easyeats is primarily a Malaysian-based tech startup cofounded by Imran Basheer (CEO) and Thomas Siew (CTO) in 2019 with the vision of being a comprehensive data-driven restaurant management solution, previously offering food delivery & takeaway options.
From left to right: Imran Basheer (CEO), Thomas Siew (CTO), Joe Siew (Fullstack Software Developer), Ashvin Praveen (Head of Marketing)
Additionally, restaurants are hard to manage and decisions often have to be made based on gut feeling rather than data.
They helped restaurants mainly in the Shah Alam area navigate the pandemic with its food delivery services and currently, its integrated Point-of-Sales system.
In a sentence, they’re an integrated restaurant operating system that is built for tomorrow’s data-driven world.
How F&B businesses run
Many restaurants, especially small restaurants and stalls, survive on very tight margins, and existing delivery players are taking 30-35% of everything they earn.
Success for businesses in the F&B industry is more than merely producing good food – it’s also about keeping workflows smooth, and efficient.
A good system runs like a well-oiled machine. If the owners lack the manpower, or the resources needed, their profits take a huge hit.
These are the main pain points easyeats is trying to solve.
Food delivery journey
What started off as a reservation app to order dine-in and skip waits at popular restaurants, easyeats soon developed rapidly to become a food ordering platform for delivery and takeaway, acquiring thousands of users during and after the MCO period of 2020.
Since July 2020, easyeats took the next step towards its vision and started trialing its restaurant operating system, rose, which is similar to a Point of Sale or POS system.
Through working very closely with restaurants and getting detailed feedback, the easyeats OS rapidly developed to become a strong contender in the market – complete with full integration to the easyeats delivery app.
The Entire Process of How Rose and the easyeats App Is Integrated, from Restaurant Owner to the End User
This includes a bluetooth printer, cash drawer, and a tablet with free casing, already set up and optimised for use.
Today easyeats continues to support many restaurants and scale rapidly.
Challenges, and the final pivot
“After a few meetings, I convinced him of the brilliance of the idea, and so we teamed up and set out to help digitise restaurants.” Imran stated.
In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, virtually all restaurant owners told us that there wasn’t a need for the software or technology they were building for restaurants, but they needed one thing only: more orders.
And with the strict restrictions in place, there was only one way to do that.
Delivery and takeaway online orders – and so they provided just that.
From Left to Right: Kristine Ling (Marketing & Operations Intern), Natasha (director of Woodfire Shah Alam – One of easyeats’ Biggest Restaurant Partners), Ashvin Praveen (Head of Marketing)
“Problems quickly arose – they were not delivering good and reliable service, and we didn’t expect them to. They had no reason to be invested in the business. And so we built up our own rider fleet from scratch and started delivering orders using our own riders.” he explained.
From Left to Right: Joo Mazlan, Mohammad Ilham, Mohd Rizuan (easyeats Riders)
To the restaurants, easyeats charges commission fees which are on average, 1/3rd cheaper than the existing duopoly. Their mission is to be the long-term partner to the restaurant owners, and food delivery is just one of the many services they offer to their restaurant partners.
When they first built the food delivery app, one unique feature that other delivery applications didn’t offer was the unlimited delivery distance.
“To the end user, easyeats can deliver anywhere in the Klang Valley! Yes, we’ve even delivered all the way to Seremban from Shah Alam before!” he says.
Unfortunately, a lot of logistic and operational problems arose from this, especially as marketing and sales made this one of their main selling points.
The number of riders is extremely limited, and the time it takes to deliver a long distance order and back is the amount of time the rider isn’t available. During peak hours, every single one of the riders are needed.
This means late meals, cold dishes, and worst of all, unsatisfied customers.
For the easyeats team, this means expected performance is nothing less than perfection for operations.
One wrong move, and the problem snowballs at a terrifying speed.
There’s absolutely no room for error, and for new hires, training wheels are taken off as soon as possible.
>As the pandemic drew to a close, these problems intensified, as riders were going back to their full-time job or studies. Real problems started to crop up for the team.
It is a vicious cycle. Less riders means less orders can be delivered on time, which means lower customer retainment, which means lower profits.
However, at the same time, demand for the other part of the business, rose, the restaurant POS solution, grew.
“We knew we couldn’t do two things good at once. Without major funding, it was difficult to maintain positive unit economics + achieve growth in the delivery business. Even if we did raise a big funding round, there’s no guarantee that it’ll ever be enough, especially when you’re up against well-funded incumbents. So we decided to focus on the POS system business which is less capital intensive and it’ll also allow us to serve the global market right away (vs one city at a time)” he clarified.
“Some of you may be disappointed that you’ll no longer be able to order from your favourite restaurants.
They’ll most likely end up listing on the other delivery platforms – although you’d definitely pay a much higher price for their meals given the much higher commission rate the other platforms charge restaurants.
easyeats long-term goal is making sure that the F&B businesses they partner with has the perfect tools to grow and develop with minimal effort and resources.
One liner experience
“There are a ton of challenges in a start-up, and a lot of nights burning the midnight oil, but the fact that we helped so many restaurants stay afloat during this difficult time is definitely something I’ll always bring with me, no matter which way the business goes in the future. Working with the easyeats team will always be an amazing memory, one that I’ll treasure forever” says Imran.