How Dineout created India's largest dining Platform|Dineout B2B EcoSystem,Business Model & Funding
If you have entered in a restaurant once, then you don't see 500 rupees or 1000 rupees. Marketing is always a bi-product of how much money you've raised. 8 million people work in the restaurant industry. And according to our estimate, 40% of them have already lost their jobs Hello friends, My name is Sahil Khanna and I welcome you to the next part of this series. Today we will talk with a founder who has recently sold out his startup.
So, today he will tell you his journey how he did it all. So, let's hear in his own voice. Hi everyone, my name is Ankit Mehrotra. I am the co-founder to of "Dineout". And
I am here to talk to you about my journey with Dineout for the last 10 years. So let's start. First of all, tell us how did you start this. How did you get the idea? And how did you scale it up? Tell us the whole journey. This journey is very old. When I was in school, I wanted to do something with my co-founder Sahil. But you know, the real-life starts after completing school.
You have to do a course first. So, I went to London for my undergrad in Engineering. After graduation, you have to do a job obviously. So, I started working. I was an investment banker by profession.
So, I worked for 6 years as an investment banker in London. And I survived the cred crisis. The crunch that we have seen in the last year in the economy and global markets, I had faced in 2008. And it was a very difficult period from a global perspective. And investment banking and the financial sector was hit the most.
So, after surviving that crisis, I thought, "I have worked enough for somebody else. Now I have to work for myself". So, in 2011. 2010 actually I decided to sort of quit my job and come back to India to start Dineout. And since then, It has been 10 years. The decade has passed doing this. So, yeah it has been a great journey.
So, how did you get this idea in your mind? The idea was very simple. Actually, the great thing about ideas is what we are doing today, we had never thought this a few years ago. So, I was in London and my co-founder Sahil was in US. And whenever we went to a restaurant, we used a restaurant app to reserve tables or to find new places. And, whenever we came to India to spend holidays, we used to realise that there were no such services in India in 2009-10 and we went to the same restaurant. My co-founders Vivek and Nikhil They were in Delhi and when we went for outings with them, we had to visit the same restaurants.
So, we faced a problem to discover restaurants. So, then we thought to do something for this. And then this idea started. I think it was 2010 when Sahil moved back to India and I moved back to India. And early 2011 Since then we had been working on this idea.
And Dineout was born in February 2012. And you know, our journey started from there. So, have you made the initial investment by yourself? Yes Actually, all of us.
Me, Sahil, Vivek, Nikhil We all had a corporate career of 5-6 years before. In fact, Vivek was in the merchant navy for 10 years. So, right after school from 2002 to 2011, he sailed ships. The interesting thing is that we 3 out of 4 I, Sahil, and Vivek had never worked in India.
Nikhil was in Delhi. So, because our career was a corporate career, we had saved money. And that is how we started up. But, the problem was our parents. They thought; "It's a stupid decision".
"These guys are mad. We don't understand why they have left their job for this work". I came from London. Sahil came from US. Vivek left merchant navy. They were confused about what we were doing after coming to Delhi. But, that's how the journey started.
So, how much money did you all fuse in the beginning? I don't remember... So, I think, since... From the time we left our jobs and came back to India, We bootstrapped for the first 6 months. So our funding, The Angel round funding or the first round of funding. Whatever you say. It was for 6 months after starting up.
So, during that period, I think in the duration of the first year, we might have fused around Rs. 60-70 lakhs. Ok So, when you invested for the first round of funding, how many customers have you acquired till then? Customers... See... To be honest, Nobody was familiar with technology in the restaurant industry at that time.
And, the scenario was different in India at that time. It was 2011. Again, I am repeating 2010-11 because 2020 is very different from 2010. And people you know who started up in that sort of time frame knows that there was no technology. And we were also 25-26 years old at that time. So, when we used to tell the restaurant owners, "We are creating an online platform for restaurants and we will send customers to you".
People refused to believe us. I still remember that we started the website in 2012. 29th February, it is a unique date as well. So on 29th February 2012, we started the website.
And we had only 75 restaurants with us in Delhi. And our idea was like people reserve online tables in UK and US. Similarly, people will reserve their tables online in India. But, we started on 29th February and realised on 1st March that pure online system won't work in India. So, we had to set up a call centre. You know, you can say that we had to pivot our model from online to offline on the first day.
From the time we started the call centre, the business was sort of... It did well. You know... We added many good restaurants. We started getting customers and enquiry calls. So, within the 6 months of raising funding, we had around 300-400 restaurants. By that time, we had a few thousand customers. Around 10K-12K monthly customers.
Something like that, but yeah that was you know... People also felt that we can use a service by making a phone call that suggests us restaurants and also book tables for us. And our plus point from day 1 was that we provided a discount on any restaurant booked from our side. So, the money-saving angle is an important point for Indians. Still to the core of Dineout.
So, you were facing problems in the beginning on-body. And what was the ratio, how many people you had to approach? Because it was a whole new concept. Correct Today people use Zomato and many other services. Anybody from Zomato can convince to list them. But, it was the new concept at that time.
So, what was the ratio? We faced many issues as you said. We were 4 people in the beginning. So, we went to onboard the restaurants in the morning and handled the call centre in the evening to attend the calls and serve our people.
I think... Probably 1 or 2 restaurants out of 10 agreed to join us. And this continued for the first few months. Because it was a new service. Nobody needed anything like this. People used to depend on Justdial at that time. There were multiple reasons.
They didn't think that it might be beneficial for them. But, yeah today is a very different story. So, you all 4 were the initial employees. Yes, it was only us. Then we hired 2 more employees who helped in our operations. And our tech was outsourced at that time.
So, in spite of being engineers. By... By profession, execution. We sort of decided to outsource the technology to build the platform. So, what challenges did you face to hire the initial employees? At that time, the biggest shift in our mind was, "How do you go from being an employee to an employer?" It's a huge difference. As in,
we all had been an employee for a reputed firm. So, it is very hard to treat the new people in a small startup in the way you were treated there. We hired freshers. Their aspirations, they didn't have a work experience. To make them understand the way of working and all that.
So we faced many challenges in the beginning and it is obvious. And I think... Getting the right people is a secondary thing. Getting people also was a challenge because in a startup, which is nothing. Why would anybody join it? Startups became a sort of tool all of a sudden in India in 2015-2016.
But in 2012, nobody had an idea of startups. When we were searching for people to hire, they thought like "Who are these people? Why should I join them?" So, hiring was a big challenge. How did you hire people initially? It was so simple. At that time Linkedin was not a popular platform. So,
we posted it on Facebook and spread it in our circles. We used job-boards a lot to offer the positions. So, through this network... As we were working for restaurants, so word of mouth hiring was done mostly through the restaurant managers and others. So, one of the most important things is to get your first client. When did you get yours? And what happened when you got the first client? It was like, we started to approach the restaurants in September-October 2011.
We tried to convince many restaurants but, they didn't agree to join us. I still remember... Our first client was a food chain named Ruby's Tuesday. At that time, they had 6-7 outlets in Delhi. And their office was in Nehru Place. So, we all visited their office and that was the first client to agree that we will try you out.
Let's do it. Obviously, to get the first client onboard is very important. And very good. It was a bit easy for us because we didn't charge the clients upfront. Our model was
You come to our platform. And w will charge whenever we send a customer to you. So, at that time our model was that we will take around Rs. 50 charge. According to leads.
Exactly, it was a lead generation model. We worked on it. So it was a bit easy to get clients.
First, Second, then others arrived after watching them. So as I said when our website was live, we had 75 restaurants in Delhi. And... Obviously, from there it has grown tremendously. And
right now we are working with more than 50,000 restaurants across the country. But, that start I remember very clearly was with the initial set up of 75 restaurants. And when did you get the first sale? As I said, the first sale... You see, there was no such thing like social media marketing in 2012 in India. How would you market, right? So, we ran some SEM ads.
We used Facebook for marketing. But, we had a network of friends and family. We made our website live on 29th February 2012. And when the phone rang for the first time, and we talked to a customer.
He wanted to know What are the services? What do we do? How are we operating? So, that feeling was... You know, it was very different. And when he took meal for the first time, not only booking, when he visited and had lunch, we called him for a follow-up.
He told us that he got a discount. It was a seamless experience. So you know, that was great. That feeling was superb. And from there on you know...
In fact, I think the initial set of customers we got in the entire month of March and I think for the first few months, we ourselves used to speak to those customers over the phone. They used to call on our call centre, and we advised them. And that experience I think was superb for not just us to understand our sort of customers. But, also for our first 2-3 employees. It was essential for them also to see, "These people are doing everything on their own being the founders". So, that perspective was very good and even today we have many old customers.
They call us directly to make their booking and became our friends. And that's how it is. And in fact, the angel investment of our first round It was also from one of our customers. Because he used our service for 2-3 times. He liked it a lot. He saw a value in it.
Because every time as I said, discount was an integral part of our entire journey of using Dineout. A customer could get 15-20% discount through us. And it was a free discount. You just had to call us and book the seats and you could get discounts in the restaurants.
So, people thought that nothing is free in the world. It might be a scam or something. But, when people started using it and became habitual, they realised it's genuine. So every time they are visiting and getting a discount. And they are saving money.
And you can see the ticket size of dining out in India is around Rs. 2000-3000. If you are saving 15-20% every time, then you are able to save Rs. 500-600 every time you are dining out. It is substantial.
So, one of our customers booked our services for 2-3 times. He understood what we are trying to do. One day, he called us casually. He wanted to understand more. And from there on, you know... the entire thing transformed into him giving us a round of angel funding. Actually,
that process happened in August of 2012. And I think that... That was the turning point in the business where we also got confidence. We also got money to run the business. Families also thought now that they are doing something that people are recognizing. Restaurants also thought that now marketing has also started.
More restaurants started to add in the list. We were able to hire employees as well. So that first belief was very important to give confidence to us and everyone around us.
So, were you doing the initial marketing by yourself? Yes, we were going it on our own. For example, we did on-ground marketing a lot. Today it looks very difficult. But we did a simple thing. Like we went to a market in four directions and distributed pamphlets. We sent pamphlets with newspapers. So, we have done all those things to get our initial set of customers.
We went to Khan Market, GK One because they are restaurant hubs. So we went there and told people, "If you want to go to a restaurant, you can use our service". So, we have done even these things. That was the time of Blackberry Phones. So, we used BBM Messenger a lot for marketing.
So, what was your initial cost of acquisition at that time? See, at that time The "cost of acquisition" ha become a very fancy term today. We didn't know these things at the starting of business. So, we didn't calculate in the beginning. But, when we realized its importance, then our objective was to keep it as minimum as possible.
Means if you were taking Rs. 400, how much you were spending for it? We didn't define that cost in the beginning. We just calculated a few expenses like printing cost, etc. We had never added our own cost. Today we see that we should add the cost of employee and many things. At that time, our direct cost was not fixed. It was variable depending on the model.
Like we generated leads through Justdial. So, just to give you an idea if I am giving Rs. 20 to generate a lead through Justdial, so I have given Rs. 200 for 10 leads. I can convert 1 lead from that. You know... At that time, the conversion was direct. So, Justdial method was 10%, but it is 1-2% generally.
So, we used to calculate at that time roughly. If I am booking a table for a person, typically it is the average of 4 members in India. Because nobody goes alone. People go with friends and family. So, we knew that we have to spend Rs. 200 to book a table. Hence, we tried to keep the cost under Rs. 200.
And if not Rs. 200, so we tried to stretch it to Rs. 300-400 max. Because we knew that if the customer used our service once and liked it, he would use it again and again. So, our objective used to be, "If our CAq is even Rs. 400, we can recover it in the next services". You were looking at the customer lifetime value.
Yes, means at that time it was... We don't know in the starting. Yes, we don't know what is LTV? How to calculate it and all? But, our motive was to recover the cost by 2-3 times. So, it would be better if you tell something more about the food industry. Like, in this industry I feel that Zomato, Swiggy, etc. are running on discounts. They operate in losses just to acquire the customers.
And the whole industry is following the same method. Correct So, how are you surviving in this industry? See, I think one thing will be very important and that is for anyone who is looking to startup, to realise that the industry that you are getting into. How big is it? What is the potential? How big can it get? So, we chose the food industry, and even in the food industry, dining out was our focus because We did our analysis of not just India, but also outside India. And if you see your own experience...
When you go out to dine in a restaurant, that is when you are the most... Means you... When you enter in a restaurant, after that you don't think about Rs. 500-1000. You just want a good time. It's what an experience. And that experience sometimes cannot be put a price tag on. So, our objective was that India's populations is going to rise.
Demographics is improving. The young population is earning money. Jobs are happening. So, globalisation is gonna happen. And at that point of time, India will have a lot of disposable income. And people want to experience thing.
And dining out gives you that least form of resistance for having an experience. Because you don't have to travel a lot and think about many things or plan for it. Dining out is like, you go with a few people to eat something different food from daily routine. And this based on our personal experience from my times in London and Sahil's time in the US.
It was our mood that let's eat something from that restaurant today. So, we realised that this phenomena is gonna sort of explode in India. Given that the population that India has and given that the demographics in terms of income, etc. is going to rise. So, that is why we chose this Industry. And
from a restaurant perspective also Today's buzz is on delivery. But, if you as a restaurant owner, so delivery is important. If I see the whole month from a normal customer perspective. then there are 90 meals 3 meals you know, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. From those 90 meals, we know that a customer would eat probably 80-85 meals at home.
He will go out for 5 only. But, when he goes out for patch, he ends up spending equivalent of those other meals. Because each... If you see the average of online delivery.
The average ticket size is Rs. 400-500. The average ticket size of dining out is Rs. 2500. So, already a customer is spending 5X on going out as compared to when he is eating in. The second important thing is when you ask a restaurant owner, like now we have many restaurants as friends. But,
when we talked to them even in the beginning, the main business of a restaurant is 80-85% is from the dining as compared to delivery. Because in delivery, the margins are thin. Order size is less. Whereas, when you come to visit a restaurant, it's all about an experience. You never think, "I have ordered 2 beer. And now I am having a good time. But, I won't take another beer because it costs Rs. 300". If you are having a good time, you are having a good time. You don't think about the additional
you know... 300-400 rupees. So, the same customer who orders a 300-400 rupees meal and looks for a coupon code of 50 rupees, he doesn't behave like this when dining out. And that is the experience that we want to cater to and in fact, You know, It has been 10 years... 9 years for us to do this thing. During that period, many people said, "You have a first-mover advantage. Why don't you start delivery?" But, if you observe that in delivery, the frequency is higher.
But, it's very difficult for anyone to make money in this entire delivery game. There are a lot of logistics involved. Cost of delivery. etc, etc.
Many things are involved. The cost of food. Ticket size is small. So, earning money is difficult in that according to us. According to everybody.
That's why we did not do delivery and we focused on dining out. Recently Foodpanda was also closed. Exactly. So, the advantage that we have right now. And now in 2021 is that we have got 9 years of experience. And
in these 9 years, we have seen many startups came and gone in this food space. And if you think about it, in this food tech ecosystem, there are 3 players today. Obviously Zomato is there who is there before us. They started up in 2011.
We started up in 2012 and now Swiggy came in 2014. there is nobody else remaining now. So, we saw many startups coming and going.
And I think Why we were able to survive is probably because we were able to... we focused on what our... You know... Niche was, which was Dining out. Because we knew that dining out is the trend that is going to grow.
And we were able to pivot very quickly from a B2C player to a tech... B2B technology platform for restaurants. And that is very... That actually was very important for the overall growth of the business and sustenance of the business. So, basically, you told that you have an advantage because you are an old player. But, your competition is growing which is Zomato.
It is also entering in your niche. And also, it has acquired you. So, you have money power also. Then why we don't hear about Dineout so much? Like we hear about Zomato or anybody else.
Why don't you spend much on marketing? You are right in saying. Obviously, Zomato is there but, it's not like that it has been in the competition from today. When we started, Zomato was there. But, Their last 4-5 years focus was on food delivery. And our focus was only on dining out.
And to also give credit where it is due. You know Zomato has raised a lot of money. They have built a great product. They raised a lot of money. And marketing is always a biproduct of how much money you have raised. And you know... So, that's why maybe they have more visibility.
Having said that, I think in the dining out space, we are still the largest today. Like when we look at just dining out, we send more people to our partner restaurants than Zomato. And we've always been the largest from that perspective. And... Yeah, that's the thing. Right?
See, as our focus is on dining out, we have less number of partner restaurants. Like you can see on Zomato that they have more than 2,00,000 restaurants listed and we have only 50,000 because these are the dining out focused restaurants. So, because our focus was always on dining out, you can say that is the case. And because deliver has a much wider use case across a lot more cities.
That is why probably that they have to spend a lot of money to do marketing and because of that their recognition is probably a lot more. But having said that, we also do a lot of things. For example, our best property is GRF or The Great Indian Restaurant Festival and it starts in February or March every year. And the objective was very simple. We started this in 2017.
Because we realised that Flipkart Amazon They organise shopping festivals Big Billion Day Great Indian Shopping Festival So, they are doing online festivals for shopping. We thought that nobody celebrates restaurants or dining in India. If you think about it, the Indian restaurant industry is probably the second-largest employer of people in India with more than 8 million people working in restaurants. It is present in every city of India. You know it's a habit. Dining out is a habit. But, nobody celebrated dining out.
So, we launched this festival, The Great Indian Restaurant Festival in 2017. And the objective was very simple that you go out as a consumer and explore new restaurants. And it was a simple model for the customers that for the entire month of The Great Indian Restaurant Festival, you will get 50% off when you go to dine out at our partner restaurants. So, that festival has grown over a period of time and it has become probably one of the most recognizable, you know...
Shopping festival, Festivals in India. From that perspective where every year we seat more than you know 5-6 million people just during that period. And we worked with some of the best brands like HDFC Bank is the main sponsor. So, it's not like that. We also have recognition. But, Zomato is more recognised.
Is the business model still the same as per lead? Or do you charge something for onboarding? No No, obviously one of the most important things for any business is that over a period of time the business model pivots. Because you learn from something. Nothing is perfect. Right?
It is evolution and your model also evolutes and changes. So, our model also evolved from Rs. 50 per lead. Now, we don't charge for a lead. As I said, now we have B2B products. We have software products. So, we charge for that.
Our flagship product is Dineout Pay where you can pay your restaurant bills through the Dineout app. We charge a commission for that. So, lead generation will always exist. But, in a different form. So, now you don't charge for a lead. And what about onboarding?
Not for onboarding also. Basically, if someone pays through the app... Yes, and we charge if any restaurant uses our software product. If they are taking a marketing package, so we offer a lot of things now. Means if they want to show ads on Dineout.
Ads on Dineout. Apart from that, we do a lot more things as I said. Now, it has been 9 years doing this. So, we have a full-fledged 360 degree model for restaurants. Like we can provide you software, customers, visibility, and many things. So, there is price for all of those things.
To come on Dineout, there is no charge. So, basically, you told about B2B model. You did many acquisitions for that. Correct And you did systematic acquisitions which collectively become a story. Yes So, how did you plan that earlier? And what are you doing new in that B2B model? So, that's a... Again the...
Evolution of Dineout is... You know, it has changed a lot from the beginning. If I tell you, when we were studying models in 2009-2010 and comparing what is in the US. So, in the US, there was "Open Table".
In UK, there was "Top Table". And Open Table is today the largest you know the restaurant tech platform company in the world. And there model was that they sent customers to the restaurants. Plus they had very strong software in restaurants due to which it creates a defensive mode where it becomes very difficult for someone to come and replace you.
So, we also wanted to develop software for restaurants. Because we thought that if restaurants would install software, then they could not go anywhere else. And to a certain extent, it's true.
But in 2012-2013, it had no value because people didn't know that software has a value. They were like "My restaurant is running well. If you want to do something, bring me customers and I will pay for it". So in our journey, the period of 2012-2015 passed in making Dineout a strong brand so that recognize us, customers recognize us. You know we were able to solve that first problem of...
The restaurants said, "Send us business". Because when you give business to a restaurant and maintain good relations, then he becomes confident to do more things with you. So, our that period passed in all this. And then in 2015, we thought "This is our time. We need to start focusing on the B2B part of the business". And it was like we are doing B2C since three years. So,
all of a sudden we cannot change our DNA. So, to fit the B2B strategy into our current business and make it one cohesive unit, we thought that acquisition is the best way to go around it. And that's why in 2015, we acquired a company called Inresto based in Bangalore. They were a CRM platform for restaurants. The story started from there.
That worked really well. Then we built if for 2 years. Then we realised... So as we went more deeper into the tech part of the restaurant industry, we thought that CRM is the part of front-end only. There are more things like back-end, software, POS Point of Sale system which is the heart of the restaurant.
So, we thought again that we cannot build it by ourselves. Because the question is always about Build vs Buy. How much time will it take you to build something from scratch? And how much time it takes for your customers to adopt. Verses buying something which is already out there in the market with existing customers, etc.
So in 2018, we decided to acquire another company called Torqus which was a B2B POS company. A restaurant POS company. And they were deployed at some other best restaurants in the country. Almost all the top cloud kitchens of India were using their services. So we knew that their software is strong.
So, we did that acquisition in 2018 and in 2019, we acquired Binge Digital which was in B2B but, working on digital menus, etc. So that has helped us actually get to where we are today. We are probably the largest B2B restaurant tech company in India. But more importantly, now our products are also being used by restaurants outside India. So, restaurants in 20 countries are right now using our Inresto. Inresto platform, to manage their day to day operations.
So basically, you created a CRM where all the CRM operations are being done. Secondly, you provided them a POS system where they are able to sell things to the customers. And you provided a menu system also so that the customers can place orders through it. You created a kind of ecosystem.
So, during lockdown the situation was like virus was spreading. People were not touching anything. So, the demand of this product would have increased a lot during this time. Yes So, how much percentage did you grow in this? Obviously when the pandemic started, the restaurant industry dropped so down. And it had not happened in the history of the world that the restaurant industry is completely stopped.
Not even World War, World War 2 Restaurants were still operational. So, this was really different and difficult time for the industry sort of overall. However, one good thing that has come out of this is that all of a sudden the restaurant industry realised the need for technology to manage their day to day operations. So in fact, there is running sort of... Joke that You know, COVID has been actually a CTO for the restaurant industry. Because everyone was realizing that technology will play a very important role to manage the day to day operations, to manage their costs, going forward, etc.
So, our acquisitions we did in the last 4-5 years and built in the last... from April 2020 till let's say October 2020, We were able to double our B2B customer base from a restaurant perspective because as I said, we had the most depth. and our products were built.
So, the buzzword from a tech perspective began "Contactless Dining" during that period of time. Like you are watching menu on your phone. Before that, digital menus provided tablets. But, now the entire technology has changed and you scan a QR code which is at the restaurant.
And you can open the menu on your phone. And from there you can place an order, etc. So, that Contactless Dining became the buzzword and in fact, we did really well and we were able to more than I think... I think 10,000 more restaurants signed-up for contactless dining on our platforms in the last... you know from April 2020 till now.
And it's probably been one of our most successful products and we are seeing great adoption outside India as well for contactless dining. So, what is your ratio between B2B and B2C? If I think about from a business perspective, there are around 50,000 restaurants on our platform out of which B2C clients probably be around 25,000. Around 15,000-16,000 would be the B2B clients. Revenue split in B2C... B2C because the lead generation is uncapped. So in B2C, the ideal business model in B2C was always that B2C gives you unlimited upside potential.
And B2B gives you sort of operable business model. which continues to grow at a steady pace. So, our B2B was around 30-35% and B2C was around 65-70% of out overall model. But,
B2C grows a lot faster. But, the advantage of B2B is that I know that I get at least this amount from a restaurant. So, from which amount do your plans start? If anyone wants to take a service from you.
Suppose a restaurant owner is watching us. So, it depends. As I said in Inresto, there are 10 different modules.
So, the basic module is the POS. which is the Point of Sale. You can do billing through us. then our CRM system and after that table managements system, then our supply chain management system. and this is an integrated system. the advantage of our system today in India and outside India as well is that typically restaurants have always been using technology from multiple providers. There are two...
some provide front-end, some provide CRM, or POS, some do supply chain management. and the disadvantage of taking from multiple people that systems are not interconnected. So, the restaurants don't know this and this is the biggest problem that restaurants face.
not just in India, globally. Let's say we go for dining out with 4 people. The restaurant is serving us. But, it doesn't know that who is the customer because because he cannot recognize the customers. And you think for the hospitality industry in 2020, not knowing who their customer is, is a big challenge.
And specially post pandemic because you have to do marketing from the starting to get people back in. And if you are spending crazy amount of money to acquire that customer, it doesn't make sense. So recognizing customers is a big problem for the industry and that's what our software with Inresto solves for them. It gives them sort of a... a name and a face to the customer. so that you can recognize them.
And this is all happening via mobile number. For example, Social If you go to one outlet of Social, and you visit different outlets of Social every week, The brand doesn't know who you are because every time the brand or that outlet is treating you like a new customer. whereas what our system allows you to do is to store the phone number of those customers. Now when you walk into a Social, they ask your phone number. and be that phone number, they get to know that "He is Ankit Mehrotra and he has come to me 6 times". So automatically the level of customer service becomes easy and different.
Then you can reach out to those customers from let's say, via SMS. So you know that becomes very different. And when that starts happening at scale, obviously it's better for everyone in the industry. Or for a particular brand, for customers, etc.
that's what we try to do and the journey of our platform starts from there. that we hel you recognize a customer. The next step is if a phone number is ordering from our system, we get to know what do you like to eat. So, then that's the next step. We can recommend dishes. We can do a lot more things. So I tell you another example where we get advantage.
if you see in the whole hospitality industry, the supple and demand pricing applies everywhere. Airlines Flights on the selected routes or selected times are always costly. Cab industry has surge pricing.
In hotel industry, the pricing might be high in busy periods and weekends. But, restaurant industry is the only industry where the demand supply price couldn't work because of physical menus. Now, if a restaurant is full at Saturday and it is charging the same for a beer. Or if it's vacant on Tuesday, it is charging the same from the customer. Why? Because it's is a physical menu.
In think due to the entire revolution of the last 9 months and digital menu, we could do this for restaurants that the pricing can change in real-time basis. Based on demand. If Friday evening is busy, can I charge Rs. 50 extra for the beer? Tuesday afternoon is vacant. So, can I reduce it by Rs. 100? And it's not about discounts any more.
The way of making the prices down was discounts. Yo give discounts to the customer. But, you know till when you provide discounts and why to everybody? So, our system is built in a way that you are more valuable customers. You are loyal customers, So, it's like a loyalty program where probably they can get less price on some day or for the same drink.
because they are loyal. Versus new customers or versus on a let's say week day, weekend. So if you think about it, like Airline industry You know you have different tiers.
And if somebody is Gold or Platinum, they get certain benefits. Same with hotels. If you are a member of a Marriot, or ITC, you get certain extra benefits.
Why not in the restaurant industry. Earlier it was not possible. With our software now You know we made all of it possible at a customer level. At a dish level for the restaurant.
and that's the advantage an end to end system brings. And As I said our software you know... There are 10 different modules. It starts from as low as you know, Rs. 5000-6000 annually.
going up all the way to may be a lakh something annually depending on the module you choose and how you choose to use the system. OK Let me explain you this once. There is a software. Suppose that you have 10 restaurants. You have installed a software in all of them. I am assuming that you have purhased all of their models and talking based on that.
Now, you are getting orders from Zomato, Swiggy. It is maintained at a single place. The database is collecting about the customers visiting you restaurant. Suppose that out of your 10 outlets they have visited 5 outlets, so you have the data of whatever they have eaten in those 5 outlets.
When they visited and when they didn't. Apart from that, they also have an option of digital menu.