Digitising Resturaunt Management

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Digitising Resturaunt Management

Nepali companies still have a long way to go when it comes to making use of digital tools to optimise operations. That said, there are a few software companies that are taking steps to change things here. One such company is Danfe Solutions Pvt Ltd. 

Danfe's premier product, RestroOrder, is an integrated software system that provides a tablet-based restaurant management system and a listing service for restaurants to connect with their customers. A complete restaurant management system, RestroOrder is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software (programmes that optimise business management). "There are a lot of billing and inventory management systems in the market that simply digitise the billing and inventory management aspects of a restaurant. What we are trying to do is digitise the functional aspects of the restaurants in the town as well as the billing and inventory system," says Biswo Thapa, founder and CEO of Danfe Solutions.


Product idea

There are more than 6,000 restaurants inside Kathmandu's Ring Road that serve thousands of Kathmanduites daily. Danfe Solutions, according to Thapa, intends to digitise the operations of all of these restaurants. The ambitious product was first ideated and discussed back in 2010, when Thapa was working as a developer. Back then Thapa and his friends often talked about the mismanaged state of the restaurant industry, and the idea to bring order to this sector led to the creation of Danfe.  


Company formation and IT projects

But Thapa did not work on the idea until much later. While working in the tech sector, Thapa was beginning to tire of working on projects he had no interest or belief in. In late 2011,Thapa gave up his stable job and decided to do something of his own. He then registered Danfe Solutions Pvt Ltd, along with three of his friends, with each of them contributing Rs 50,000. They set up an office at Gatthaghar, Bhaktapur, and started working on making their vision of creating a well-managed system of restaurant operation a reality. 


Launching RestroOrder

In September 2015, Danfe received a project proposal from a Canadian restaurant that was seeking to develop a food-ordering system. Danfe developed a tablet-based app that essentially replicated the waiter module for order management and named it RestroOrder. Two restaurants in Canada subscribed to this service. It was then that Thapa and his friends realised that this app could be used to address the problems theyíd seen in Nepalís restaurant industry. They then started researching the needs and gaps in the restaurant industry in Nepal and built an app that took into account local particulars. The result was a complete restaurant management system. They launched their ERP system in October, 2016, and marketed it without much fanfareóbecause they first wanted to test the waters. 

Today, not even a year later, 16 restaurants are subscribed to RestroOrder. 



Features of RestroOrder

There are two basic sides to RestroOrder. From a restaurant's point of view, subscribing to RestroOrder means optimising operations directly through its waiter module: it allows for greater flexibility in management and enhances the efficiency of restaurant personnel. From the customer's point of view, using the RestroOrder app allows them to, for example, check the specials of the day in a restaurant and reserve tables with a finger tap. 

The waiter module is a tablet-based ordering system that helps a waiter take orders while simultaneously notifying the kitchen to prepare the food and the cash counter to prepare the billing via intranet. Furthermore, the waiter module helps waiters with issues such as table transfers, table mergers, order transfers (to other waiters) and order cancellations without any hassle. For the kitchen and cash counters, the application has a notification system that notifies waiters when certain functions have been completed. Furthermore, RestroOrder also integrates the restaurantís billing and inventory management system in its software, helping managers keep track of the inventory, minimise waste and allow better management.    

The RestroOrder mobile application, which is now available for Android users, has a list of restaurants in town. Through the app, after a customer checks in at a restaurant, he/she can avail of many facilities- like getting notifications of special events, checking available menu options/specials of the day, booking his/her favourite corner for his/her preferred time, among others. The application is a communication platform that helps restaurants communicate with their customers, as well as promote themselves. Furthermore, the mobile app also focuses on retaining its customers with schemes such as loyalty points and coupon cards.


The workings of the app

The development work for the software as well as the mobile application are based on 'sageframe', an open-source platform of BrainDigit IT Solutions- a local IT company. 'Sageframe' allows greater flexibility and customisability tailored according to client needs. 

RestroOrder, as it stands today, has been verified by the Internal Revenue Department. This verification represents the company's attempts to help instill transparency and accountability in the restaurant and hospitality industry- owing to this feature, restaurants that make use of the app will not be able to circumvent industry rules and tax norms. "There are players ready to comply with government policies, and they will gain additional goodwill by using our product. Quite a few of the companies that have tried our system have appreciated its benefits, and we hope others will soon come on board," says Thapa.  


Setting up RestroOrder in your restaurant 

For innovative restaurants willing to improve their overall efficiency, RestroOrder can be had for a one-time payment of Rs 60,000, exclusive of VAT. A smaller restaurant without enough resources to make a one-time payment can also use the EMI scheme. The scheme lasts for six to eight months, with an interest rate of eight per cent. Danfe Solution charges an Annual Maintenance Charge (AMC) of 20 per cent of the total project cost, which amounts to about Rs 15,000. The AMC helps Danfe Solution continue providing support, provide timely updates and make market-driven changes in the system. 


First published on M&S VMAG




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