By Chen Jing
Obviously, the catering industry embraces the Internet with large enthusiasm. From the group purchase in previous years to the mobile payment at present, the restaurants always lead the development of mobile Internet applications. According to the data, the market scale of catering industry O2O (online to offline) has an increasing proportion in the total catering industry scale. The catering O2O market scale of China in 2015 was RMB 161.55 billion yuan, accounting for 5.0 percent of the catering aggregate, while that in 2018 is expected to reach RMB 289.79 billion yuan.
Shifting to online and breaking the bottleneck
Internet application of service is resolving the long-standing bottleneck problem of catering industry. Zhao Guangjun, the founder of 2Dfire said, "With the convenience of call-number and queuing system on mobile devices, users will be able to arrange their time properly, and the restaurant can engage the customers lost due to traditional queuing". Peng Lei, the founder of catering informatization service provider Keruyun told to the reporter, "staff loss is of significant problem in catering enterprises. The improved table turnover rate and lowered manpower demand achieved through Internet application can help the employees have one more hour rest every day, by which, the table turnover rate increases by 7 percent and the employee turnover rate decreases by 12 percent."
Depending on mobile payment and ordering and the Internet membership system based on such facilitation links, the consuming behaviors and data of the consumers can be tracked, making precision marketing of catering enterprises possible. In the period of "double-12 festival", KFC offered a 30 percent off for the members, whose birthday is in the period of "double-12 festival" according to the member data; even, the quantity and probable distribution of concerned customers can be estimated.
Precision marketing and smart decision-making
If online ordering, mobile payment and member acquisition it to do the things that the catering enterprises can do better, and the "1.0" version of catering enterprise Internet application, the precision marketing developed therefore embodies the potential of data digging, by which, the catering enterprises can complete the things that they could not complete in the past. Furthermore, the data can be used to promote Internet application "2.0" of smart decision-making, and the precision marketing is just a start.
The power of big data can be displayed on the site selection. "We have suffered from failure in site selection when we entered the market in Shanghai, and the earliest two stores have been closed for this reason." Meng Hongbo said, "However, the bid data accumulated through Internet application can offer reference for site selection of restaurant opening. From a large aspect, the Internet can tell us the market share of Sichuan cuisine in a city and the increasing trend, and help up to determine whether to open a restaurant in that city; from a small aspect, we need to know whether the per capita consumption and user's age in each business district is suitable for us, even the data can specific to one shopping mall and the per capita consumption at each floor, and then the specific site can be selected.
"In the past, most decisions of catering enterprises were made based on the business sensitivity and intuition, lacking the refining management procedure, and the operation is rarely depending on the data. However, their sensitivity on data is improving gradually and value behind the data is going to be recognized," said Li Zhi, vice president of market research institute Analysys. "Upon the datamation of each link of catering enterprises, the data model can be introduced completely, by which, the trouble spot can be found in mass data, the demand of future catering enterprises can be understood in real time, and the customers can be foreknown," said Liu Haili, founder of catering big data service enterprise MegaMeta.
Developing value and forming ecology
"It is necessary to carry out industrial division, the most professional and skillful staff shall be arranged to execute the related link to make full use of human resources. The items, such as member management, data research, food supply chain, KPI evaluation and IT construction shall be entrusted to the professional company," said Zhang Yong, president of Haidilao.
It is good to make the professionals to do professional works, thus the independent developers of Internet application software are born at the right moment. Fan Chi pointed out that Koubei.com mainly provide 10 classes, more than 400 subclasses of Internet service tools, such as store plug-in, store management and commodity management. "Up to November this year, more than 370 thousand merchants purchase and use such Internet tools in the routine operation frequently. Seen from the use frequency, member management, catering CRM, code scanning for order and book for queuing are the service tools with the highest use frequency." In last week Meituan Comment published to establish catering ecological service department and catering software with sales complying with the standard of "catering opening platform".
The Internet platform with foundational ability, professional software developers on such platform and the offline catering enterprises form an ecosystem. With a view to the future, more new faces will appear at this ecosystem, such as finance, insurance and supply chain, and the catering industry will reform in a further step. Taking finance as an example, the turnover datamation of a restaurant makes the innovative finance of automatic credit granting possible. Koubei.com introduced Koubei loan. Up to now, 30 thousand small merchants have applied Koubei loan service, and RMB 1.3 billion yuan has been granted. The per capital loan amount of the merchant is about RMB 43 thousand yuan.
While in supply chain area, the Internet is also transforming the purchase process of the catering enterprises. According to the statistics by IYIOU.com, a market research institution, dozens of Internet ingredient purchase and distribution service providers are quite active in the ingredient supply chain, including Caikuangzi, Xiaonongnv, Xiangongshe, Meicai, Shudongpo, Tianpingpai and Farmlink. As revealed by Fan Chi, Koubei.com will promote a product called "Koubei Hot Style", the famous restaurant provides semi-finished products of star products for other restaurant. "For example, we are consulting with New Spicy Way, it provides semi-finished crawfish, and other restaurants purchase such crawfish online, and then process it in their own restaurants, by which, the other catering enterprises can add this dish with a low cost, enriching their own dishes and forming new profit point."