Entrepreneur

This M’sian Startup Is Mobilising Virtual Waiters To Fix F&B’s Cash-Draining Problem

It is no secret how F&B merchants are currently facing an issue with high labour costs. Besides paying the staff, you have to ensure that they are well trained and able to function together as a unit. It happens to be one of the highest expenditures in running a restaurant and employing many lower wage workers is not the best way to counter it as well.

In fact, that is exactly how Felix found himself working part-time in a restaurant—to understand how kitchens and waiters operated. Noting these key findings, Felix thought himself ready to put a stop to it and he teamed up with a bunch of bright minds to spearhead the Malaysian startup, Prepp.

Doing Away With Waiting In Line

Image Credit: Prepp
Image Credit: Prepp

Prepp is a mobile ordering app which aids merchants in streamlining the process of restaurant operation. This allows users to browse nearby restaurants based on their location. They can then access and order from their menu, select a time of arrival, and subsequently pay through their phone.

As for the participating restaurants, upon confirmation of payment, they will receive an email notification on their phone informing them of the order with all the customer info present, inclusive of their ETA, number of pax, name as well as order details. The restaurant can then choose to accept or decline the orders with a click of a button.

With this time saved, waiters would gain more time to talk and build a rapport with customers, which is a good way to help ensure that customers return. The kitchen crew on the other hand can operate more efficiently by knowing orders in advance. This is a valuable advantage, considering how the preparation of meals takes the longest time and cooking the meal is the quickest step.

This app also helps restaurants reduce their dependency on waiters, as they will not be as reliant on them to actively seat and manage the customers. Planning the flow and being able to estimate the crowd at any given time will also be an advantage to restaurateurs.

A Plus Point For Eateries

Image Credit: Prepp
Image Credit: Prepp

Prepp currently has 20 restaurants on board and they are focused in the areas of KL Sentral, Bangsar as well as Hartamas/Damansara, as the team are trying to target the office worker demographic who experience the lunch hour rush when they dine out.

Some of the restaurants which have jumped on the Prepp idea are Melur & Thyme, Bgnsr Tavern and For Goodnesscakes.

Felix shared, “We work with the restaurants to put up physical stands & stickers that display the availability of our service. Employees also promote our app to customers that are waiting in lines to encourage them to use the app for their next dine-in with them.”

To encourage users to try out Prepp, the app has an in-house loyalty program that rewards diners for dining in with Prepp. Diners can then accumulate Prepp Points which allows them to redeem a discount on their next meal.

“We ensure we work closely with restaurant managers and owners to understand how Prepp can add value for not only customers but for the operations of the restaurants as well,” Felix added.

Prepping To Kickstart An Innovation

Image Credit: Prepp
Image Credit: Prepp

The idea for Prepp was brought to life by Felix who co-founded Give.my, a social enterprise that helps teachers crowdfund their classroom projects, Eda, a former marketing associate with Uber Malaysia and Basytyan, who has handled a portfolio of mobile app developments such as the Nu Sentral Mall app.

Felix believes that although Prepp is a fairly new idea, now only approaching its fourth month, it is undoubtedly a feasible one.

“We believe we are revelling in the age of technology with AR and automation leading the way. More and more businesses will have to embrace O2O businesses or fall behind.

Although Prepp is merely a simple pre-ordering app today, there is so much potential for innovation that are already in the works such as AR integration, utilising beacon technology, creating back end algorithms to help refine and create a smarter way for users to dine out,” the co-founder of Prepp noted.

As of now, their motivation going forth is to recruit more restaurants on board their service. Their goal by the end of the year is to achieve 100 restaurants and 1000 monthly active users, and Felix noted that they are growing at a healthy rate and expanding their growth of users steadily by the month.

Feature Image Credit: Prepp

 

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