Entrepreneur

They Left Foodpanda, And Are Now Breathing Life Into The Outdated Catering Industry In S'pore And Asia

Birthdays, office gatherings and weddings – these events all call for a large amount of food, and whoever in charge of it normally ends up with a headache with all the different diet restrictions, preferences, and of course, keeping in line with the budget.

CaterSpot is an online catering platform is here to solve all your catering hassles, and is quickly gaining popularity not only in Singapore, but throughout Asia.

With past clients like Google, Uber and Linkedin, it’s no wonder they shot to fame since their launch this year.

The Hong Kong-based platform raised US$800,000 of seed money in a round led by Triplestar Capital, with the Swiss Founders Fund participating. The funds were then used to accelerate the growth its client base and pool of caterers in Singapore and Hong Kong, ramp up key hires, and speed up product development.

Cedele's mini sandwiches/ Image Credit: CaterSpot
Cedele’s mini sandwiches/ Image Credit: CaterSpot

The New Food Delivery

CaterSpot is headed by Foodpanda’s former managing directors in Latin America Camilo Paredes and Amanda Ernst, and was founded in January 2016.

The inspiration behind CaterSpot came about after Paredes found the process of ordering food for a party to be time-consuming and a hassle while working for Grouvly.

Co-founders of CaterSpotCamilo Paredes and Amanda Ernst/ Image Credit: Tech in Asia
Co-founders of CaterSpotCamilo Paredes and Amanda Ernst/ Image Credit: Tech in Asia

In an interview with South China Morning Post he said he realised that catering was currently a largely offline and troublesome process, “but it won’t be like that in the next five years. So we are coming to get the catering industry to develop to the next level in terms of technology.”

A Niche Market With Much Potential

Paredes explains the reason CaterSpot has taken off is due to the fact that catering companies were not aware of how to optimise their online presence.

“They weren’t adept at using marketing and automation tools and didn’t understand how to acquire more users. Only a handful invested in search engine optimisation or display ads. The bulk of them desperately needed help,” he said in an interview with Tech in Asia.

Before technology expanded, many caterers would have to take orders manually via phone calls and emails. This according to Paredes was a waste of time, and an inefficient way for a business to prosper as more staff were needed – also leading to a rise in expenses.

He explains that even though food delivery is a competitive space, there aren’t many competitors globally focusing on the catering sector. The catering niche actually has higher order values, logistics-friendly pre-scheduled orders, and offers recurring orders if customers are satisfied.

How CaterSpot Works

The website is designed to make placing an order easy, and offers different filters to customise the order.

CaterSpot’s website showing options for ordering

Customers just have to select the number of diners, budget per person, the occasion for ordering, serving style they prefer (buffet/ live station etc.), and level of catering required.

So, if you have a birthday party with 45 guests and your budget is twenty dollars per person, CaterSpot will be able to find a caterer for you easily.

Special requirements that need to be made for vegetarians or people with allergies are also available.

Payment is made convenient with the option of either paying online immediately or later on. For corporate events, invoices can be requested by customers if they don’t have a corporate credit card to pay with.

Being on budget also does not mean food variety has to suffer, and CaterSpot currently has over a hundred vendors which customers can choose from – all from varying cuisines.

CaterSpot's partner restaurants/ Image Credit: CaterSpot (screenshot)
CaterSpot’s partner restaurants

Not only do they offer mains, but desserts such as pastries and ice cream are also available through them. Alcoholic beverages from Barworks and The Shake Affinity are also purchasable for those who wish to have a little bubbly with their food.

With about 18 halal caterers, CaterSpot caters well to their Muslim customers as well.

Though CaterSpot might have other competition in Singapore among food delivery platforms like Foodpanda, UberEATS, Deliveroo and FeastBump, it looks like they will be putting up a good fight.

Feature image credit: caterspot.totemapp.com

 

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