We're a group of 5 food-enthusiasts who just couldn't sit still while our favourite restaurants are in trouble. Some of them were downright closed down, others are having serious financial problems. The longer the crisis goes on, the more restaurants are set to go under, which means tons of people losing their jobs & damage to the economy.
We need to find new creative ways to drive additional revenue to all businesses affected by the crisis, including restaurants. We set out to do that two weeks ago.
After a while of brainstorming, we came up with the idea of BChef.
What it does
BChef (KoduResto.ee) is an online-platform that allows people to order meal-kits composed by local restaurants. They prepare the critical components, provide all the fresh ingredients & pass along instructions on how to cook them. You are the master-chef that puts it all together into a delicious high-quality meal.
How we built it
We started validating the idea two weeks ago. After seeing interest from some of the restaurants & getting an agreement to participate, we decided to build a simple MVP that lists the meals together with paired wines & offers a credit-card checkout flow.
We launched the product exactly a week ago and tomorrow is when we do our first-ever batch of deliveries. Our first-week revenue is already in 4-digits. People are interested & we've gotten good feedback. They wrote about us in Delfi, one of the biggest online news-sites in Estonia. We have an active following on social media and honestly, this is just the beginning.
Challenges I ran into
There are lots and none have been unsolvable.
Our short-term challenge is to understand the economics better & drive the price for meal-kits down. We've gotten feedback that people expect it to be significantly cheaper than ready-made food and now it's up to us to make it happen, while still providing a reliable source of revenue for the restaurants involved.
One of our main challenge long-term is to figure out how to expand this concept globally. It can be done without physically being there, however we need to figure out how to find local restaurants & handle the logistics. We have tons of ideas and this is also one of the reasons we're taking part of this hackathon.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
People like our brand & we have an active following on social media. People have given very good feedback on our product UX. We've barely launched and our revenue is already in 4-digits. We have a strong team that covers all the bases needed. We're having organic interest both from customers & restaurants who are contacting us.
What I learned
I personally learned how to really build a proper MVP, with an emphasis on MINIMUM. We only focused on the most important bits & through that managed to create a product that our customers have been happy with and do that in a weeks worth of time (!). We've also learned how many moving details there are in the delivery process. It's all happening and we're learning things every day.
What's next for BChef
On the one hand, we're fully focused growing our product in Estonia where we just launched it. We're growing our customer base & the restaurants we're working with. We also want to reach a subscription-model similar to Blue Apron & Hello Fresh, with the twist of the meals being composed by restaurants. We want to optimise the fresh-ingredients pipeline to drive unit cost down.
On the other hand, we can see how a similar MVP we launched here in Estonia, could just as easily work in other countries. Given that restaurants all over Europe (& else) are experiencing trouble, it might be in everyone's best interest if we could expand it further and create additional revenue for them.
Try It out
netlify, react, stripe