Under the epidemic, the offline catering industry has entered a frozen period. With the transformation of selling vegetables and sharing employees, the catering staff embarked on the road of self-help.
According to the judgment of Kong Lingbo, the founder and CEO of catering information service provider Ao Qiwei, after experiencing early wait-and-see and panic, the catering industry began to respond actively. The inflection point of the epidemic may soon be clear, but the food and beverage recovery is not so optimistic. It is expected that the end of March or even the beginning of April may return to the usual 70% to 80%.
In extraordinary times, in addition to preparing funds for resumption of work, medium and large-scale restaurant chains have put enhanced digital capabilities and sophisticated operations on the agenda.
Starting from New Year’s Eve, all catering information service providers Ao Qiwei worked overtime to rush work for customers and provide new products to deal with the epidemic for free. Founded in 2006, this company has served more than 120,000 chain stores, and over half of the top 100 restaurants in 2018 announced by the Chinese Cooking Association are its customers.
The crisis is forcing innovation, and the digital upgrade of catering is accelerating. The veteran in the industry is sprinting to the leading position. “We want to be an innovator and leader of ERP solutions in the digital age.” Kong Lingbo told 21CBR.
Checkout is no longer the end of a single catering business, and many things such as marketing drainage, procurement management, cashiering, takeaway operations, etc. running through, even in a small restaurant, are not easy to do well. The role of professional catering SaaS vendors is reflected in multi-link empowerment.
Since its development, Aoqiwei has built a set of product matrices based on acquisition and self-research methods, focusing on the three core scenarios of catering enterprises, namely marketing, efficiency and procurement management.
In marketing management, there are two core functions, namely social fission and repurchase management, covering products such as takeaways, e-commerce, applets, and membership systems.
Efficiency management includes cash register, data center, manpower system plus training. Kong Lingbo said that the key lies in the company’s process design and whether it can achieve higher output under the same manpower, rent and procurement costs.
In terms of procurement, it helps brands manage their suppliers, which involves the reputation of the supplier, the stability of the goods reflected in the supply history, the price of goods from different suppliers under the same raw materials and prices.
The cash register category is the most mature product on the market. In the past few years, Aoqiwei has successively acquired a number of related product lines, including the restaurant management software Tianzixing. Product lines such as manpower and supply chain rely on independent research and development.
With so many product lines, how to effectively control is a big problem. Kong Lingbo classified Aoqiwei’s product strategy as “different front-end products and unified back-end data”, divided independent product lines, and established a low-level database for customers when purchasing multiple products to ensure consistent data support. And analysis.
Correspondingly, the organizational structure also adopts the product CEO system. Each product line has a main person in charge to grasp the product progress and report directly to Kong Lingbo.
The head catering company is the focus of Aoqi Wei Tuoke, accounting for more than 50% of the top 100 catering companies. Among the top 10 restaurants in various segments, such as dinner, group meal, and casual meal, the company’s digital service penetration exceeds 30 %.
At the beginning of the establishment, the degree of customization of customer products was relatively high. With the improvement of standardization, the overall customization rate has not exceeded 20%. For very large chain customers with more than 500 stores, the product customization rate will be higher, about 30%. Usually, the implementation period of project implementation is 20-30 days, and the longest will not exceed 2 months.
On the charging model, Aoqiwei mainly charges annual fees, depending on the size of the customer’s store, the amount and depth of the product mix used. The annual fee for a single store fluctuates between 7,000 and 10,000 yuan. Chain restaurant customers with a scale of about 100 stores pay an annual fee ranging from 700,000 to 1 million yuan.
Most startups start off as small and micro enterprises. Aoqiwei opened the way for medium and large customers, established a foothold, and then started a sinking plan.
Au Qiwei’s latest target is a chain brand with about 20-150 stores. Kong Lingbo believes that their management system is not yet mature, brand effects have not been fully established, financing channels, and the internal cultural concentricity of enterprises are insufficient.
This year, Aoqiwei plans to launch an integrated consulting service based on growth results for this group. Packaged service items such as process combing, core team training and practical landing, and promoted the transformation of the company’s “Four in One” business model. Cooperating with canteen revenue, platform e-commerce (including platform takeaway), self-service takeaway, and self-operated mall The income type is based on consumer satisfaction and repurchase rates. It also uses the “1 + 5 + N” model to help companies implement a training system, which means 1 founder, 5 core executives, and N store managers.
Kong Lingbo told “21CBR” reporters that many trainings or consultations on the market are provided to bosses or store managers alone. “For local services, you can only be responsible for local results.” A packaged and complete service system can realize from strategy formulation to implementation implementation, unified guiding ideology runs through, and is responsible for the final results.
But targeting the market to small and medium customers means taking risks, after all, they are less resistant to risk and have shorter life cycles. Kong Lingbo bluntly said: “Everything can’t be secured and there are always risks. We have adopted some preferential policies and hope to help them survive the current epidemic cycle.”
The new products launched by Aoqiwei during the epidemic, including the newly added epidemic self-inspection system in the Cloud Patrol Store System, had nearly 40,000 stores applied for in the first three days of its release. Since then, the CRM products for user relationship maintenance, as well as online training, flexible employment, and financial service related projects have been upgraded for free. Subsequent considerations will be based on the customer’s depth of use, and then the module will be charged separately, while giving a discount of about 50%. “If the price is too high, customers cannot afford it, and we cannot develop it,” Kong Lingbo said.
Domestic chain catering, small circle, relying on word of mouth accumulation, Ao Qiwei now has annual revenue of 200 to 300 million yuan, the product pricing in the industry can enter the first echelon, but still at a loss. Kong Lingbo believes that customers always look at cost performance, and what is important is the value that service providers can provide. He attributed the company’s competitive advantages to a rich product structure, strong service guarantee capabilities, and years of knowledge and practice in the industry.
“When making strategic positioning, many friends always think of making money through another thing, such as switching in through free or low-cost POS machines, and doing procurement or financial services. We have only one core, which is to help Customers do a good job of efficiency management, solve management bottlenecks through digital means, and get benefits. ”
The catering industry is gradually mature in digital cognition, and there are great promises for tens of billions of tracks. In addition to continuing to expand its share, Ao Qiwei is also testing new areas such as the hotel industry. “In the past, digitization was complementary, and now it is infrastructure, which is a greater opportunity for us.” Kong Lingbo said.