This was for a design challenge for a job I was pursuing.
The Idly App
The owner of an Idly franchise with 10 stores (4 in Chennai, 2 in Hyderabad, and 4 in Bangalore) required an app to allow customers to make orders to be delivered or picked up at the Idly shop.
The problem statement and need for the app:
Owner was losing money due to constantly being left with excess Idlis he had to throw out, while also losing business due to people looking for Idlis that were out of stock.
The amount of ingredients kept in in stock was mismanaged, and it was unclear how many Idlis and of what kind will sell and when. Owner found himself having too many of one type and not enough of the other when people came in.
The mobile app for customers to make orders from anywhere at anytime helps the business know what people will want and when, resulting in the business being more efficient at sales and product allocation. The web application below allows the owner and team to manage the orders.
Link to prototype of web app.
User comments and inputs
After I designed the mobile app and the web backend app, I visited two South Indian restaurants that serve a variety of specialty idlis - one is a franchise of a chain, the other is a single store restaurant. The managers reviewed the prototypes, and gave their feedback and suggestions as noted below. I incorporated the suggestions in my web app.
Malgudi is a chain restaurant, with 30 locations in Mumbai, and more in other parts of India and a presence internationally in Dubai. I spoke with a manager, Amarjeet.
They order supplies and stock daily. They always order in excess, so as to not run out. They have their own back end app, that shows them graphs for sales and projections. Their operations manager estimates individual store requirements from the data provided.
Add features that make managing orders easier. Pick up and delivery times are very important, so that they can start preparing accordingly. Each order takes 20 minutes to prepare.
Sai Veg World
Sai Veg World is a highly popular single store restaurant located near Goregaon Station in Mumbai.
They order supplies and stock weekly. They wash rice the night before and prepare batter twice a day, in the morning, and late afternoon. They pre-prepare specialty idlis only in the morning. That way they ensure that all are sold atleast by mind-afternoon. People who want specialty idlis later than that will have to wait till the nest day.
The manager very much liked the idea of an application that generates sales, and provides statistical data to plan for the week ahead. They suggested we incorporate features that makes it possible to blast promotions and offers when the charts indicate some dishes might be prepared in excess,which would help them avoid wastage.