The future of the restaurant business is shaping rapidly. With each passing year, exponential technologies like artificial intelligence become more widely used in the food and beverage industry, bringing a wave of disruption.
Thanks to these advancements restaurants are starting to integrate technology into their experience – and customers absolutely adore it. By being proactive and utilising the right technological enhancements, restaurants can deliver a superior customer experience, retaining and winning new customers in the process. There are many reasons for restaurants to adopt technology including enhancing customer satisfaction, improving operations and cutting costs.
RestApp is a startup disrupting the space with a new generation sales, automation and loyalty system developed with 30 years of experience that meets all operational needs of single branch or chain businesses.
The team at RestApp believes that restaurants can only succeed if they give all their concentration on their food and services. In order to help restaurants achieve this focus, RestApp has developed an easy-to-use sales system, marketing tools, loyalty programs, cost and stock management, online ordering system and mobile applications.
This week we caught up with Oytun Oztumer, the Founder of Restapp to discuss how they enable businesses to use the latest and most advanced technologies in the industry at a lower cost.
The startup at a glance
Startup Name: RestApp
Industry: Food & Beverage
Location: London, UK
Date founded: 2018
Number of employees: 25
Vonage API used: Verify, Voice, SMS
In one sentence, what does RestApp do
RestApp offers online ordering platforms and cloud based sales automation for restaurants.
What is the problem you are solving? Was this the initial problem or did you pivot?
RestApp was born from a common problem at restaurants “waiting for a waiter to order something, or losing too much time on waiting for the bill before leaving the place”.
The initial version was addressed to solve that problem, a digital menu that opens after scanning a simple QR code. You can check the menu, place an order and pay the bill from it, even split the bill digitally between your friends.
Saves time for guests and increases orders for restaurants.
Guests were so eager to place orders easily from their smartphones, and pay their bills. They loved the experience but restaurants were having a hard time. They couldn’t deliver their orders on time and keep an eye on the paid bills. Because RestApp’s dashboard was running on another screen, on a different tablet next to their POS system. They had to enter all orders into their POS systems manually. Not so efficient.
We had to be integrated with their POS systems, but where to start? There are thousands of different systems. And almost 95% of those were on-premise offline systems. So we decided to create our own cloud based POS system and built a new team for that. Our EPOS was designed to be fully integrated with other RestApp products and also other online ordering marketplaces, so restaurants won’t have to keep an eye on so many different screens or platforms.
We also added an online ordering feature for delivery and pick up orders, so restaurants won’t have to pay commissions to get orders from their own customers, and increased their customer engagement.
RestApp was initially a digital menu for restaurants, beaches and hotels at the beginning. Now it has pivoted to an omnichannel platform for restaurants and all kinds of food & beverage businesses & markets.
What differentiates RestApp from your competitors? Is there a secret sauce?
Well, that's an easy one. Focus and simplicity.
“Focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs, Interview with Business Week (1998)
Our focus made RestApp one of the most stable ordering platforms in the market, and simplicity made it one of the most loved ones by customers. These are two main things that differentiate us from our competitors.
VC, Angel, Bootstrap or Other?
RestApp is a self-funded startup.
What’s the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
Different cultures, different customer behaviours, and different laws in different countries. We overcame this by making almost everything incredibly flexible on any part of our platform.
The biggest mistake RestApp has made so far and what did you learn from it?
This will be a boring answer but RestApp is our latest startup after so many different tech startups in +15 years. We made some big mistakes before, so learning from our past mistakes made things easier for RestApp. We are still making mistakes, and learning from them but nothing too fancy to write about, - yet.
You can choose one to be on your board: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. Who do you choose and why?
Definitely Jeff Bezos. He has had more free time lately :)
How have you been using Vonage’s APIs?
We are using Verify, SMS and Voice API’s. RestApp makes automated calls with Vonage Voice to restaurant staff if they have an order which is late for approval. And let customers know about their order status when it's confirmed, or that it's on the way with the SMS API. So we reduced the rate of hangry customers. (It happens when hungry customers become angry.)\ \ Vonage Voice API’s Text-to-Speech feature with different localizations makes our work so much easier by making calls with almost any language, no need to record, edit, upload so many different voice files.
But those were starters. We will be working on Vonage Conversation API for some new great features to offer our customers and their users soon.
What progress have you made since launching?
We released RestApp after a long development and testing period and expanded to 8 different countries with happy customers.
What’s next for RestApp? Where do you want to be in 3 years?
We are working on expansion into new countries, and hoping to have more users in more regions in 3 years.
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