“For any restaurant, technology has become a necessity and not a good-to-have because the end consumer is expecting top notch service especially in the online space,” shared Renjith Prahladan of UrbanPiper that is doing nearly 7 million transactions in digital space every month. And, with more and more restaurants adopting delivery and entering into the dark-kitchen space, automation plays an important role. That’s where brands like UrbanPiper come in, helping restaurants in digital transformation. With their offering restaurants can manage/automate their online presence be it on their own websites/apps or any of the leading food delivery platforms — Zomato, Swiggy, UberEats, Deliveroo, Talabat etc. in the most simple manner.
At present, UrbanPiper is processing nearly 7 million transactions every month and live with 16000+ Storefronts across multiple countries including India, Middle-East & Latam markets. They work with some of the marquee brands like Pizza Hut, McD, Subway, KFC, Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme and a lot more. Excerpts from the interview:
We see that with more and more restaurants adopting delivery, automation plays an important role. How does Urban Piper help in bridging that gap?
Yes, the food industry has really evolved tremendously across the last decade with technology playing an important role in transforming the way the world consumes food. Restaurants have also gone through a journey of adaptation to stay relevant.
Today, if a restaurant needs to be successful from both a topline and bottomline perspective, it is critical for them to automate a lot of their internal processes to optimise their operations. With the advent of online ordering whose share of revenue has also increased, customer experience is dependent on a lot more aspects that is beyond just the food taste and quality and leveraging technology and automation is a no brainer for restaurants to become more efficient.
How does Urban Piper help?
● Eliminates the need of multiple tabs
● Eliminates the need for manual punching in of orders from multiple aggregators
● Helps in better reconciliation of orders, helping restaurants look at data and optimise
● Helps in streamlined catalogue management
This single solution solves for several gaps that restaurants face while delivering orders for instance:
● Better catalogue management helps in reducing stock outs, improving the menu in-app that helps reduce drop offs of customers visiting the storefront online
● The presence of a centralised dashboard for all aggregators help in reducing cancellations which directly translates into incremental revenue for the restaurant
● Efficient back end operations is facilitated that will help the restaurants positively influence their P&L
What are some of the key services you provide to these brands?
As shared earlier, there are a gamut of products that we offer to restaurants. Listed below are the major ones:
● Hub: Our product that powers integrations with food aggregators (Zomato, Swiggy, Amazon Foods, UberEats, MagicPin, Dunzo, Dotpe, EazyDiner & DineOut)
● Meraki: Our whitelabel solution for brands to kick off their own mobile apps (Android & iOS) and websites for delivery
● Prime: Our in-house POS solution that is delivery friendly and has shown high receptiveness in the cloud kitchen space
Who are some of your clients? Are there any revenue sharing fees or something?
We are partners with most of the marquee brands like Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Subway, Baskin Robbins, Wow Momo, Eat.fit, Paradise Biryani, Cafe Coffee Day, Jubilant Group, Haldirams, A2B, MOD, Chai Point, Bikanervala to name a few.
We also count most of the prominent Cloud Kitchen brands such as Kitchens@, Fast Kitchen, Kitchens Centre, Maverix, Oye Kiddan, WarmOven, CakeZone, Kytchens and many more rely on our platform for managing all their online channels. We are exclusive partners for Swiggy Access all over India and provide end-to-end offerings to the restaurants participating in Swiggy Access.
We charge a small fixed fee on every successful order that’s processed on our platform.
It is believed that with tech playing an important role, centralized data plays an important role in making business more automated. Why so? And, how are you helping with the same?
Restaurants today are partnering with multiple tech players to solve the variety of problems they are facing in the online space, which calls for an organic need for centralised reading of data, else it is super easy for a restaurant to get lost.
UrbanPiper is solving this problem at scale. We’re integrated with multiple tech players who are offering solutions to varied problem statements and hence partnering with us is opening up a way for restaurants to access data of all their tech partners in a single view that helps them become more efficient in decision making, backed by reading and assimilating well organised data points.
You have expanded your wings to UAE, UK and Egypt. What’s your expansion plan?
Yes, as a SaaS brand, we have always carried a global approach towards solution. Our products are relevant across the globe because the problems are pretty much similar. There definitely are customisations that’s required as we expand to new markets, but the crux of the soul remains intact. We are seeing strong receptiveness to our products in GCC and we are pretty bullish on expanding quickly and gaining a first mover advantage wherever possible. We are piloting multiple markets as we speak and the initial traction is pretty encouraging.
We have plans to expand in SEA, LATAM & APAC Markets.
What’s your view when we compare restaurants in India adopting technology in comparison to the global world?
For any restaurant, technology has become a necessity and not a good-to-have because the end consumer is expecting top notch service especially in the online space. The barrier to exit for a consumer has largely reduced over time with aggregators solving for discoverability at scale. Consumers are spoilt for choice.
In India, the story isn’t different and we believe the industry is forcing restaurants to quickly adapt. Small and Medium restaurants are also adopting marketing automation to communicate with their customers, which is a great sign. A well established century old brand that has a legacy but not tech savvy has a higher chance to fail in the online space when compared to a new brand that is tech savvy and serves their customers with automated and optimised operations.
Overall - India is as exciting and receptive to technology as across the globe and that’s the opportunity we’re gunning for!
What according to you would be the biggest technology trend in the restaurant space?
A 100% digitised food ecosystem is the future. Today, it’s still in bits and pieces but with more tech players entering with innovative alternatives that are challenging the status quo, every aspect of the food industry is bound to get digitised. By just scanning a QR code, you can now place your order without even an attender coming in to help you out in a fine dine setting. That’s transformation right there. Leveraging technology, a single kitchen is now able to power multiple brands, each serving a different cuisine and a different customer - what we call as a cloud kitchen. To sum it up, yes, within a few years, the food industry should get 100% digitised with the end customer also being hooked and driving the trend to set in.