From point of sale to inventory to food costing, Food Engine is a complete restaurant solution that can help increase customer base and centralise stock, production and support By Sudipta Dev
From production management to KOT/ billing to online/ mobile ordering to stock management and feedback/ call centre management, Food Engine offers extensive solutions to restaurant owners. “We help restaurants with our software, from QSRs to food chains, bakeries and cafes. Food Engine is an end to end solution. The menu is available to the customers through online and mobile ordering as well. And if the chef informs some items are not available then it is not included for delivery orders also,” says Ramesh Subramanian, founder & CEO, CIAR Software Solutions. Subramanian has had a long stint in the IT industry and worked with Infosys for 10 years. When he decided to come out of the corporate, he looked at two industries – food and education. “I did my analysis and research and decided to start Food Engine because food industry is a medium educated, unorganised sector. In India, the food industry is booming and I saw great potential,” he adds. Subramanian has customers in the US, Abu Dhabi and Singapore who are using cloud based applications. One of the clients in Singapore is a chain, the others are standalone establishments.
The company that had established operations two years ago currently has 50 customers, including big chains. One of the chains is Aasife Biriyani in Chennai which makes 2500 kgs of biryani every day and has 12 different outlets in Chennai. “They have a centralised kitchen where they prepare the food and send to multiple outlets. We have an indent option from each store requesting for how much finished and raw material they need, also they can track the sale that has happened. We also help them with call centre management,” says Subramanian.
According to him, the next big thing that will happen in India’s F&B industry is delivery orders. “I have helped all my customers increase their revenue by 40 per cent, in just delivery orders. We are also helping restaurants with just kitchens, there is no dine in or takeaway,” mentions Subramanian, adding that the system is both in-house and cloud based. He quips, “I am waiting for the infrastructure in India to support the cloud based, until then I am not recommending.”
One of the important factors in food chains is that when the delivery order comes, it needs to find the nearest kitchen. “Our call centre tool is excellent in contacting the kitchen in a fraction of time when the customer places an order to the restaurant. The restaurant owner can track the time when the call came, when it went to the kitchen, when the customer received the food, and other details. It also helps them optimise their business process,” informs Subramanian.
Food Engine is a complete integrated system. It has different modules and the restaurants can install them as per the requirement. “I do not want to burden my customers with features that they may not require. They have the option to pick and choose what they want. We suggest to them what they need to install and in a phased manner we help them. Our support team is at a centralised location,” informs Subramanian.
Acknowledging that the restaurant business is a sensitive one, he says, that his company provides 365 days support, even during festivities and other holidays. “We continuously monitor the marketplaces for food, e.g. Zomato, Food Panda, Swiggy, Dineout, etc. They approach the restaurants directly and the order goes through their platform. They are helping our customers in delivering orders. We are integrated with them. There is also payment gateway integration. From a delivery perspective, the customer can choose time as well,” mentions Subramanian.
Recently Food Engine has integrated with vendors who do table reservation. The system is also integrated with feedback mechanism. “A lot of companies do feedback. We have integrated customer information from there. We have also integrated with hotel vendors as the customer pays the bill on checkout, including dining that happens in the hotel’s restaurant,” states Subramanian. In fact, Food Engine can integrate with any Hotel Management System.
Advantages for restaurant owners
Accoding to Subramanian, their focus has been clients like Ponnusamy Hotels in Chennai, which is a 60 year-old hotel company now driven by the third generation. “We have helped them in the transition to latest technology,” he remarks.
After creating a strong base in Chennai and Bengaluru, CIAR Software Solutions is looking at growth pan India and in overseas markets.
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