Incubated at MBS, Hugues developed a Click and Collect system to help restaurateurs during curfew
Hugues will officially graduate from the Grande Ecole Program in a few weeks, but his start-up Foodr is already part of nearly a hundred projects that the MBS incubator supports each year. With his friend and partner Florian, an IT developer, they are designing a new takeaway sales channel to help the region’s restaurant owners during this health crisis.
From an academic project to a Montpellier-based start-up company
During the summer of 2019, Hugues and Florian set up together the strategic positioning of Foodr: “We started from an observation: the take-away sales process in the restaurant business is tedious, long and not automated, unlike food delivery which is already well mastered. But these delivery systems between individuals require large volumes to operate and often neglect the restaurant owners in the countryside. »
It was finally at the beginning of the school year, when he joined the audit and finance major then the start-up specialisation, that Hugues decided to make the concept more concrete. “In all of our exercises, our challenge is to choose a company and apply the concepts we are taught. From the beginning of my last year, I took the opportunity to choose this start-up idea in take-away sales and to benefit from all the feedback from MBS Teacher-Researchers and speakers. In particular, I was able to meet a graduate, an entrepreneur and an expert in the food service sector, and I was able to build a solid business model to join the MBS incubator,” says Hugues.
Sharing skills with students from other fields of study
Before joining the Grande Ecole Program, Hugues joined the Bachelor Program during which he had his first entrepreneurial experiences. “During a pitching contest, we had imagined a sports betting platform with virtual currency to allow sports fans under 18 years old to play and win jerseys. But without an IT developer in the team, the project remained at the idea stage. At that point, I understood the importance of the diversity and synergy of skills within a team,” he explains.
As part of Foodr, Hugues teams up with Florian, a student at Epitech, a leading school of computer expertise in Montpellier. “When you start the process of creating a company, having cross-disciplinary skills allows you to limit costs. Florian was able to develop the application, while I was able to use my commercial expertise to create the first management tools for the company and to expand our catalogue of restaurants. These skills meant that we did not need to call on external service providers and today we are able to take on two interns, including a Product Owner, an Indian MBS graduate who brings all his marketing expertise and international vision to the table,” says Hugues.
Foodr, a marketplace serving restaurants severely affected by the health crisis
As a result of the lock-down and social distancing regulations related to the health crisis, the foodservice sector is experiencing a tough economic situation. “While our project was originally designed to help isolated restaurant owners in the countryside, the curfew in Montpellier is changing the situation and Foodr offers a new alternative for struggling restaurant owners in the city. With a much lighter commissioning system than traditional delivery offers, we offer a marketplace via a mobile application, in which the user can consult nearby restaurateurs, order, pay and then collect his order at the indicated time. With this take-away system, we spare the restaurateur fees from large delivery platforms, we limit human contact in this Covid period, and we offer a structure that makes it easier to take orders,” explains Hugues.
The next step for the Montpellier-based click and collect start-up is now to expand its restaurant catalogue. You can click here to contact them.
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