Tech integration is key for hospitality beyond the pandemic

Chief commercial officer Josh Franklin explains how integration will continue to assist the hospitality industry beyond the pandemic. This interview was originally written and published by QSR Media.

The food delivery boom, furthered by the pandemic, resulted in a multitude of platforms of apps that customers can use to get their orders.

Cloud platform Doshii looks to help chains focus on kitchen efficiency by syncing such information platforms and apps into partnered POS systems. This, according to them, results in operational efficiency, reducing labour cost involved with rekeying orders, and minimising mistakes that lead to product wastage and unhappy customers.

Speaking to QSR Media, chief commercial Officer Josh Franklin explained how integration will continue to assist the hospitality industry beyond the pandemic.

QSR Media: The pandemic delivery boom made a case for businesses to streamline how they handle third-party ordering apps. How are chains utilising the synced insights and data from Doshii?

Franklin: With Doshii, chains are able to clearly understand which channels are driving the most revenue and profitability to them, for example in-venue ordering habits versus pick-up or kiosk and device orders. They can then optimise those channels’ offerings.

They can also look at less successful channels and assess how their results can be improved. They can see what is selling best and when, and look at modifying the menu accordingly or instigating other sales and promotional activity. Doshii also provides unique and tailored insights for each store. This means that menus and channels can be optimised, to ensure sales are being maximised for each location.

Doshii has a full menu management system to allow operators to manage their menus from a central platform. All styles of operator will benefit from less time managing menus across multiple apps. They’ll also be able to avoid costs incurred through rekeying orders into the POS, and removes human error associated with missed or incorrectly rekeyed orders. Ultimately it will improve revenue, reduce operational costs and increase efficiency.

What has the delivery data been telling you about QSR customers?

Our experiences from the past 12 months have shown that ordering from apps – in venue, at home or on the road – is surging; customers spend up to 30 per cent more when they order from their devices.

Another trend we’ve seen emerge is that once consumers have ordered from their device the first time, they are far more likely to want to do it again.

Some areas of the Australian hospitality industry, including on-site dining, were badly hit during the pandemic. As a result, we’ve seen venues looking for unique ways to offer delivery, pick-up and app-based ordering to attract and retain customers.

Food delivery services thrived through the lockdown. There was a massive demand from customers wanting to pay for their meals with credit cards or some form of mobile or contactless payment. We also found customers preferred to order from a digital menu on their phones, even if they chose to collect the order themselves. This was, in part, due to adhering to COVID-safe rules, but this type of mobile ordering and payment preference hasn’t changed, even with the easing of restrictions.

What’s your take on what’s now happening in the industry? Any predictions on where it will go?

As restrictions ease considerably across Australia, we’ll continue to see a strong demand for food delivery services among consumers. We believe that in-venue digital ordering, while in its infancy here in Australia, will be a trend that will continue to gain popularity over time.

We’ll also see new apps in the marketplace that will harness artificial intelligence capabilities, making them more intuitive. They’ll offer consumers greater customisation and preferences in their choice of menu options and ‘healthy’ food items.

How has take-up differed between chain stores and smaller independent businesses?

It’s been rewarding to see the benefits for both styles of business. Many of the smaller, independent outlets and businesses have needed Doshii simply to be able to operate efficiently and to ‘tech up’. We’ve helped hamburger stores, for example, that may have previously been predominantly cash businesses with no delivery partners be able to quickly open up these new channels, streamline their business, and keep them focussed on making and serving good food.

We’ve helped franchised stores tap into their unique markets in a way that wasn’t previously possible. While they have the advantage of having processes and procedures in place, they’ve managed to save money, time and effort with our data insights that lead to less wastage and the ability to maximise and tailor their offering across their different channels. Integration means running business smarter and gives operators the opportunity to capitalise on accurate and insightful data.

What does this mean for consumers?

Happier customers lead to a more vibrant hospitality industry. We think giving customers more of what they want, streamlining the ordering process and minimising any opportunity for order errors will provide a more fulfilling experience all ‘round. In turn that will lead to return business and glowing reviews and ratings for the venue operator. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

End.

Doshii signs up three more POS partners

Australian hospitality POS and app middleware platform Doshii has signed on three additional Point of Sale (POS) partners, giving more venues the opportunity to cut through the app chaos and streamline their operating systems.

The three new partners – Abacus, Splitability, and MSL (SwiftPOS and Infogenesis) – will provide their merchant customers with direct access to Doshii’s growing range of ordering, delivery, reservation, loyalty program, payment, rostering and other business apps.

Doshii CEO, Justin O’Donnell said the partnerships will make it easier for venues to manage and maximise the performance of their online channels.

“These new partnerships will soon enable over 10,000 additional hospitality businesses to use Doshii to evaluate, connect and manage a range of hospitality specific Apps needed to run an efficient modern day operation, connected directly with their existing POS system,” Justin said.

“Doshii effectively creates an integrated ‘one-stop-shop’ for a range of Apps from  delivery and in-venue ordering, business management, data, and customer loyalty programs with venues’ POS system.

“Doshii technology and dashboard offers features and tools, reducing labour costs involved with rekeying orders, and helps minimise mistakes that lead to product wastage, excessive costs and unhappy customers – driving benefit directly back to merchants.

“Ultimately, improving revenue, reducing operational costs and increasing efficiency.”

Justin said the new partnership is a win/win for all involved by reducing development, maintenance and support expenses for POS and app partners by leveraging the Doshii technology along with 24/7 monitoring and proactive support.

“Our growing app and POS partnerships is and will be a continued focus for Doshii to provide connectivity to merchants enabling them to better serve the increasingly tech-savvy consumer experience – and happy customers lead to a more successful hospitality business,” he said.

“Doshii also has a menu management system to allow venue operators to manage their menus across multiple Apps. All styles of hospitality operators will benefit from less time managing menus across multiple apps – we are investing heavily in continued product development in Doshii”

“We have experienced unprecedented uptake following last year’s COVID-19 restrictions, largely due to Doshii’s ability to help venues seamlessly ‘tech up’ and allow businesses to focus on what they’re actually good at – be it making and serving burgers or mixing cocktails – without distraction or delay.”

Doshii’s growing partnerships with POS vendors venues will enable more venues to connect directly to a range of apps such as Deliveroo, HungryHungry, Mr Yum, OrderUp and Mobi2Go and me&u, through to reservations apps including OpenTable and Resy, to name a few.

Justin said as venue operators emerged from COVID-enforced lockdowns, they were increasingly looking for ways to efficiently increase their revenue streams, reducing labour cost, and ultimately serve customers quicker.

Hospitality can bank on Doshii success

Doshii is helping hospitality venues revolutionise their operating systems is generating big interest of its own after being added to the Commonwealth Bank’s venture scaling business ,x15ventures,.

As the fifth venture to join the x15 stable, Doshii is a unique middleware cloud platform for the hospitality sector, helping thousands of venues cut through the app chaos and blitz the surge in mobile ordering brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Proud partner, Commonwealth Bank
Proud partner, Commonwealth Bank

Designed specifically for the hospitality industry, Doshii integrates venues’ multitude of food ordering, business management, data and customer loyalty program apps and point of sale (POS) functions into a single system.

Doshii CEO Justin O’Donnell explained that the ‘one-stop-shop’ seamlessly syncs all the information and apps required to efficiently run, oversee and grow restaurant, café and bar businesses.

“During last year’s COVID-19 restrictions there was much commentary about people having Zoom meeting overload, but ask anyone who works in hospitality and they’ll tell you that app overload is an ongoing headache,” O’Donnell said.

“Doshii allows you to access all the apps you need from your POS terminal, with real-time updating, so you always have the information you need without messing around with a mishmash of different systems.

“The feedback from our clients is Doshii reduces labour, improves efficiency and accuracy, and allows them to focus on what they’re actually good at – be it making and serving burgers or mixing cocktails – without distraction or delay.

“Customer service and satisfaction is improved, which generates return business and glowing reviews and ratings.”

 

Justin O’Donnell
Doshii CEO, Justin O’Donnell

x15ventures Managing Director, Toby Norton-Smith, said Doshii was an exciting digital platform with a strong business proposition backed by leading technology.

“When we launched x15ventures last year, our mission was to bring new solutions to market that empower customers as never before and Doshii allows us to do just that. 

“Doshii will allow hospitality businesses to streamline and digitise multiple, cumbersome tasks that have, for many of our customers, been done manually until now,” Mr Norton-Smith said.

Mr O’Donnell said COVID-19 lockdown saw an astronomical 220% spike in food ordering and delivery throughout Australia, with 95% of customers paying via credit card or another form of mobile payment.

“As restrictions have eased, uptake of in-venue digital ordering and delivery continues to rise; Doshii allows businesses to harness this opportunity by allowing them to focus on what they do best – deliver great food, drink and service to all their customers,” he said.

Mr O’Donnell said being chosen by the Commonwealth Bank to be its fifth business acquisition under its venture scaling business was a huge endorsement of Doshii’s offering to the hospitality and small business industry.

“It’s great validation to the industry that we have gained the faith and financial backing of Australia’s leading bank, which sees Doshii as the market leader in this space to help streamline, digitise and improve hospitality businesses.” 

DQ and Doshii help Billboard bounce back after lockdown

 

Billboards Saturdays

Victoria had just announced it was coming out of lockdown and every restaurant and bar was working out how to open back up, stay covid-safe and give a good experience to returning customers. 

For Melbourne icon Billboard, this suddenly meant a very different type of operation with only table service allowed, not to mention significant limits on capacity. 

Now for non Melbourne based readers, Billboard is a unique nightclub – a venue surrounded on three sides by bars – so moving to table service was always going to be a big shift. 

But, with the help of DQ, the contactless ordering app that lets guests browse menus, order & then pay instantly at their table, Billboard adapted to the ‘new normal’ quickly. In fact, DQ was the only ordering mechanism for Billboard until standard service was permitted to resume across Victorian venues. 

However, with multiple orders coming through every minute it was essential for Billboard to be able to consolidate all records directly into their connected POS, something made possible with Doshii. Now, leveraging the Doshii API, the Billboard team could amend pricing and menu items on the fly whilst keeping track of every order via the DQ app.

“In those first few weeks after lockdown the last thing we wanted to worry about was all the complexity that can come with managing new tech and systems, but Doshii and DQ together made it all a breeze. Not having to rekey orders from the app into our POS system, Impos, saved us crucial time and labour costs in those early days especially, and it ensured perfect record keeping whilst we focused on getting our venue up and running, serving customers and kicking goals,” said Nev from Billboards. 

Any venue that leverages the DQ app is instantly able to extend its service capabilities and improve labour productivity. With the Doshii connection, orders are seamlessly delivered to a connected POS and menu items are synchronised in real-time, reducing double handling and error.

“Our turnaround time was a max of two minutes for every order – that just wouldn’t have been made possible without Doshii and DQ for us,” added Nev.

If you’d like to talk to the Doshii team about connecting DQ for your venue, get in touch today, or reach out to us at hello@doshii.io.

Optimising delivery operations for restaurants

It’s no secret that online delivery operations for restaurants have been high on the hospo agenda this year. Restrictions and the proliferation of ordering apps in 2020 has accelerated customer adoption and demand has been met with a wealth of choice.

This has obviously become a hugely important revenue stream for hospitality in trying times, growing significant amounts this year with revenue growth projected to continue at 12.1%* into 2021. 

But revenue growth for the industry doesn’t always translate to profits and margins for merchants. Whilst lots of restaurants have jumped onto delivery platforms to open up a new revenue stream, there’s still a lot of cash left on the table if operations aren’t optimised and it can quickly become overwhelming for owners. 

However, having seen some awesome Doshii clients really get to grips with online ordering and delivery we’ve been able to identify some of the best tactics for keeping things simple, streamlined and profitable. Here’s a few of our favourites.

Get to know your timings

Timing is everything in this game. Not only do you need to have a clear gage on how long it takes to prepare an order, but also how long it will typically take to deliver. This second component is essential because there’s no point having an item on the menu if the delivery time-frame will be a hindrance to the quality of the dish. Wherever the customer is, at home or in a venue, you want them to taste the best of your restaurant so make sure you set your delivery radius smartly. 

Set up your kitchen for success

It might sound simple, but with most kitchens being designed and set up for serving in-venue customers it’s worth taking that principle and applying it to delivery operations – i.e. redesign part of your kitchen set up and workflow to support this new line of business. Make sure your prep, packaging and dispatch is optimised and consider hiring specific team members for delivery only. What can feel like an investment now will likely translate to long-term efficiency gains.

Data led menu optimisation

With everything being digital, make sure you can easily track the trends. Being able to analyse both what your customers are ordering and when they are ordering it across multiple ordering apps can be a huge advantage for menu optimisation and stock logistics. Apps like TabSquare can even personalise menus to customer preferences. This analysis can take time but when you use an integration like Doshii you can ensure that all the key data can be centralised into one dashboard via your PoS. This simple connection can save you hours of analysis paralysis meaning you can make better strategic decisions, and faster, when it comes to your restaurant delivery operations… 

Delivery route optimisation

Lastly, make sure you’ve considered whether you’re going to leverage the big power app’s delivery operations or build your own last-mile delivery team. Doshii has some incredible apps like Yello and iHound in the Doshii app marketplace that can help you assign orders and manage a fleet of drivers. Through the Doshii integration, all of the critical data can again be centralised, meaning you can optimise over time.

Ultimately, as a restaurant owner, you’ve got to work out what’s best for you and your business, but online ordering and delivery isn’t going away, so focusing on ways to optimise is critical to driving better profits.

If you want to chat to the Doshii team about the right delivery operations strategy and solutions for your restaurant, reach out to us at hello@doshii.io.

What’s new at Doshii – November Edition

 

Hospitality’s coronavirus fight back means mastering tech

This article first appeared on QSR Media.

There are years where it feels like only weeks of change takes place, and then there are weeks when it feels like years of change take place. The latter seems to aptly sum up the state of play in the hospitality industry as whole right now.

No doubt many of us are mourning huge losses and will do for some time to come, but the green shoots of a new future I have seen so far have been encouraging. Human instinct is millenia old, especially our instinct to provide hospitality to others, and the creative ways businesses have adapted to do just that during coronavirus-plagued times is worth celebrating.

Digital transformation drives new ways to provide hospitality

Specifically, the way in which ecommerce and digital operations have been embraced or sharpened has been fascinating. The sense I get is that merchants will not be thwarted when it comes to providing hospitality and staying connected to patrons wherever they are.

Take a typical mid-market QSR player right now, say with 10 to 20 venues across each major city. It’s highly likely that they now have a suite of ordering and delivery apps they’re using to reach customers beyond the one or two major global players we’ve grown accustomed to over the past couple of years. They’re also probably investing in their own ordering and ecommerce solutions, especially if they’ve got a strong brand, to sell anything from their usual menu to meal-kits and merchandise.

And as for customer loyalty programs, these have no doubt become more sophisticated as a result, alongside these new ways to transact overall.

Now for most QSR players this isn’t really new, but it is still do or die, especially if they want to come out of 2020’s constrained economy with a chance of kicking on in 2021. In particular, for large players this is a journey they’ve been on for some time yet still have a lot of work to do to overcome the legacy systems already in place. At least medium and smaller players can be more agile and make the tech changes required to thrive quicker.

Essentially, embracing digital and new tech is about opening up new revenue streams, which also leads to more data and insight on customers wherever they’re transacting with your business, leading to more opportunities to adapt and grow.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Whilst this digital transformation has been accelerated due to COVID-19, it was always coming. And it’s clear right now that the winning food and beverage businesses are the ones who are (or have been) investing wisely in digital operations, marketing and tech & apps because it results in more choices for consumers, and diversified incomes for the venue.

Clearly, in a post-COVID world people will still want food on a plate in a bustling restaurant, surrounded by friends. Some things will never change. But other things might, especially if it grants more choice to consumers. Being able to offer that choice in a sustainable way is critical – it takes more than just piecing together some apps, venues need everything integrated so the tech whole can become greater than the sum of its parts.

For example, whilst a presence across more ordering apps means more opportunity, it also means more work for the restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of digital opportunities out there for everyone, even if you haven’t started the journey yet, but if you don’t master the tech it can get out of control. I’m sure any restaurant team that’s spent a heap of time re-keying digital orders from multiple apps into a POS or updating menu items across multiple apps will testify to that, and that’s not even mentioning their own digital ordering and ecommerce.

We’ve all read reports recently across the industry of big increases in digital commerce for cafes and restaurants. Some suburban cafes I’ve spoken to are reporting that up to 80% of their business is now coming in via apps! Whilst this increase paints an exciting future, there’s no doubt plenty of operators out there won’t have the tech stack required to increase their digital revenue without impacting their operational costs though.

For example, just removing the manual re-keying of orders from apps to POS with a tech solution can reportedly save a busy restaurant upwards of $20,000 a year in labour.

If there’s one thing we’ve all been taught during coronavirus, it’s that having all your eggs in one basket isn’t a good idea, so new digitally enabled revenue streams are here to stay and likely to grow. But for this creative and digitally led coronavirus fight back to drive sustainable growth across the industry into the future, QSRs of all shapes and sizes need to make sure they have the right tools in place to simplify the technology ecosystem that surrounds them.

Once the tech is mastered, it’s back to the simple stuff, the human instinct, the bread and butter: providing awesome hospitality experiences to consumers, wherever they are.

Five tips for setting up a Dark Kitchen

The strange idea of restaurants serving hundreds of meals without tables, chairs or waiters would have been quite a bizarre concept to many of us just a year ago. 

Those in the know will have seen this trend coming as a new development in the future of food for some time, but for any Australian who has suffered long periods of social lockdown in 2020 (that’s certainly you Victorians) and turned to the many ordering apps to get a taste of the restaurants they’ve missed so dearly, the idea will now make sense: dark kitchens.

A ‘dark kitchen’ is a restaurant that only exists digitally, creating meals exclusively for the booming online delivery market. 

For merchants the opportunity with ‘dark kitchens’ is to unlock a new revenue stream, optimise a menu specifically for delivery and ultimately meet customers with new food products in interesting ways via a range of online delivery channels.

Here’s five tips from the Doshii team for setting up a Dark Kitchen: 

1. Location, location, location

One of the biggest attractions of a dark restaurant is that you don’t actually need to rent an expensive building in a premium location. Your location isn’t what’s going to attract customers, just your menu, so choose somewhere that gives you a good reach but ultimately allows you to focus on getting the product right. 

2. Optimise for delivery

Not all great food is delivered equally but this is your chance to create a menu that will travel well. Think about items that can withstand a journey on the back of a motorbike and look into optimised packaging that can keep your tasty deliveries kitchen fresh for as long as possible – ultimately this will be what keeps customers coming back. 

Equally, whether you’re leveraging an ordering app with it’s own delivery service like Deliveroo or creating your own last mile delivery strategy using solutions like Drive Yello, it’s critical that you step through the what and the why to make sure it works for your business. Optimised routes built from data and insights can make a huge difference to margins for example.

3. Cut out manual processes

If you’re running a dark kitchen you want to be operating at maximum velocity and given all of your orders are coming through digitally you want to make sure you have a technology stack that eradicated any manual processes. For example, ensuring orders from multiple apps go straight into the one PoS system and print through the same printer in the kitchen. Doshii can help with this, ensuring your not wasting time manually rekeying orders into a PoS or running reconciliations on all orders and revenue at the end of the month.

4. Test & learn from the data

The best ordering apps have one huge advantage – data. Apps like Deliveroo know the latest diner trends and can be ready to pounce with offerings diners didn’t even know they wanted yet. But so can you when running a dark restaurant. Make sure all of the apps you use are seamlessly connected to your PoS, putting all the data you have into one place ready to be used to drive menu optimisations. Even simple things like knowing when you’re more likely to sell out of certain dishes as a trend can help you ensure you don’t leave any dollars on the table.

5. Invest in marketing

Now, with no face to face interactions this might seem counterintuitive, especially when your brand only really shows up in an ordering app, but good brands drive revenue. Think about smart, targeted marketing campaigns you can run, leveraging the diner data you have. Loyalty programs are also great at driving repeat purchases and if you have the right apps to help you manage diner data and loyalty comms you can make sure all of your focus stays firmly on the product.

Dark kitchens, even as hospitality opens up again, are here to stay as online food ordering continues it’s rapid surge. If you want to chat to the Doshii team about the right digital strategy and solution for your dark kitchen venture, reach out to us at hello@doshii.io.

What’s new at Doshii

What’s new at Doshii in October.