Jonathan Lim, founder and CEO of Oddle, was a former F&B owner.
He opened The Lawn restaurant in 2011 and has over 13 years of experience in the food and beverage (F&B) and technology industries, including a long stint at the University’s Foreign College Program National Singapore (NOC) in Silicon Valley.
As an F&B owner, he recognizes many gaps in the industry that pose challenges for him and other F&B owners. While there are many digital platforms collaborating to provide an easier, all-encompassing experience for their customers, it can become overwhelming and restaurant owners themselves don’t have much control or control. benefit from services.
Faced with the same problems as an impossible six-figure quota in his attempt to build an online ordering website for his restaurant, Jonathan decided to become the necessary change in the industry.
He then started Oddle in 2014, a one-stop platform focused on helping F&B owners digitize their business by allowing them to build their own online ordering platform. sustainability, along with co-founders Alan Goh and Yong Xiang Pua.
[W]e quickly understood that the only sustainable business model is one where all parties benefit. When our F&B merchants win, we win together. We then went on to develop a one-stop hub to serve all of our F&B partners’ digital needs, all with no setup costs, including providing specialized services. value-added businesses such as marketing.
– Jonathan Lim, Founder and CEO of Oddle
By combining empathy with technology, Oddle fills a gap in the market by providing accessible, low-cost performance-driven solutions that help F&B owners maximize their operations. them through intelligent data and meaningful engagement.
Why is it necessary to digitize?
Jonathan emphasized that it is paramount for restaurants to have an online-to-offline (O2O) strategy in place for the time being.
Using online services to solve their problems and re-engage with consumers “ensures the sustainability of restaurant businesses through changing consumption habits and minimizing business impact.” economy of the pandemic,” emphasized Jonathan.
To stay relevant, Jonathan encourages F&B owners to grow and expand their businesses by looking at not only dining solutions but also incorporating other revenue streams off-site. By giving customers access to valuable customer data and insights, they can be smarter and more effective in driving future sustainable business.
“The biggest challenge many F&B operators face is identifying their top customer base due to the fragmented data channels caused by multiple platforms,” he added.
Oddle aims to address these concerns, by empowering these business owners who may be apprehensive about going digital and providing an easy-to-use platform for all their digitization needs. from a comprehensive view of orders and payments to the availability of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics for their marketing purposes.
Digitized services, made different
Oddle operates under the philosophy of “Always Restaurant First”, which is what sets it apart from its competitors.
Jonathan notes: “Unlike food marketplaces like Deliveroo or Foodpanda, Oddle offers solutions that allow F&B merchants to have full control and transparency over their customer and business data, ensuring profitability. maximum profit at minimum cost”.
With a mission to empower restaurants to self-manage their future, Oddle provides an omnichannel platform that helps restaurants deliver top-notch experiences and interactions to their customers.
Its suite of technology solutions includes an e-store platform with managed delivery logistics, a booking platform, QR ordering, and a payment terminal. All of these services are made easy to navigate and use, helping restaurant owners seamlessly incorporate them into their business.
In addition, Oddle has three major services that complement the system, such as managed marketing services, customer success management, and Oddle Eats, their food discovery platform that expands its reach. the restaurant’s reach to food lovers across Asia by leveraging Oddle’s database of 2.3 million users.
Compared to other platforms that charge restaurant merchants at an inflexible fixed rate, Oddle operates on a zero set-up cost model, offers free reservations and takes only one rate. minimum percentage on successful sales.
“We are also actively helping merchants invest back into their businesses to increase profits through our free to use data-driven marketing services,” adds Jonathan.
With Oddle’s resources, Jonathan emphasizes that restaurants can also benefit by having more control over their online operations than other platforms that offer such digitization.
[O]Your winning advantage over other platforms is that our partners have full access to their customers’ data. This is of pivotal importance to all F&B operations, as nothing is more important to their business than KYC ([Knowing] Your customer).
– Jonathan Lim, Founder and CEO of Oddle
By linking their own commercial success with their merchants, Oddle stands firm on the principle of “Always Restaurant First”, providing affordable solutions in a results-based format transparent. This allows each F&B operator to achieve maximum productivity with minimal costs.
Difficulties from switching to revenue sharing model
Back in 2014, Oddle’s original business model was based on a subscription mechanism to help the F&B industry adopt digital solutions for their delivery and takeout business. Their brand logo is a mouse, symbolizing how restaurants can make one-click sales.
While this contributed to their commercial success, Jonathan recognizes that their fixed subscription model contributes to the problem that restaurant owners or F&B operators often face with complicated processes. complex and flat subscription fees to incorporate services like delivery, takeout, e-stores, reservations and more into their business, not to mention the difficulties of managing multiple partner.
As a result, Oddle has moved towards a revenue-sharing model in 2019, while ensuring their own financial sustainability is closely tied to the success of their partners. This significant change has helped break the mold while getting closer to their roots in the industry.
Choosing to forgo our initial successful business model and move to one that works for existing sellers is one of the biggest challenges we face, as it means we’re giving up. a steady and secure source of revenue, and that’s a really hard thing for a business to do.
But we felt it had to be done because a flat subscription fee didn’t push us to work hard to ensure that our partners could grow, as they would pay us for money is the same regardless of whether they are good or bad.
– Jonathan Lim, Founder and CEO of Oddle
During the 2020 pandemic, the new business model has made a significant profit due to the sudden spike in online deliveries from the pandemic, helping many restaurants to return to business within 24 hours.
“[W]e capitalizes on the decline of the physical F&B scene by ensuring that businesses are transitioning well to the online realm,” noted Jonathan.
Although the pandemic lasted for a few years, Oddle looked to the future and sought to anticipate challenges in the post-pandemic economy by further developing a comprehensive suite of solutions from online to offline to demonstrate the growth of their F&B partners in the future. in the region, this also serves to ensure Oddle’s continued commercial viability.
Such solutions include booking in advance to prepare for the return of the dine-in crowd and providing payment terminals for stores provided by traditional payment providers.
Experiencing exponential growth
To date, Oddle’s Gross Cargo Volume (GMV) has grown from S$30 million in 2019, to S$200 million in 2021. Their revenue has also grown more than 10 times during the same period. and is now “capital efficient”.
Jonathan emphasized that these numbers remain strong in the first half of 2022, even as COVID restrictions are being lifted.
With the easing of anti-pandemic measures and Oddle expanding its catering product portfolio, they have seen an increase in traction for dine-in payment terminals, helping to overcome the decline slight decrease in GMV delivery.
In his quest to deliver proven full O2O solutions to F&B partners, Jonathan shared that 430 merchants using Oddle’s booking solutions achieved an impressive 150,000 coverages, while 350 merchants New employees used Oddle’s takeout and delivery space.
One of those success stories is Pizza Express. It initially offered their customers table-top ordering, in-store payments, reservations, and multi-site delivery through expensive and fragmented platforms.
“We recognized an opportunity to streamline these data touchpoints with our omnichannel offerings, driving Pizza Express profitability to achieve higher delivery margins from optimized shipping settings”.
With Oddle, Pizza Express is provided with easy, comprehensive access to a more robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database with up-to-date food and delivery data, resulting in a 23% reduction in hours labor and a significant reduction in annual savings of S$50,000.
Just last month, Oddle raised US$5 million in a Pre-Series B round, bringing its total funding to over US$12 million ($16.78 million). With this latest funding round, the company plans to strengthen product development and expand regional markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
According to Jonathan, several aspects of Oddle – such as takeout, QR ordering and booking – are planned to enter new markets with a self-service model.
He added: “This year, we will continue to lead the way with the philosophy of “Always Restaurant First” and dive deeper into providing more solutions for F&B merchants.
Featured image credit: Oddle