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Helping Fast Food Restaurants take Orders Lightning Fast

Fast food; food that is served quickly. For some reason, Humans have been making food fast since quite some time now. First, it was restaurants like McDonald’s, then frozen and canned foods to help you make dinner fast, and then food delivery apps to get restaurant food to your home, fast but there’s one situation where you would still feel like you’re in the ’90s: going to your local fast food restaurant and waiting in line to give your order, and that too with a slight chance of not getting the fries or soda you actually ordered because the order taker made a mistake.

This is a common occurrence because the majority of smaller fast food restaurants are understaffed to keep costs low. But this understaffing ultimately affects customer experience, with customers waiting longer times to get their order taken. Not to forget the highly stressed and irritated workers that this understaffing results in.

We could say customers have become a little impatient, but you can’t really blame them because they have become accustomed to placing food orders in minutes from their phones, if not seconds. And it’s hard to go back once it becomes that convenient.

Order ‘n Go is solving this problem faced by customers of 50,000 fast food restaurants in America. They offer modern and intuitive self-service kiosks for fast food restaurants, so their customers don’t spend 15 minutes standing in line.

Actually, if you think about it, the self service kiosk provides the same experience as the food delivery app on your phone. You place the order and pay for it, all by yourself. This way customers can have both, the joy of visiting your favorite fast food place and the speed of placing an order from your phone.

Moreover, it’s not just about improving the experience for the customer but also profits for the restaurants. How? Well, when people dine out or stop by at these fast food restaurants, they do it for the food and the ambiance, not for waiting in line. This frustration may lead customers to choose other more efficient fast food places (ones with a kiosk), resulting in a loss of customers and revenue for the restaurants.

To know more about Order ‘n Go, we had a chat with its founder, Shadi Nachat, a software engineer by profession and a hacker by soul (an ethical one). He talks about the origin of Order ‘n Go and the things he is currently doing with it.

Our Chat with Shadi Nachat, Founder of Order ‘n Go

Q. Give us a little background about yourself, like how were you as a kid, were any of your parents entrepreneurs and why you chose computer science?

Shadi: Growing up with little exposure to technology, my fascination was ignited in 8th grade when I started experimenting with computers, breaking and fixing operating systems, which led me to programming through my interest in Minecraft. This hobby turned into a passion as I began creating servers with custom plugins, sharing them with others, and continuously learning to improve.

While my parents were not entrepreneurs, I’ve been inspired by friends and family members who are, blending their innovative spirit with my technical pursuits. Today, I continue to evolve in the field of computer science, driven by a relentless curiosity and a desire to solve complex problems.

Q. How did you get the idea for Order ‘n Go, what problem or situation you came across that got you thinking that Order ‘n Go could be the solution?

Shadi: The idea for Order ‘n Go was a natural progression from our initial work of developing kiosks for various sectors, including non-profits, medical, and educational industries. As we expanded our reach and ventured into the restaurant industry, it became clear that our experience in payment processing and self-service technology positioned us uniquely to address the specific needs of this sector.

We recognized that the challenges restaurants faced in streamlining orders and payments could be effectively solved with Order ‘n Go.

Q. Hardware startups are more complicated, because you have to deal with quality, shipping, maintenance. How did you approach the hardware part of Order ‘n Go in the starting?

Shadi: At the outset of Order ‘n Go, we were keenly aware of the challenges posed by the hardware component, notably different from the more malleable nature of software. To navigate the complexities of quality, shipping, and maintenance, our approach was methodical and rooted in extensive research and collaboration. We engaged with numerous manufacturers, investing in a variety of kiosks to test their compatibility with our clients’ needs and design preferences.

Our strategy was bolstered by leveraging connections with individuals who already had established relationships with manufacturers. This network not only helped us in our search for quality hardware but also ensured that we could meet the high standards necessary for our product to succeed in the market.

Q. Will a restaurant with a self serving kiosk won’t need human order takers anymore or no, they’d still need them?

Shadi: Our target market, fast food restaurants, benefit significantly from self-serving kiosks, but this does not eliminate the need for human order takers. Recognizing that there will always be scenarios where customers cannot interact with a kiosk due to limitations—be it mobility, visual impairments, or other challenges—we believe in maintaining a staff ready to assist.

At Order ‘n Go, we are committed to inclusivity, continuously refining both our software and hardware to ensure our technology serves everyone, keeping a human touch as an integral part of the customer service experience.

Q. You’re offering hardware, the kiosk itself for free, with just a minimal monthly charge, which is very unique, considering hardware is always thought to be an expensive investment, how are you doing that? or more specifically, why are you doing that?

Shadi: As a new player in the market, we recognize the need to differentiate ourselves and remove the barrier of high initial investment, which many restaurant owners find daunting.

Our strategy to offer the kiosks for free, with a minimal monthly charge, is made possible by our significant liquid capital, allowing us to absorb the upfront costs. This approach facilitates our entry into the market and also serves as a powerful marketing tool.

As we grow, our strategy will evolve; we plan to gradually transition from offering free kiosks to focusing on providing them exclusively to high-volume restaurants. This shift will ensure we continue to meet the needs of our most impactful partners while maintaining our business sustainability.

Q. What happens in case of some damage happens to a kiosk, Will the customer be paying for it or you’ll fix or replace it for free? What does the terms look like in that situation?

Shadi: In case of damage to a kiosk, our approach differentiates between issues arising from manufacturing defects and those resulting from misuse or abuse. For hardware problems inherent to the kiosk upon delivery, we take full responsibility and will replace it at no cost to the restaurant.

However, similar to the industry standard with non-self-service systems like POS systems, if the kiosk is damaged due to mishandling or neglect by the restaurant staff or customers, the restaurant will be liable for the cost of replacement. This policy ensures fairness and encourages proper care and usage of the equipment, maintaining the integrity of our service offering.

Q. Have you bootstrapped Order ‘n Go yourself or are you looking to raise funds, and if so, how much are you asking for?

Shadi: Order ‘n Go has been fortunate to secure funding from private investors, enabling us to maintain our unique value proposition of free kiosks and minimal monthly charges for restaurants. This investment has provided us with a stable foundation, allowing us to focus on expanding our reach and improving our services without the immediate need for additional funding.

Currently, we are not actively seeking further investment, as our financial situation supports our growth and operational needs.

Q. What’s the situation now and how are things moving currently?

Shadi: As of now, Order ‘n Go is on a promising trajectory, experiencing a healthy rate of expansion. We’re seeing a significant uptick in interest, evidenced by the increasing number of demos requested and customers acquired.

This growth is not just a testament to the market’s reception of our product but also a driver for continuous improvement. As we enhance our offerings, our marketing efforts are scaling accordingly to ensure we can sustain this growth while maintaining the high quality our customers expect.

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