Former restaurateur launches app for the food industry to call its own.

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Founder & CEO explaining why the industry needed an app of its own.

After working in the hospitality industry for several years, you come across all kind of challenges and all walks of life. In my experience of running a restaurant it became a lot more clear to me that the customer no matter what, is always right. (even when you know they actually are not)

This is one of many tasks you have to face every single day. One really difficult challenge was bringing customers in the door, yes you have online review websites like Tripadvisor and Zomato, but you cannot use these apps as an actual marketing tool.

I used to get up every single day, fire up the restaurant and make myself a first class barista made latte, (kind of) then i would wipe down the chalk board A frame and think of a new slogan or lunch/dinner special to put out the front of our restaurant to try and lure new customers in the door. This is one of many marketing moves many of us in the industry try, then you result into flyers and newspaper adds, social media posts, loyalty membership cards and email marketing if you ask your customers for email addresses on review cards, believe me i have tried the lot.

But, I always thought ‘why does other industries have there very own platform or marketing tool?’ like if you want a handy man you simply go to Airtasker, or you want to look for a hotel so you head straight on over to booking.com, or you want to rent out your own bedroom so you become a host on Airbnb.

All of these platforms are very powerful as a marketing tool, as they come with business dashboards, analytics, tips and tricks on becoming more recognised, booking systems, ability to showcase yourself, communicate with your customers through an in app messaging system. With the restaurant industry there really is no app or marketing tool to do this for our restaurants, so i saw a gap in the market for the industry to have its very own weapon, a tool that the industry can call its own, so i created buddy.

Before i actually decided to go straight into the tech world without having any idea of what to do or even if the idea was going to take off, so i packed up my shit and hit the road for several months speaking to over 500 business owners from Port Douglas right down into Melbourne CBD.

Danny Simmonds founder

Founder of buddy | Danny Simmonds

During this time i was validating my idea but also signing up potential customers who would join and create their buddy restaurant profile.

So i came back from my trip having slept on the side of many roads, roughed it without having a wash for days and brushing my teeth at the wing-mirror in my jocks, and decided to put pen to paper and start thinking about how we can be better than what is already out there. We came up with all sorts of awesome ideas which could go on forever ,so we had to curate a small list of 100% definite features that would put us head and shoulders above the rest, an app for the industry to be proud of and most importantly, trust.

So we have, Buddy has some unbelievable features for users and business owners will love. My favourites are having the ability to actually see a restaurants specials as they look, with descriptions and price, instead of having to read it off a chalk board and trying to imagine what it will look like, another one is the itemised menu, each dish with a picture and again a description with price. having the ability to ‘follow’ your new favourites in return you receive exclusive in-app notifications of special events, meal deals, menu launches, latest specials, view happy hours around your location, it goes on and on.

There are plenty more features to explore when the app officially launches in the New Year, the most important thing is that it will be a tool we can all trust, explore restaurants in a much more easier way but with more detail, and business owners finally having their own weapon to really showcase themselves to the full potential, with which they can measure with live analytics dashboard, use ibeacon technology which will be a game changer.

iBeacon technology will enable business owners to actually digitalise their physical restaurant, they will be able to create in-app notifications to people who are walking right by the restaurant, notifying users of their lunch menu, happy hour specials that will kick off in 5 minute, or even a simple ‘hello, have an awesome day from XXXX bar and grill.”

With also in app timing notifications of diners sitting in the restaurant after an hour, reminding them of a top up or maybe a link to see the desert menu.

We are all very much looking forward to the launch, and for everybody to enjoy.

Written by Danny Simmonds.