Wittenborg MBA Student Designs App to Reduce Waiting Times in Restaurants
Wittenborg MBA student, Dilip Ram Vatty, has co-designed a mobile application which aims to eliminate the queuing problems customers face in restaurants – whether in a fine-dining restaurant or in a fast-food place. He is doing an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Vatty says the app – which is called "Fridden" – can also save restaurant owners between €15,000 and €20,000 a year in human resources costs. It has already got restaurateurs from Holland to Barcelona interested. The co-founders of Fridden are Himesh Bharat (tech lead), Krishna Kanth (CEO) and Harshavardhan Putluru (tech associate).
So how does it work? Vatty explains: “When customers enter a restaurant they can take a seat and order food from their mobile phones, using the app. They can also re-order food without the pain of standing in a queue. That means restaurants will be able to process more orders, and human resources can be employed in more productive jobs. We want to reach 500 restaurants within three to four months.
“The app also allows tourists or expats who find themselves in a foreign country, to convert menus into the language of their choice. Fridden can also be used as a platform for restaurants to identify and retain almost every customer who visits. Our research has shown that identifying customers and retaining them will increase sales by about 25%. Restaurants can send offers straight to an offers box in the app. Customers will, therefore, be able to find offers and discounts in their app offers box, based on their previous history and time spent in the restaurant. Parking money in the app is also possible, which makes it easier for customers to pay.”
What about protecting the privacy of users? “If they do not want to be contacted, they can also tweak the privacy settings and opt not to receive notifications.
“Users can even use the app to order food from buffet/restaurant cars in trains operating in Europe! This will save you the trouble of having to move to the restaurant car and risk the safety of your luggage left behind or spilling food due to transport turbulence. In addition, you only need to sign-up once for the app.”
According to Vatty, he hit upon the idea when he was standing in a long McDonald's queue in Paris. Before coming to study at Wittenborg in 2017, he did a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Process Engineer in India, where he hails from. He chose the Netherlands because of the ease it offers in doing business, it is start-up friendly and the operating complexity is low.
Fridden is working with Launch Café, an award-winning start-up center in Groningen, which facilitates innovative start-ups in the Netherlands. “Launch cafe is backed by the Dutch ministry of economic affairs and recognised by the IND (immigration services) to support international startups. This startup facilitator is authorised by the Dutch Government to raise residence permits for my team if necessary. However, my core team members required for startup are European citizens, and my tech team will be here at a much later stage.”
Vatty says students are welcome to contact him if they are looking for internships. “I am looking for students who are interested in marketing, campaigning, operations, documentation and finance.” His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Anesca Smith