Adapting to weather the COVID storm

They say necessity is the mother of invention. And there’s no doubt COVID-19 has provided many businesses with this impetus.

Coca-Cola Amatil’s corporate venturing platform Amatil X sits between our businesses and the startup community. Bringing new ideas and new ways of solving challenges into the organisation. Amatil X looks for startups that can help us improve the way we do business or better service our customers.

In October 2018, we invested in Singapore-based startup TabSquare, which provides an AI powered, data-driven restaurant management and customer ordering platform for the food and beverage industry.
TabSquare has three digital ordering platforms in market - SmartTab(tablet), SmartKiosk & SmartQR/WEB (mobile). At the onset of COVID, they were predominantly working with restaurants to provide the tablet and kiosk solutions for on-premise dining.

COVID closed in-venue dining for food outlets across Australia, making takeaway/food delivery the only option for those who continued trading. This meant that to continue operating, these venues needed to provide their customers with an order ahead solution... and fast.

TabSquare quickly moved their development team to focus on their SmartQR/WEB (mobile) product to ensure they could fulfil this requirement.

Restaurant chain, PappaRich was using TabSquare’s eMenu tablet ordering and self-ordering kiosk’s in its venues and quickly moved to their online offer in April 2020.

“We are a hospitality obsessed business!” said Tyrone Ho, ANZ Manager Tabsquare. “The lockdown hit the hospitality industry hard. We saw the need for the industry to pivot and launch online ordering and delivery options quickly while maintaining the relationship with their customers.

“We enabled PappaRich franchisees to launch their online ordering capability within a few days and we continue to work with them to offer contactless ordering in the restaurants that have re-opened to diners.”
Calvin Chow, Franchise and Logistics Manager at PappaRich said the restaurants had huge success using the eMenu tablet system, so moving to the SmartWeb solution for dining in orders was a big change.

“It was a big change for us, but the technology is easy to use, and it gives our customers a better experience. Importantly, it allows us to save on labour while the AI capability increases the average spend per customer as it’s able to recommend meal pairings during the ordering process,” he said.

New strategies, menus, delivery models and price points are emerging as hospitality business owners pull themselves up by their bootstraps and combat crisis with creativity, according to SmartCompany.

Through Amatil X, we are uncovering this creativity and connecting it into our businesses and to our customers. It’s often the toughest times that deliver the greatest innovation and we are actively working with the startup community to navigate our way through the pandemic and emerge stronger.