Mohamed Fayed of grubtech speaks to us about the future of food delivery and the Covid-19 pandemic.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mohamed Fayed: We have been fortunate during these difficult times; all are healthy and well; thank you for asking. I hope you and your loved ones are faring well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded grubtech.
Mohamed Fayed: I am a retailer by profession; I have spent most of my professional life working for big-box retailers like Macys, Bloomingdales and Ross Stores, leading the Merchant Planning divisions. My last 13 years were spent with Al Tayer Retail, where I was the SVP of Omnichannel, digitizing brick and mortar brands like Gap and Mamas and Papas and building local platforms like Ounass. I founded grubtech in July 2019 on the premise that the digitization of food delivery was happening at such speed that the legacy technology stack was inefficient in keeping up. Covid obviously was not in our plans, but accelerated the confirmation of this hypothesis and allowed us to help all our clients cope with this channel shift.
How does grubtech innovate?
Mohamed Fayed: We are at the forefront of the digital food delivery movement, driving developments for the constantly and rapidly evolving F&B sector across micro cloud kitchens, dark kitchens, virtual brands and restaurants. We make sure to stay close to our users and are privileged to have a wide spectrum of customers who provide excellent feedback loops that our agile product and engineering teams tackle.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
Mohamed Fayed: It brought its challenges for sure; as a young startup in hyper-growth, onboarding new talent and having to work remotely was very difficult at the start of the pandemic. We all had to adjust to a new norm fairly quickly to ensure our productivity was not affected. With that said, the pandemic accelerated growth in the sector by at least 5 years, which opened up tremendous opportunities for our technology to help our clients navigate through the rapid digitization of the sector.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Mohamed Fayed: As a hypergrowth SaaS startup, with our team located across three geographies, we leverage a variety of tools and software to ensure comprehensive project management as well as proper and transparent internal communication across teams.
We use Jira and Trello for project management and collaboration and Confluence for requirement and progress tracking. We also rely on Slack for everyday communication.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Mohamed Fayed: While there are a significant number of companies operating in the restaurant space, none have been purpose-built to efficiently power the operations of multiple brands from a single location. Existing players in the market also solve for one or a subset of problems, which typically means that restauranteurs end up dealing with a fragmented tech stack, therefore crippling their operations and limiting their growth potential.
Our solution has been built from the ground up to cater to the digital transformation of the F&B sector by building an end-to-end operating system that tackles friction points arising from operating a high volume food delivery business and unlocks the ability to serve multiple brands from a single location. We integrate with a host of third parties to provide our customers with a comprehensive and seamless experience across a wide spectrum of applications and have also enabled extensive tracking of sales and operations data, providing customers with unparalleled transparency and access to information which will further drive growth and operational efficiencies.
We work closely with both our customers and partners to not only improve our offering and but to also identify and execute on innovative ways to better equip our customers with the ability to deal with the rapidly developing needs of the sector and the ever-evolving demands of the end-users.
Your final thoughts?
Mohamed Fayed: The dining out tradition of centuries has almost come to a halt in the last year, accelerating the digitization of the F&B sector and the emergence of new business models such as cloud kitchens and virtual brands. Consumer behavior has also permanently changed, with many becoming more comfortable being reliant on food delivery to fulfil daily and weekly needs. At the same time, we’re seeing restaurants more open to testing fresh concepts in a cost-effective manner and expanding their geographical reach effortlessly. Grubtech is here to address these requirements and bridge the gap between modern customer demand and legacy supply systems in the F&B sector.
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