The Indian restaurant industry is worth Rs 75,000 crores and is growing at an annual rate of 7%. The industry is highly fragmented with 1.5 million eating outlets, of which a little more than 3,000 outlets form the organized segment. However, the organized segment is rapidly growing at an annual rate of 16%. The QSR segment is the clear winner in the eating out market with a growth rate of 21%.
There was a time restaurants were managed on pen and paper. There still exists some that do so. However, managing a restaurant is a tedious task. It involves daily expense management, inventory management, purchase management, consumption management, payment reconciliations, and much more.
Realizing the technology gap in the industry, Parthiv Patel and Apurv Patel started PetPooja in 2011. During this time, they learned that technology was seldomly used at restaurants which impacted their scalability.
They started building a PoS (Point of Sale) in 2013 and launched it in Ahmedabad. Petpooja is a Restaurant Management Software that allows restaurants to automate their operational processes. This allows the owners and staff to focus on important areas like food and customer experience while significantly increasing operational efficiency.
It helps them print bills, manage KOTs, stock, CRM, and reporting. Furthermore, PetPooja has integrations with 3rd parties like Zomato, Swiggy, Amazon, GooglePay, Paytm, Tally to facilitate single screen operations for restaurants.
Parthiv holds a degree in Computer Engineering from GH Patel College of Engineering & Technology (GCET), and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM, Lucknow.
At Petpooja, which he co-founded with Apurv Patel in 2011, Parthiv is responsible for product management, finance, strategy, and partner ecosystem.
Prior to co-founding Petpooja, Parthiv was associated with Wipro, Gujarat Venture Finance Limited (GVFL), and Ecolibrium Energy, and has a wide experience of business & financial due diligence, financial modeling, investment structuring, portfolio monitoring, and handling divestment, among others. He has also seen startups scale using innovative go-to-market strategies.
Apurv is responsible for Sales & Marketing, as well as Planning & Operations. Vendor Management, Business Analysis, and Recruitment are among his top skills.
Prior to co-founding Petpooja, Apurv was associated with Claris Lifesciences, Elitecore Technologies, and Diebold Systems. He has developed a wide-ranging and extensive experience in technology and execution in banking, pharma, and telecom.
Parthiv says, “We gained initial traction by creating a system that didn’t need hardware to be replaced and provided their entire data in the cloud (in 2013, most restaurants were using local software sans the cloud, so to know their sales, data had to be emailed each night and collated).”
PetPooja has raised external funding from family offices and Udaan. In November 2019, the startup raised $2.4 million in seed funding from Trustroots. After that in February 2020, PetPooja raised $2 million in Series A round from Udaan. The startup has raised a total of $4.4 million in funds.
Apurv says, “The biggest challenge was the initial years when we had to convince restaurants why having an internet connection at their outlet was beneficial and how having data in the cloud could help them.”
Petpooja handles all core tasks of a restaurant – billing, KOT (Kitchen Order Token), inventory and stock, raw materials and recipe, menu with variations and add-one as well as reporting and advanced analytics. Petpooja is cloud-based, allowing owners and managers to get a real-time view of operations.
Each module is kept in sync with all other modules, allowing a complete picture of real-time operations. For example, Petpooja allows owners to know the real-time cost of their Paneer Butter Masala, accounting for the last-purchased price of Paneer and other ingredients that go in the dish. This allows them to maintain their margins on each item with fluctuating input costs.
Since the restaurant industry is one of the most tech-enabled sectors in retail, encompassing online aggregators, payments, loyalty, ERP and accounting and much more, Petpooja’s core modules integrate with over 80+ third parties, allowing restaurants to manage everything from a single dashboard.
The menu on online aggregators like Swiggy, Zomato, and Dunzo are all controlled by Petpooja, and their orders also land directly on the PoS, allowing single-screen operations for restaurants. Since the inventory module is linked to the menu, if a restaurant runs out of cheese, pizzas will get disabled across all online ordering modules.
Petpooja also reconciles different payment methods that are demanded by customers such as cash, cards, UPI, online orders, and the like. Restaurants also manage their expenses on the platform, categorizing them according to their types. This allows Petpooja to assist with restaurant P&L and filing GST and other taxes.
All these tools literally allow a restaurant to run on auto-pilot, freeing owners and managers from time-consuming operational concerns and allowing them to focus on their true love for food and customer experience.
Petpooja was designed ground-up for Indian SMEs – independent outlets and small chains that span the expanse of the country. The solution is very affordable for restaurants, charging Rs 10,000 per year for the entire suite.
Petpooja currently powers over 25,000 F&B outlets across the country, spanning all formats – fine-dine, QSRs, cloud-kitchens, food-courts, cafes, bars, dessert shops, bakeries, and everything in between.
At a time when the pandemic has caused a huge shift in industry dynamics, with a greater shift towards operational efficiency and delivery, Petpooja with its domain expertise, experience, and insights, is a perfect partner for restaurants.