Innovative app for hospitality industry wins Traction Bus competition

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Kitchen Manager, an innovative app platform that streamlines the ordering process between restaurants and their suppliers has been crowned the winner of the first ever Traction Bus competition.  The win saw Kitchen Manager walk away with prizes worth about R200 000 in access to office space, mentorship, vouchers, technical support as well as assistance with funding and business support. Not only has the win showed what Africa has to offer in terms of innovation, it has also opened doors for the founders of the app.

Run by pre-incubation company Startup Edge, Traction Bus is a mobile start-up pitching competition for African innovators. The aim was to connect, expose and celebrate the start-up ecosystem participants and give them access to resources. To expose entrepreneurs to the ecosystem, Startup Edge partnered with five incubation hubs in Gauteng including recently launched Riversands Incubation Hub near Fourways which is set to become the largest business incubator on the continent.

After receiving about 200 submissions, Startup Edge allocated five entrepreneurs to each hub. The rules were simple: Participants had to compete for a seat on the Traction Bus which visited the chosen five hubs in Gauteng. The five winners from the five hubs then took part in the finale for potential investment at #THUDfest2015 at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg in front of investors and mentors. THUDfest is an event “for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, about entrepreneurs.”

kitchen managerOn the day, the judge’s decision was unanimous and it’s easy to see why. With Kitchen Manager, suppliers can minimise human error by automating the invoice-generation process.  Restaurants on the other hand enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their orders are received and processed accurately. This saves both parties time, effort and money. The process is simple and convenient:

  • The kitchen manager logs into the app through their smart phone
  • They pick a supplier
  • An order is uploaded to a remote server and a purchase order is raised and sent to the supplier
  • The supplier receives the purchase order
  • The order is delivered to the restaurant.

 

The co-founder of Kitchen Manager, Kamogelo Sesing says they created the app in September 2015 after noticing that there was great inefficiency in the process of ordering and invoicing between restaurants and suppliers. “There was a lot of human error happening and we realised that with technology we could solve this problem,” explains Sesing, who co-founded Kitchen Manager with Marcus Moshapalo and Nick Meyer.

He says they entered Traction Bus firstly for the exposure and secondly to stress test the platform.

“We believe that if you’re building something, you have to expose it to as many people as possible to get a greater sense of its value and potential,” says Sesing.

There’s no doubt that winning Traction Bus has been a stepping stone for Kitchen Manager. The founders are now focusing their energies on getting more suppliers and restaurants to use the app regularly. They’re also looking at finding strategic partners in Point-of-Sale (POS) and introducing new features down the line. Restaurants can download the app from both the iTunes and Google Play Stores and after a simple set-up process they can begin placing orders to their various industry suppliers instantly. More information on Kitchen Manager can be found at www.kitchenmanager.co.za.

While Kitchen Manager was the overall winner, one could argue African innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship also won. With the Traction Bus competition, other innovative businesses such as The Coloured Cube and CubeBucks who took second and third place respectively and many others received exposure. The good news is this is not the end. Startup Edge will hold Traction Bus Western Cape in March 2016 in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. This means more innovative African start-ups will be unearthed and given access to industry mentors and resources so they can flourish just like Kitchen Manager.

Article courtesy of Riversands Incubation Hub

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