Chefs turn to tech for “clear and concise” wholesale ordering app

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Anyone who has worked in the foodservice industry knows that placing wholesale orders can come with communication difficulties - from a bad phone signal in a basement Soho restaurant kitchen to long WhatsApp threads where vital information can get lost. A breakdown in communication can be costly, but more importantly can lead to stock mistakes and food waste. PBUK speaks with the people behind a new food ordering app designed to improve the lives of chefs and wholesalers.

London-based food tech startup GoKart has developed an app that brings mobile ordering to independent wholesalers, aiming to cut down of food waste and eliminate costly miscommunication problems.

Having just graduated from the inaugural JustEat Accelerator Programme - an initiative that helps food tech entrepreneurs - the startup aims to reduce costs associated with food waste as a result of misprocessed orders.

The key features of GoKart are its instant, digital ordering platform which seriously reduces garbled voicemails, long text messages or faxes - common issues within the foodservice-wholesaler ordering relationship, according to Jack Gaskin, GoKart’s director of sales.

“Users can upload entire product lists with photos which can be updated and there’s the very easy to use backend of the app with a dashboard that gives the user total control,” he tells PBUK.

“It's essentially a mobile ordering app for wholesalers and for people who place orders in catering, so if you’re a chef, restaurateur or manager of a cafe and you place orders to wholesalers, you’d have them all on our app and instead of having to phone, text or fax all of your orders through, you can just go onto the app where you have all the products listed and just tap what you want.

“If you’re finishing a shift at 3am after a hectic night of service, the last thing that you want to do is go on multiple websites and order your goods or start texting or phoning them through - GoKart gets rid of all that headache.”

Before launching GoKart for the foodservice industry, the company commission research which found 10% of chefs have to return stock every day because of ordering errors and 35% experience a problem with their order once a week.

“For a chef or the person placing orders, it’s a really quick and easy solution, while wholesalers, really like it because they get clear and concise digital orders. There are no returns, no mistakes and it can also fit into accounting softwares if that’s what clients want.

“Obviously chefs need their ingredients asap so this app reduces the error rate and offers better management. Fresh produce or chilled items for instance need to be picked up within a certain time frame and if you’re a wholesaler and you miss that window because you’re doing other deliveries, you are just wasting stock. This is a great way to help reduce waste as well.”

Gaskin adds how early adopters of the app, including Elm Valley Foods, have increased sales by around 15%-20%, while other clients have cut their ordering costs by around 30%.
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