Innovative transformation of the RestaurantTech
“I have seen that technology has contributed to improved communication, that it’s contributed to better health care, that it’s contributed to better food supplies, that it has contributed to all the basic human needs.”
Why, with the advent of a new digital era, when the introduction of technologies and innovations, in other words, digitalization, has already become the new norm, will the food and beverage industry remain outside the necessary transformation?
Today, technological innovation allows us to expand and reshape any business and niche capabilities, and the restaurant industry is no exception. Digital solutions serve owners and managers of restaurants to design, set up, and manage their businesses.
Innovative digital solutions are revolutionizing the F&B industry and helping to identify operational gaps. Experts argue that over 85% of restaurant owners have already implemented technical solutions to manage their day-to-day operations. So, if you are not standing in the way of adopting new tools in your food business, you might have already drowned.
Consumer lifestyles and preferences are rapidly developing and changing, mainly because of digitalization, globalization, and the widespread Internet adoption and artificial intelligence. Technical innovations, in principle, change and affect all aspects of our daily life, which leads to a logical decision – the food and beverage industry must undergo significant changes and keep up with the times.
According to today’s interviewee, digitalization of your restaurant business is a fundamental and urgent step to reduce operational inefficiencies and increase your revenues.
We conducted a fascinating interview with the Сo-founder of the startup Foodetective – Andrea Tassistro. He shared with us his opinion on the industry’s current situation and how their Unified API can help the restaurant business move to digitalization and fully experience the benefits of technological innovation, increasing efficiency and speeding up your daily processes.
“We make restaurants’ lives much easier,” states Foodetective. We went through the company’s social networks and found out the following: “Foodetective is a cloud-based, aggregator and multi-channel commerce platform designed for large and medium-sized F&B businesses.”
But to acquaint you with the company’s activities in more detail, we asked Andrea to share his definition of Foodetective with us and where the startup’s name came from.
“Foodetective is a unified API for the F&B industry,” claimed our interviewee. Then he revealed to us the essence of the startup’s name. As Andrea explained, they had two reasons to name the company Foodetective.
“The first reason is the user side,” stated our interviewee. He explained his answer by sharing with us the following: “We have ambassadors of the platform whom we call detectives. They go out, test the restaurants worldwide, and create content that we share on the platform.”
Further, he shared with us another reason: “The other side is business. While I worked in the industry, namely in restaurants, what I learned or “detected” is how fragmented data is across systems. We have detected a challenge for the F&B industry and are building a product to solve this.”
A solution for a problem
Brian Chesky, the co-founder of Airbnb, once said, “If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You have to find the solution for a problem.”
We can safely attribute this phrase to the situation of our interviewee and his history of creating the startup Foodetective. We, of course, decided to learn a bit more about where his idea to create a platform for RestaurantTech came from and how Andrea came up with the idea to develop a Unified API for the F&B Industry.
“Since university, I have worked in the food industry, particularly in British and Swiss restaurants,” Andrea started his story. He continued and highlighted the following: “What I’ve learned is the fact that RestaurantTech is truly decentralized. Restaurants have no single tool to manage absolutely everything from one platform. So, I created such an easy-to-use solution for the food and beverage industry.”
True! A passion for technology can open up an entire world of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. During the interview and our conversation with Andrea, we discovered Foodetective is not our interviewee’s first startup.
“Yes, I am not a first-time founder,” said Andrea. He clarified: “Before Foodetective, I launched two startups, particularly a digitized restaurant chain called The Green Van Company and a food delivery service – Let’s Brunch.”
“I realized restaurants need a product to simplify work and increase the efficiency of operational processes. So, I created such an easy-to-use solution for the food and beverage industry.”
A startup from scratch
So you have a great business idea. What’s next? Often already at this stage, the founders have a question, where to get resources to implement their plans? Suppose you are planning to launch a tech startup. In that case, you need to attract the attention of venture capital funds or business angels. However, if you cannot find an investor, how can you start a business from scratch?
We, of course, asked our interviewee where they found funding to launch Foodetective. Andrea’s answer was the shortest in the history of our blog: “We did this with the help of family and friends.”
A significant benefit
Technology continues to develop, and business along with it, so the demand for top-notch software developers remains higher than ever. Tech startups and companies are becoming more specialized, but having their own “tech gurus” team is not always possible, forcing many to look for remote employees. Fortunately, we live in an era when finding a remote developer is achievable if you know where to look.
As a worldwide software engineering service company and proven staffing provider, Orange Sputnik indeed asked Andrea’s opinion and wondered how they developed software for Foodetective.
“We started with one CTO and a remote team of developers,” said our interviewee. He continued his answer by sharing with us the following: “But even though we decided that we need an in-house team, we still have remote employees, which is of significant benefit.”
We asked Andrea where they found their remote staff. “In terms of geography, most of our remote developers are from southwestern Europe,” said the Co-founder of Foodetective.
“But even though we decided that we need an in-house team, we still have remote employees, which is of significant benefit.”
With finding clients, many entrepreneurs lean towards easy opportunities. Indeed, some methods of attracting customers are too easy to refuse – PPC, content for blogs, etc. Most startups do not realize that other tactics are costly and time-consuming but yield incredible results.
After discussing with Andrea the main direction of the company’s activity and the startup development’s financial and technical side, we moved on to the next part of our interview. We asked our interviewee to tell us about their business model and clients.
“We are focused on B2B,” stated the Co-founder of Foodetective. He continued: “As for the geography of clients, we have no restrictions in terms of where they operate. We particularly have offices in Paris and Geneva.”
Naturally, we became curious about how Foodetective finds and attracts its customers. Andrea happily answered our question and said the following: “We use digital marketing and affiliate partnerships with strategic partners.”
To end the customer topic, we asked if Andrea remembers Foodetective’s first customer. His story once again reminded us how crucial it is to have business contacts when you are just starting your startup.
Our interviewee stated: “It was a restaurant in Geneva. We were fortunate because the owner of this place is a friend of mine. Thus, we had a chance to work directly with a manager, test our platform, solve some tech issues, improve and update our solution.”
All about people
While discussing the startup with Andrea, we became curious about who is behind the platform’s success. We asked our interviewee to give a brief description of the Foodetective team.
“The Foodetective team is twenty-six passionate people, focused and resilient specialists who are eager to help restaurant business to grow and flourish,” proudly stated our interviewee.
Let’s be honest, startups don’t succeed because of a revolutionary idea. It’s all about people because only a competent team with a shared vision and goals can help you achieve an excellent result.
The best time for a startup to exist
As we have already understood from our conversation with the Co-founder of Foodetective, the restaurant business must undergo a technological transformation to stay afloat. However, we still asked Andrea why, in his opinion, now is the best time to launch and develop their platform?
Without thinking, our interviewee singled out not even one but two reasons. He said the following: “I think it’s the best time because restaurants that are not ready for digitalization will not stand the competition. Another reason is that there is a tremendous shift in the business model in this industry, in general.”
Given the current situation on the global stage, we can safely argue that the restaurant industry has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. But even though we cannot predict the future of this industry, those businesses that have adopted or are in the process of adapting to the technological revolution will be able to survive and cope with the consequences of restrictions.
“I think it’s the best time because restaurants that are not ready for digitalization will not stand the competition.”
The motivation to go forward
Continuing the topic, we asked Andrea a personal question and wondered about his motivation and traction to develop a startup.
“Somehow, Foodetective seemed so impossible in the beginning, so making it happen drives the motivation to go forward,” confessed our interviewee. He also added the following, giving us to understand that his motivation and traction are based not only on personal ambitions and current results: “The RestaurantTech industry is one of the few that has remained untouched by technology and digitalization. Therefore, it needs change, revolutionary innovation, automation, and process optimization. This is what we do at Foodetective.”
Some companies consider digital transformation to be an expensive and unnecessary change. However, the RestaurantTech industry cannot continue to ignore the digital age. This is an opportunity for them to change the business as a whole, opening up endless opportunities for growth and profit.
As Pierre Nanterme said: “Digital is the main reason just over half of the Fortune 500 companies have disappeared since the year 2000.”
“The ResturantTech industry is one of the few that has remained untouched by technology and digitalization. Therefore, it needs change, revolutionary innovation, automation, and process optimization.”
The only essential thing for any startup
Paul Graham once said: “A startup is a company designed to grow fast. The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth.”
And, of course, it isn’t easy to disagree with this statement. Growth and plans are essential aspects of the development of any startup. Therefore, we naturally asked Andrea about how they plan to develop Foodetective in the future.
“We will grow globally and sell our solution all over the world,” stated the Co-founder of Foodetective. He added: “Currently, we plan to open more offices in the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, among others.”
Threats and challenges for Foodetective
One of the last questions we asked Andrea was about threats and challenges for the Foodetective startup.
Our interviewee honestly said: “I think the general situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest threat for us at the moment. If you mean competition, I can say that we are not scared of competitors for a reason. In the end, we would work together or make a partnership,” stated Andrea.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant blow to the restaurant business but has become a big push for the RestaurantTech industry and a shift in digital transformation.
“I think the general situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest threat for us at the moment.”
Advice for young startup founders
At the end of today’s interview, we asked Andrea for advice to a young generation of entrepreneurs who are just planning to launch a startup.
He gladly shared some of his life principles with us: “Being an entrepreneur is a matter of solving problems, 24/7, always. So no matter what everyone says, keep trying and moving forward.” In the end, he highlighted: “Never surround yourself with people who don’t believe in you.”
“Never surround yourself with people who don’t believe in you.”
As we’ve said time and again, innovations intend to revolutionize the business, and the food and beverage sector is no exception. The development of AI, data analytics, the Internet of Things, and blockchain is paramount for supply chain management, business-to-business transactions, and event marketing programs.
The restaurant industry is fiercely competitive. Therefore, restaurant entrepreneurs must change their business model and implement modern innovative solutions that can expand their business and allow them to stay ahead of the competition.
The transition to digital technologies opens up tremendous opportunities for increasing the efficiency of your restaurant business and can help bring it to a new operational and managerial standard, which is especially important in the current situation in a global arena.
The Unified Platform for the F&B industry Foodetective developed by our interviewee allows businesses to “click and connect” to their preferred services and software and manage all of these from a single platform. Through the business’s personal dashboard, one can now track performance, reduce inefficiencies and optimize processes.