Uptake of hospitality tech helps family owned eateries survive post COVID

Ben Lipschitz, co-founder and CEO of FoodByUs
Ben Lipschitz, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of FoodByUs

During the COVID-19 lockdowns many restaurants survived largely due to government support and online ordering, but now that life is ‘back to normal’ who is helping keep their doors open? With locals saving up to travel abroad, rapid inflation, rising costs, food shortages, empty city offices and a lack of staff, the pandemic challenges are far from over.

How influential has FoodByUs been in the industry?

Australia’s online hospitality marketplace FoodByUs is helping thousands of independent and family run restaurants, cafes and caterers instantly connect with thousands of wholesale suppliers across the country. FoodByUs’ customers can today search and compare hundreds of thousands of products, with transparent and consistent pricing, no credit applications, and access to the purchasing power normally reserved for much larger businesses.

With a deep understanding of the hospitality industry and how technology marketplaces can effectively connect customers with restaurants, FoodByUs used their collective experience to solve another major problem in the hospitality industry, the broken and often complex and time consuming process of how restaurants connect with suppliers and remain profitable.

In the past years FoodByUs has helped eateries save $16m in costs, 2,643,750 in hours spent ordering and delivered $54m in value to its suppliers. FoodByUs launched in 2016 when Ben Lipschitz teamed up with Gary Munitz and Tim Chandler, both formerly of Menulog.

FoodByUs has evolved into a vital procurement tool for any restaurant looking for innovative ways to streamline their operations. The tech goes further to offer seamless integrations with several other technology providers in the industry such as Xero, Lightspeed and Deputy.

What are the stakeholders’ thoughts on FoodByUs?

Commenting on the impact of FoodByUS, Francesca Bartone-Prodromou, co-owner of 10 year old North Sydney cafe & caterer, Charlie & Franks, said; “The past few years in the hospitality industry have thrown enormous challenges our way. As a family run business we have had to fight for our survival and embracing technology has helped us stay afloat.”

“Before we started using FoodByUs, signing up to and using individual suppliers was very tedious and time intensive. There was so much paperwork and each supplier would have a different way of communicating (fax, email, phone) which took up valuable time, often a few hours at the end of a very long day when all I wanted to do was sit down and relax.”

“With FoodByUs we have streamlined our ordering, invoicing and payment processes and
can track our food costs like never before. Having the ability to pay everything on credit
card and access clear and consistent pricing across suppliers has been a game changer.”

Former head chef and now general manager at northern beaches restaurant Mexicano, Steph Bull says an unexpected benefit of using FoodByUs has been speeding up the onboarding process for new staff, freeing up the owners time; “With staff shortages and rising costs, business leaders are having to jump in daily and help out on the floor running food.”

“FoodByUs makes it easy for multiple team members to easily log in and place their orders
using the ‘pantry list’ feature. It also helps dramatically reduce the time spent onboarding
new staff. Where we may have typically spent days or weeks training new team members,
we now show them the platform and within hours they’re able to navigate their own way.”

“It has not only allowed us to streamline our ordering process but also given me and Kieron
(owner of mexicano) valuable hours back to focus on the business and client satisfaction.”

What were the executive’s thoughts on the industry?

Ben Lipschitz, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of FoodByUs, said; “With the prevalent rising cost of food, inflation and staff shortages, now is the perfect time to talk about how technology can play an essential part in solving the biggest challenges in hospitality. At FoodByUs we are passionate about hospitality, innovation and helping restaurants thrive.”

“At a time when support for the hospitality industry is more critical than ever, we are delivering a much-needed B2B tech platform that helps independent and family owned businesses in the one area that challenges every business in the industry – procurement.”

“We have also formed key partnerships with other technology-driven companies such as Xero, Lightspeed and Deputy, to ensure our customers are not only automating their processes, but also elevating operational and financial efficiencies,” Ben Lipschitz further commented.

Bartone-Prodromou and Bull will share their experience of how embracing tech has helped their venues remain operational during these challenging times as part of a FREE, live webinar on 15th August at 11am AEST. Hosted by FoodByUs CEO Ben Lipschitz, in conjunction with hospitality tech partners Lightspeed and Deputy, the panel will have a frank conversation about the state of the industry with tips on utilising tech to improve efficiency and profitability.

To sign up for the FREE Live webinar go to this link.