BLOCK71 Singapore Entrepreneurs Feature — FoodZaps Technology Pte Ltd

BLOCK71 Singapore speaks to Winson, Chelsea and Rina, the founders of FoodZaps Technology Pte Ltd, an Android Point of Sale platform for the F & B industry, on their entrepreneurial journey.

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1. What is FoodZaps and how did the idea behind it come about? 2. How did our entrepreneurial journey begin?

FoodZaps is the world’s first Hybrid and do-it-yourself (DIY) Android Mobile Point of Sale (POS) for cafes, restaurants and bars. Since the invention of cash register in 1879 to the advancement of the POS system’s legacy and modern cloud technology. FoodZaps is the perfect hybrid proprietary point of sales system which combines the strengths of both systems, and does not require a localised server in the café, restaurants and bars’ premise.

The idea came about in 2014, founder Winson Tan Huey Meng, tried to order a meal at an eatery, but the food took ages to arrive, and the waiter brought him the wrong dish — twice.

After speaking to the restaurant owner, Winson found that being a small establishment, they could not afford technology to improve their processes. He foresaw that mobile smart devices will be the way to go instead of traditional systems with bulky hardware.

Hence, he created an efficient yet affordable menu-ordering point of sales (POS) system that is scalable and user friendly with no need of complicated server and customer can self set up with ready hardware from any local computer or shopping mall retail.

One of the co-founders, Chelsea Chan Sze Sze, experienced similar difficulties when she was running her own restaurant. She was shocked to learn that a basic tablet POS system retails at a whopping S$90,000 for a server in the premise, tablets on every table and printers in the kitchen.

With the help of co-founder, Rina Loh Jia Hui, who worked in Rocket Internet ventures, they created FoodZaps to make mobile menu-ordering and point of sales easier and more accessible for F&B businesses in Singapore and globally.

The trio combined the expertise, understands the F&B business and revolutionise the industry with technology. FoodZaps Technology partners with Samsung, DBS and NETS, and will be launching an integrated and seamless digital mobile solution for businesses in Singapore. We are also working with DBS on integrated seamless customer self ordering.— Team Foodzaps

2. What differentiates FoodZaps from its competitors?

FoodZaps recently won gold award for the Best Innovative Digital Product/Solution by Singapore’s IT Federation (SG Tech) 2017. With a hybrid solution and patent filed in Singapore, USA and Europe, award winning FoodZaps empowers F&B businesses to run their business easily and expertly.

Managers can start by downloading the FoodZaps app on the restaurant’s mobile devices. Connect the devices to a Wi-Fi router, cash drawer, and other devices if required.

In the app, there are a range of options, one can customise the menu to recipe level, set meals, promotional menu, open tab, track transactions for inventory and accounting for marketing campaigns. From the app report and auto daily sales email report, managers are informed when stock is running low, allowing F&B businesses to replenish inventory timely with cost prices.

With FoodZaps, up to a week’s worth of data is backed up to the Cloud each time. This means that restaurant processes can keep running smoothly in the event the internet connection breaks down. FoodZaps also enables enterprise reporting, making it easier for restaurant managers and business owners to review multiple outlets.

FoodZaps is also not limited to a hardware brand and the setup is customisable to each F&B business operational needs. FoodZaps partners with Samsung Asia and developed a smart wearable to revolutionise the F&B service industry.

The cutting edge FoodZaps Samsung solution resides at Asian Culinary Institute (ACI) for Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) training. FoodZaps has a patent filed on its robust protocol, which is known as the fail-safe electronic restaurant management system. — Team Foodzaps

3. What are some of the greatest challenges in the course of your entrepreneurial journey and what did you learn from them?

Throughout the entrepreneurial journey, it is interesting to acquire and master different skills sets. Previously I worked in Sharp Electronics, Kii, and Google with close to 20 years of experience in product development and spearheaded few turnkey projects. The most noteworthy project would be to develop the first ePassport solution, now known as Biometric passports which we are all own.

In the start-up environment, I had to acquire skill sets to face customers as previously I faced the computer and tech developers. I learned to do sales, manage customer service support and lead the company. It has been 4 years and I am glad that FoodZaps Technology has good traction and amazing customers who believed and stayed with us. We have since transited from a start-up on-boarding small business owners and now to enterprise customers.

It is also a steep learning curve, for each category of the F&B industry, café, restaurant, bar, food kiosk, may seem simple in the beginning. And as our team dive deeper, we realised there are many key functions required. I learnt to advice customers what works versus what they would like to have in mind. As we transit to enterprise client and serving bigger clienteles, the pressure adds on to keep everything together. Our team has since evolved from a mobile application to F&B technology consultants. — Winson

4. How do you measure the success of your start-up?

We measure the success of our start-up thru growth indicators like users acquisition and revenue as value investors look at positive cash flow.

Recognised by Singapore and global users, this means that FoodZaps is solving real problems. F&B businesses are benefiting from our product and our solution is customer self-deploy and scalable.

If anyone can order a ride from Uber and Grab, they can certainly run and manage their café and restaurant easily with FoodZaps mobile application. — Team Foodzaps

5. What is a movie/book/song etc. that inspires you in your entrepreneurial journey and why?

In the entrepreneurial journey, we need the audacity to chase our ambitions as our goals are cast in the unknown future. Consumers habits, technologies, entire markets are shifting. The companies that lead may not exist two decades ago.

Actions we need to execute individually and as a team. We need the tenacity “grind” to ensure growth as the survival rate of start-ups could be lesser than 5%. The song “Go Big or Go Home” inspires audacity, ambition and action to win, sang by American Authors, an American pop band with upbeat and catchy songs.

Life is too short to live it to simply pass time. When we jump the “employment ship” to our “entrepreneurial boat”, we literally rock our lives and is very fortunate to make it global and worthwhile. — Rina

6. What sacrifices have you made in order to embark on the entrepreneurial journey?

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey, there is a sacrifice of stability and comfort, and a constant mental attachment to the business. Being a Singapore business which also serves global clients, at times working hours are extended to meet the needs of customers which may require attention out of office hours.

Placing customer first, affects personal’s schedule made with family and friends and even sleep. There is always work and requirement to step out of one’s comfort zone in the absence of “job security”, traded with business risk, opportunity cost and personal finances committed into the business. — Chelsea

Are you an entrepreneur working on a cool product and looking for more than just a co-working space ? Do apply for a hotdesk here and become part of the exciting community that we offer at BLOCK71 Singapore.

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NUS Enterprise nurtures entrepreneurial talents with global mindsets, while advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at Asia’s leading university.

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