biryani, I need humus , I am good with only coke…” “Fast dude, why are taking so much time”, “Sorry sir, the bill is 300/ you have only 284”.  And you are bound to loose your cool.

As for pros : It might be useful if you need to centralize the transactions : Give it to the nanny to oversee kid’s bday celebrations.

In additon, it also saves us,  from the hassle of fishing out wallets at every outlet, and the stall owners from tendering exact change.

All said and done, as for now, I need to live with stuffing two cards in the same slot, as my wallet has space only for 5.

And like several other things, finally I’ll get used to it and stop cribbing.

One Comment Add yours

  1. I dislike the concept of a food card. When you want to watch a movie, and you’re running late, and there is a long queue, and you need to stand in the queue for refilling, it gets on my nerves. Anyways, my husband calculates everything, so we load the foodcard, and when we are done, 0 balance.


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