Inspiration

Restaurants have been particularly hard hit by social distance measures. Their cash flow has been drastically reduced, making it impossible for them to keep paying their fixed costs. Finished food delivery is helping, but it is becoming clear this isn't enough.

After the lockdown is lifted, the distancing trend will continue. Restaurants won't be able to have as many tables as before. Therefore new sustainable channels to get to customers need to be found to help during and after the COVID crisis.

Simultaneously people stuck at their home are increasingly sharpening the knives and getting those great cooking skills going! This coupled with the nostalgia of missing their favorite restaurant is a perfect opportunity for people to make their favorite restaurant dishes in their kitchen.

What it does

Have your favorite restaurant be your Sous-Chef!

"Chez Moi" will be a platform that:

  • Connect restaurants with customers or "At-home-chefs".
  • It provides a new income channel for restaurants.
  • It provides a marketplace of local restaurants to customers with their favorite dishes so they can cook them at home.
  • Customers will receive a box of fresh and semi-prepared ingredients and detailed special instructions on how to cook it directly from the restaurant’s chef themselves!
  • Customers will have a high quality, fresh, and instagramable cooking experience, as if they were the chefs, from the safety of their homes.
  • Increased sense of community, building bridges between restaurants and their neighbors

COMPETITORS LANDSCAPE Our competitors are those providing solutions and experiences around cooking and eating delicious food. We grouped them in 4 categories:

  • Delivery services
  • Restaurant eat-in
  • Online cooking lessons/videos
  • Companies of cooking boxes (box of ingredients+instructions).

According to our market research (showed below in ##what we learned), people like to go out mainly to socialize or share with their loved ones, and to change their routine, so we are comparing our solution using these criteria. Chez Moi offers a better experience than all its competitors, since it involves an immersive experience, learning how to cook, a feeling of accomplishment, and using creativity. It is more than just consuming food, it’s the feeling of being a chef without actually being one. This is even more powerful now that we are locked in and people are looking for new ways to entertain themselves.

In the socialization and community building side, eating at a restaurant proves better than Chez Moi, since normally people go out with friends. However, with Chez Moi, customers get to build a closer relationship with their favorite restaurants, and can even give them feedback about their preparations. They also have an opportunity to buy the same kit with friends and cook at the same time amazing meals with them. Once the lock-down is over, with Chez Moi customers can invite friends over and impress them with a delicious home-cooked meal. In “Competitors landscape graph” this is shown.

Chez Moi Business model As said before the biggest issue with restaurants right now is not having enough cash flowing in.

Our business model is deeply intertwined with helping them increase their sales. We want to have a new channel in which different potential customers would approach them. Chez Moi provides the digital platform and physical boxes to the restaurant. When a customer makes an order through our app we charge a 10% commission on the ticket value and arrange the transport (paid by the customer).

During our surveys, we gathered that restaurants (the ones still open):

  • Have a reduction in sales of 75%
  • Are only able to keep 30% of staff working
  • Sales through delivery stay mostly flat. On top of that, due to the high margins charged by delivery providers (Deliveroo, Glovo ~30%), their profits from delivery are extremely underwhelming.

For the full details of financial calculations please go to the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w-iGpqOj8o8FOFN8osD9NjfpbeNB8K7u/view?usp=sharing

Restaurant’s Financial Impact Assuming a sales increase of a shy 5% (of pre-COVID revenue) due to Chez Moi, we see in our models:

  • A jump of 14 points in standard margin during COVID19 social distancing rules
  • Around a 20% increase of cash flowing into the restaurant during lockdown rules
  • A net profit increase of 12% once things cool off and restaurants are allowed to reopen

For the full details of financial calculations please go to the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w-iGpqOj8o8FOFN8osD9NjfpbeNB8K7u/view?usp=sharing

The financial plan for Chez Moi is also quite promising Through our market research, we estimated that an average restaurant would sale 200 meals from Chez Moi per month (See Cash Flow Simulation for assumptions)

  • With 65 active restaurants signed up, we would break even (Variable cost = Revenue, and no ROI)
  • With our campaign slowly ramping up the number of live restaurants to 200, we would have an ROI of 11 months.

There’s no one with our value proposition.

For the full list of assumptions please refer to the "Cash Flow Simulation" in the attached file: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w-iGpqOj8o8FOFN8osD9NjfpbeNB8K7u/view?usp=sharing

How we built it

As you can see in the attachment “Chezmoi Architecture.png”, the solution will start with a Web mobile-friendly platform built and powered by a powerful microservices-based backend. We will use an HTML5, CSS, React, Nodejs stack built on top of serverless technology for backend and a simple web hosting. We will integrate with delivery services through their APIs. Data will be stored both in data lakes for further Machine Learning processing and in relational databases.

Challenges we ran into

How to get the first clients To launch our product, since it is a platform that connects two players (customers vs restaurants), one of the first questions we asked ourselves was, do we first find the customers or the restaurants? It needs to have a significant volume it both sizes to be a sustainable business.
We thought it was better to find the restaurants first, have some content (dishes with their videos and kits ready) and then launch the product and find customers. Another challenge we are facing is the time to market, that is now, so it is critical to get on board as many restaurants as possible, fast. To get the restaurants onboard, besides proving the financial benefits this service would bring, we thought it was important to help them create their first kits and videos. This way we would also ensure that the products have the level of quality needed to provide a great experience for our customers, in line with our USP. This strategy would be for the first 100 customers. Once we have a significant amount of restaurants signed in, we will launch a marketing campaign underlining the value proposition for the customer.

Currently used delivery platforms are very expensive and are taking up a huge part of the restaurant business. We will integrate with an already existing delivery b2b platform that partners with local delivery companies to solve these problems eg. Stuart.

People don't like plastic packaging: We are aware of the impact of excessive plastic use and its impact on the environment. Therefore in our solution, we will use only paper bags for food shipments.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

At the beginning of the Hackathon, we started from scratch. We built the entire project in 2 days, that consist of:

  • Market research: customers and restaurant surveys, competitors study.
  • Financial model for our restaurants.
  • Architectural Design.
  • Financial Model for our company.
  • The business model for our company.
  • Scalability plan

And most important, we believe we are targeting one of the most affected sectors of this crisis, and that our solution can help them overcome it and even transform the experience.

We are proud of bringing a feasible, scalable, and well-studied solution to fight the virus.

What we learned

As you can see from the attachment “Restaurant Owners Interview.png”, With the COVID 19 crisis 71% of restaurants are closed. The remaining 29% that are still open have lost at least 84% of their income. There is an obvious need to help restaurants save their business.

Image 1 also shows that 85% of restaurants use current delivery platforms, but only half of them make a profit from this channel. The rest of them use delivery platforms only for marketing purposes. 72% would be willing to use our platform and share at least part of their recipe through our tool.

Also, we got feedback from 92 people (possible customers). Please refer to the attachment “Customer Survey.png”:

Chez Moi average Persona

Macarena lives in Barcelona. Due to the lockdown, she is working from home. Since she no longer eats at work, she has had to manage and cook much more at home to avoid starvation. She likes to cook, finds it fun, and saves money when she does. Normally she does not cook much because she does not know many recipes and searching them on the internet is disappointing (many different recipes and she never has all the ingredients to make them). Plus she hates having to clean the kitchen and dishes when she's done cooking. Macarena loves to eat in Restaurants, she usually does it to share with friends and eat something delicious. Occasionally, when she is tired of the routine, Macarena looks for new restaurants where she can try different dishes.

Data insight details

From the attachment “Customer Survey.png”, we can see that 75% of people like to cook at home, and with the lockdown people's habits have changed, now 80% of people cook more than before the crisis.

Regarding the reasons why people cook at home we can see the most named are: Health, enjoy and save money. On the other hand, we see that the most common pains when people cook at home are cleaning, creativity, food shopping, and the time it takes.

Finally, 50% could use our idea and they would be willing to pay more for it. An additional 35% would like to try it but are not confident about getting the same results as the restaurant.

After analyzing all the results, we believe that our solution can be successful for both the customers, that thanks to the pandemic are “chefs to be”, and the restaurants that need an extra channel on income to survive.

What's next for ChezMoi

Restaurants are running out of time this is why we have planned to start Chez Moi in Barcelona as soon as possible. We will begin the development of the platform, which will take 2 months. In parallel, we will begin the marketing campaign to add as many restaurants to our community as quickly as possible.

To achieve this we need initial financing of 77K€ for product development, initial marketing campaign, and content generation. After these two months, the platform will be ready and will allow restaurants in our community to connect with their customers and obtain a new source of income.

We estimate that the platform takes two months after being deployed to generate sales. To achieve sustainability we will need an additional 90K€ to cover the operating costs of the first 5 months, at which point we will reach break-even.

Finally, we have proposed to begin expanding our operations to other Spanish cities after 4 months and to other countries after 6 months.

For the full details of financial calculations please go to the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w-iGpqOj8o8FOFN8osD9NjfpbeNB8K7u/view?usp=sharing

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