Minh Chau, CEO and Founder
In the wake of changing consumer expectations, instant gratification, and a surge in ‘delivery culture,’ it’s survival of the fittest in the restaurant business. Amidst such a competitive landscape, the adoption of automation and innovative technology is the only way to go when it comes to driving higher ticket value and turning tables faster. But on the downside, it comes with a heavy cost to bear.
While industry bigwigs often have the advantage of resources and technology at their disposal, the smaller players are left with the shorter end of the stick. In such times, San-Francisco based Qathena is redefining the market dynamics with its unique, end-to-end digital order management system that is all set to level the playing field in the restaurant business. In short, Qathena puts smaller brands on the map and helps them compete on a global scale.
Throwing further light on the current market scenario, Minh Chau, CEO and founder of Qathena states, “Small scale restaurants are going big when it comes to the adoption of cutting-edge POS systems or partnering with reservation and delivery companies such as OpenTable and Uber Eats. However, behind the scenes, these systems are manually operated and work in silos.” Qathena bridges this technology gap by ensuring that restaurants function as a high-tech supply chain, from the time an order is received until it’s delivered to the customer. Whether it’s accepting orders, inventory management, or updating kitchen displays, Qathena ensures that every process is seamlessly automated and integrated for the maximum benefit of franchises.
To start with, instead of restaurant personnel having to manually accept every order coming in through myriad delivery applications and enter it into a POS, with Qathena data is transferred in real-time from the front of the house systems back into the kitchen— saving valuable time.
“We understand that small-scale ventures, especially in urban areas, work with limited employees that have their plates full. The Qathena platform, takes away the pain of mundane, repetitive tasks from restaurant staff so that they can focus on improving core business activities,” explains Chau. He adds, “However, our aim is not to replace technology with human labor but elevate it in every sense.” For instance, in case of any change in a menu item, Qathena enables users to easily update and publish it on multiple platforms, POS, or digital signage. Clearly, Qathena is more than just a solutions provider, but rather a trusted partner that acts as an extended IT system for small franchises.
One of the biggest perks of using the Qathena platform is the full visibility it brings into restaurant operations from a single touchpoint at all times. This acts as a huge benefit, particularly during peak hours and ensures that large orders are executed with perfection. “In the digital age, a restaurant can receive a thousand orders in one second with no control or visibility into the demand. Hence, they must always be equipped to churn online order tickets as quickly as possible, in addition to maximizing on-premise table turnover rate to gain a competitive edge,” says Chau. In every step of the way, Qathena allows enterprises to up their game, as the platform is designed to prioritize and route orders efficiently between stations, reducing errors and waste in the kitchen.
To better highlight Qathena’s unique value proposition, the case study of a full-service restaurant is a perfect example. Before Qathena came on board, the client resorted to traditional means to wait on tables and run operations. However, with Qathena’s mobile application that features waitlist management and other table services, diner and staff interaction was minimized, allowing employees to close orders quickly. To elaborate, every seating area in the restaurant was allotted a unique QR code. When diners scan this code on their phones, they receive access to the menu, and they also have the option of placing orders through the app. Qathena even helped the client to streamline online orders, where any order that took more than 15 minutes was flagged in red on a dashboard and brought to the staff’s notice. With complete visibility into the exact time it takes for an average ticket turnover, the client is now working on further improving their services. Moreover, every paper-based activity was removed from the equation, and the entire operation was digitized.
Giving a glimpse into their future endeavors, Chau mentions that the company will be focusing on further improving kitchen operations. For example, there are plans in the pipeline to create a smart queue system, which will help kitchen staff save time by grouping and preparing orders together. The company is also pushing for a unique approach where they want to partner with their competitors instead of just outgrowing them. “At Qathena, it’s always about empowering and digitizing small and local businesses, helping them ace both online and on-premise orders. After all, you might have started small, but you can always achieve big,” ends the CEO.