Looking through some of the main problems that merchants face, we attempted to create a multi-faceted solution. The two questions that we were initially faced with were how can we help merchants reduce the cost of a transaction and how can we help merchants optimize their supply-chain process? An Amex-commissioned study in 2018 showed that “for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community”. Therefore, we can see a mutually beneficial relationship between restaurants and local grocers. We came up with a solution that not only supports merchants in optimizing costs and the supply chain-process, but also supports small, local grocers.

Our vision is to create a website that links local communities together through mutually beneficial solutions to problems. Local restaurants face many problems with choosing the best suppliers and optimizing costs and local grocers rely on the purchases within their communities. Connecting these two through a website seems to be the most productive solution.

The name is a combination of the words local and cart (LoCart) to further reinforce the emphasis on supporting local businesses and communities.

What it does

First, a restaurant owner types in their restaurant’s zip code and chooses their restaurant from the list of restaurants in that zip code. After doing so, the restaurant owner is able to shop and support local grocers through looking up supplies that they need.

Restaurant owners are able to purchase supplies through local grocers without sacrificing any profits due to the variety of products and prices offered from each local grocery store. Restaurant owners can shop through multiple local grocery stores by sifting through products with the search engine. They can also do this through sorting by unit price (high to low or low to high) or proximity to the restaurant's location.

For restaurants that are looking to optimize their supply chain, decrease their costs and improve their goodwill among consumers, LoCart is the solution.

How we built it

The backend is a server using the Express.js framework. It is responsible for handling our API requests and allows it to give more info to the front-end of the project. The frontend is using the popular web library React.js. It includes responsive elements and sleek design.

Challenges we ran into

We hit some roadblocks at the start when brainstorming ideas for our project. We started off talking about optimizing the supplies visible on shelves to customers in brick and mortar stores and eventually came to the final idea of LoCart. Two of us came in with very little website experience, but we managed to learn JavaScript, HTML, CSS and more through the workshops offered by HackGT.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud that we finished a project after many doubts and hiccups in our process. We came into the hackathon without knowing each other and persevered to create a project that may actually have an impact on the world and local restaurant sphere!

What we learned

We got to learn how to implement and use different data sets in a website. A lot of us also learned a lot about different coding languages that we were not previously familiar with. We learned how to take an idea in a team and make it real through good communication and teamwork.

What's next for LoCart: Helping Local Grocers and Restaurants Thrive

We would like to include a login feature so restaurant owners can save their orders and schedule orders for certain dates to automate the entire process. Another next step for LoCart would be analyzing supply data with data science to optimize the dates for when restaurant owners should purchase new items to reduce waste. We would also like to create a recommendation system based on previous order data for the restaurant owners.

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