Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined GlobalFood
Oliver Auerbach : Well, before joining GloriaFood I used to work for Avira, first as an Anti-Virus Researcher, and then I worked my way up to Vice-president of Marketing and later on, CTO. The last 2 jobs came with a lot of responsibilities and little time to cook food myself. One problem that I would always confront – as a food client – was the inability to order food online, without a hassle.
Most of the time, I would arrive at the hotel after a long day and try to order food online. Not knowing the local language, it was just easier than calling the restaurant to place an order. And that’s how I discovered that the online ordering process was far from being an easy and interactive experience, for both the food customer and the restaurant.
So, I started thinking about what I could do to somehow solve this problem, and that’s how the idea of developing a start-up began brewing in my mind.
Then I evaluated it based on 3 aspects:
- Would it motivate me enough to keep me going
- Could it be globally scaled from the second we launched it
- And finally, if I could do it without involving any external investors and ensure the company’s financial independence & autonomy
The idea of startup building an online ordering system for restaurants ticked all the boxes, so that’s how GloriaFood came to be.
I still remember how proud I was when our very first restaurant order was processed through our system. It meant a lot.
How does GlobalFood innovate?
Oliver Auerbach : My experience taught me that innovation goes hand in hand with hard work. It takes time and effort to create a product or a service that can fulfil people’s needs. And at the end of the day, this is the only thing that matters.
Before laying the foundation of your company, you need to ask yourself: Can your solution actually solve people’s problems? If the answer is yes, then you definitely are an innovative company. I kept asking myself this very question countless times, and the answer was always yes.
When I first started, the idea of a freemium online ordering system seemed out of this world; there wasn’t anything like it on the market. That’s how I knew that my free online ordering system for restaurants is a business idea worth pursuing, which will prove relevant, times and times again.
I knew that it would prove beyond appealing to hard-working restaurant owners across the world. With our online ordering system – among other things – food clients can opt to pay online and choose between different types of online orders, like takeaway, delivery or they can also choose to book a table and pre-order the food that they want to enjoy during their reservation.
Before the pandemic, statistics showed that 26% of customers ordered takeout or delivery at least once a week, or that by 2020 more than 58% of all customers would choose online ordering in detriment of dining-in. The pandemic changed it all, and many restaurant owners were able to keep their business afloat by providing takeaway and delivery. And at the end of the day, I was happy to be of help to them.
Online ordering is a trend that will only continue to grow in the next few years. We live in a digital era. So, the reason this trend is catching on so well is because it’s convenient for people to use it. It saves them time. So, if you’re not accepting online orders from your website or mobile app, you may lose your customers.
In the name of innovation, we’re also constantly improving our product and adding new features based on the feedback of our users. We’re trying to offer them the things they need the most. Most of the time, they just need someone to guide them through the process of using this system. This is why we also provide our users with 24/7 customer support.
For the past 7 years, I’ve always been active on our chat, helping customers. It provided me with invaluable first-hand research about what customers want or need and what parts of the product need to be enhanced.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Oliver Auerbach : My team and I spent years perfecting this SaaS product, which has been of great use to restaurant owners everywhere, even more so after the COVID-19 pandemic started to rampantly spread and affect businesses around the globe.
But our product was a lifeline that prevented many restaurants from shutting down and going bankrupt. Not only is our online ordering system simple and fast to set up, and even simpler to use on a daily basis, but it enabled many restaurant owners to adapt to the changing economic climate.
For example, by using our system and enabling online ordering for takeaway or delivery, many restaurants have been able to keep their employees and their doors opened for business.
This is why we have experienced a big increase in the number of restaurants using our solution.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Oliver Auerbach : Well, to be fair, the most important type of mistakes that I’ve made so far are related to people management. I hate it when I realize that bringing someone unfitted into the team ends up affecting the people that I truly appreciate.
So, in an effort to handle the situation better, I actually came up with the concept of “spend a day with us”. It’s extremely useful to see the candidates in action and interacting with their colleagues. It gives us great insights into who they are and what they can do, and most importantly, if they’re a great fit for us.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and GlobalFood in the future?
Oliver Auerbach : As an entrepreneur, I’ve found a different kind of motivation that enables me to wake up early in the morning and get started with my work. Even if sometimes, the job comes with plenty of stress and anxiety, the truth is that I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
However, in the past few months, the company has grown by 100%+, so I recently realized that, in order to take care of the bigger picture, I also need to delegate more. This helps me stay focused on company goals and it also freed a bit of my time. I realized that the key to taking care of an expanding company is empowering people, from the very beginning.
So delegating more helped me sleep more at night. But also listen to a lot of electronic music and sports, it helps cope with stress.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Oliver Auerbach : Well, we have plenty of competitors on the market, but we are not afraid of a little competition. What differentiates us from the rest is that we have a legacy: we were the first company to offer a freemium online ordering system for restaurants that actually helps restaurant owners and customers alike. Plus, GloriaFood is the only platform that you can actually set up in less than 20 minutes. So that gives restaurants the chance to take online orders during the same day.
We also understand that time is money, so we always put restaurant owners first. And the great part is that our hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Each month, we have dozens of people telling us how happy they are with the product, and wanting to promote it. And that motivates us to keep doing what we know best and that is adapt to the conditions of the ever changing market & to the needs of our customers.
Our website : www.gloriafood.com
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