Behind-the-stove look at how a foodtech startup is being run
Situated in a housing complex in Tanjung Duren, West Jakarta, it was almost easy to miss Berrykitchen‘s new office and central kitchen with its industrial, workshop-like features.
Even after e27 walked in onto the premise, we were confused by a containment unit that was converted into a meeting room and office for the company’s management.
But we finally found our way into the main building to take part in a group tour — part of Berrykitchen’s new office and central kitchen inauguration.
“When we first started Berrykitchen in 2012, there [were] only three employees working in a 100 meter square kitchen. [At] the time, we were only able to produce for 30 to 40 pax each day. But now we have a 811 meter square kitchen with 110 employees, and we managed to get here within three years,” said Cynthia Tenggara, CEO and Co-Founder of Berrykitchen.
As an online catering service, the foodtech startup offers three different kinds of products. The first one is daily lunch catering, with 15 to 20 different menu for customers to choose from everyday. Then there is the bento or ready-to-eat service; able to deliver both lunch and dinner within one hour. It uses a booking, and a ready-to-cook service which delivers food ingredients completed with cooking instructions for busy professionals.
In 2015, the company received US$1.25 million Series A from US-based Sovereign’s Capital.
“We are targetting 5,000 pax per day by end of 2016,” added Tenggara.
Their services is currently available on a mobile website and desktop. The plan is for mobile apps to be deployed in the upcoming months.
Before we started the tour around the facilities, all participating guests had to equip themselves with lab coats and hairnets.
“To grow in the food service industry, there are things that we need to pay attention to, apart from taste and variety. One of them is hygiene,” said Ivan De Putra, COO of Berrykitchen, who led the tour.
We began by checking out the main kitchen where the food is cooked.
The main kitchen is surrounded by preparation rooms — divided into the dim sum room, vegetable room, dessert room, butcher room, and storage.
After the food is being packed, they are ready to be passed on to the quality control room.
The Berrykitchen central kitchen operates 24 hours a day with employees working in shifts.
“We make sure that the food arrives at our customers’ place by 1PM. We start working at 5.30AM everyday, so by 10AM [the] cooking process [for daily lunch catering service] should be done. The rest of the day will be used to prepare ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook,” De Putra explained.
The food will then be delivered by motorbike, with 70 per cent of the delivery men working as an in-house team employed by the company.
Since Jakarta has one of the worst traffic problems in the world, how does Berrykitchen ensure on-time delivery of its products?
“We have a route management discussion the day before delivery with our delivery men. We also communicate with the customers whenever any problems arise,” answered De Putra.
He also stated that the company has a plan to set up a new remote kitchen, so that it will be able to serve a broader reach of customers.
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