Frunk: Concept Background
This article will serve as the reference that I’ll point towards in future articles whenever I need to explain Frunk’s original concept. Seems to be a more efficient method.
Frunk focused on enhancing customer experiences in restaurants through automating the ordering process. Customers place orders themselves upon being seated directly with the kitchen, reducing waiting time and freeing up service staff to provide real service.
How I discovered the problem
Instead of the typical university method of giving tuition to kids (which I found unbearably boring), I paid my expenses through university by working in the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry. Mainly in fast moving restaurants, cafes, bars & clubs. Not surprisingly, while lunching with my girlfriend one day in a hawker centre in Singapore, I commented:
Woah, every shop seems understaffed. If nobody helps them out, the next generation won’t experience the same food culture we have.
And that’s how the journey started…
To be concise, the problem we wanted to solve was the (perceived) lack of service staff at restaurants. Since there was consistently not enough staff, we ventured, how can we make staff more efficient?
We detect the exact location of the customer through our mobile app and iBeacons attached on the underside of each table.
A live example that exists now is McDonald’s self ordering system for their Build-your-own-burger. Customers order from a touch screen panel, collects a device which he places on the table & the system identifies the location by the iBeacon installed underneath every table.
In short, Frunk was a system that McDonald’s eventually implemented, but we came up with it 1 year earlier than them. If McDonald’s implemented it, that’s great validation to the idea, right? Well, not really. But that story is for another post.