Our participation from June 7th to 9th at the Food and Hospitality World in Bengaluru was indeed an exciting experience. The first experience was quite knowledge enhancing and exciting. We had a lot to grasp and we did it just right! The opportunity to interact with more than 100 Food Industry Entrepreneurs, know their pain points and understand their expectations with a SaaS product was really worthy.
So, I would like to share my experience and knowledge, which may be fruitful and beneficial to the readers. Without further ado, let’s start-:
Basically, Food and Hospitality industry is divided into 3 broad categories:
- QSR (Quick Service Restaurants)
- Dine-in Restaurants
They all have their own specific needs towards a SaaS solution, so I’ll be taking a deep dive into the QSR industry by keeping SaaS product in consideration. For a SaaS product company, QSR industry can be easily bifurcated into three categories:
Without KOT (Kitchen Order Ticket), Decentralized Kitchen
This type of QSR industry comprises of limited menu items, where the customer pays in cash/card, in return gets a receipt and trades the receipt with food.
This industry typically uses a traditional cash register, which is a hardware built to print bills by way of using hotkeys and number codes, for each of the menu items.
- Fast, Easily Available in market
- Easy to use
- Price in INR 15,000 range
- 4–5 Years of life
- Huge demand in market
- Good network service
- Local Data
- Limited Storage
- Cannot integrate with mPOS / POS
- MIS not available
- Usually needs an external battery
Although it is tough to remove this legacy system entirely, yet I see a good opportunity in this space by introducing a smarter version. Many Chinese manufacturers are foreseeing disruption in this market with a combination of Android tablet and thermal printer in a similar form factor.
- Can run smart offline and online applications
- Light inbuilt battery
- Integrates with mPOS/ POS,
- MIS can be made available through apps.
- Slower than old cash registers
- Screen is prone to damage.
When we exhibited this device, surprisingly many customers were interested in buying this device, mainly due to the advantages of MIS and payment integration.
Furthermore, a company building a SaaS solution of this industry type must add following values in its offerings:
Simultaneously, business owners may also use the SaaS product on their mobile phone/tablet with a Printer and mPOS combination and get the most benefit out of it, effectively saving a good amount of money. These combinations interested the major mass, resulting in the largest population buildup at our booth.
With KOT (Kitchen Order Ticket), Decentralized Kitchen
This contains limited menu items, where the customer pays in cash/card, in return gets a receipt, KOT is raised in kitchen, the customer takes a seat and waits, then the customer is called to pick food from the counter.
Typically, these stores use some or the other SaaS product and hence are good prospects and will pay handsome money for a good SaaS solution. This industry uses robust hardware and spends a good amount of money on the hardware. Budget is not particularly a constraint here. A good solution has a good chance of winning.
We met many QSR chain owners hunting for a good solution with a simple KOT system. A company building a SaaS solution for this industry type must add the following values in its offering:
This brings us to the last segment —
With KOT (Kitchen Order Ticket), Centralized Kitchen
This industry is quite similar to the second type, with the only difference in how they manage their kitchens. Generally, using a Hub and Spoke model, the owners struggle with keeping a tab on their purchase and inventory and reported on pilferage issues. They expressed strong interests towards a solution that provides great inventory and recipe management solution. A SaaS company catering to such customer base should aim at providing following values in their solution:
Hence, this solution stands as the holy grail in the QSR industry. A company getting this correctly can attract many customers of various verticals, however, the market size remains small. We had a handful of visitors enquiring about a good inventory and recipe management system. Some industry experts claimed this feature to be the future of the QSR SaaS industry.
We had a fair share of fun at the event and I am looking forward to the September 2018 Edition in Hyderabad. If you happen to be a visitor or exhibitor, do drop by at our booth.