Shivram Ayyagari (Co-Founder, CEO) and Oliver Hüfner (Co-Founder, CFO) © Anne Schönharting
What inspired you to found your startup?
Previous experiences (India, Singapore, Europe) showed that all companies want to strengthen communication & culture. Food is the best benefit for that – people can eat together and not waste time in long queues. However, canteens were the only option and they were capital intensive and so available only to large companies (20% of the workforce). As Delivery Hero senior management, Oliver and Shivram saw an opportunity to use existing, under-utilised restaurant kitchens, to solve this problem.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
Smunch aims to empower companies in taking care of their employees and strengthening communication and culture. Our ambitions are global, but success is getting this right for every customer who chooses to work with us.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
Too many to count 🙂
What problem does your product solve?
Employee lunch programs have traditionally been available to large corporates or companies that offer to pay 100% of the food, every single day. These are only 20% of the total workforce.
The remaining 80% have exactly the same needs, but no solution and that is where Smunch comes in.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
In the next year we see ourselves expand to a few more cities in Germany, then an international roll-out soon. We intend to have a multi-country presence and have a sustainable long-term business
In the near future, when companies want to show that they take care of their employees, they will brag about offering Smunch at work 🙂
How are you different?
Smunch delivers amazing food, from one restaurant each day to customers, using our own delivery fleet. Companies offer amazing food at work, without investing in a canteen – thereby employees eat together, communicate more and enjoy lunch breaks more. Employees get to choose great food at over 50% discount to the retail prices, thanks to tax-benefits. Restaurants get large orders, in advance, that leaves the restaurant before peak lunch rush, increasing their output by up to 500%.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
Users interact with Smunch on a daily basis (they have the flexibility to order food every day of the week).
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
Smunch is enabling companies to take care of their employees and improve communication. Employees get delicious healthy food at ultra-affordable prices and the restaurants increase their kitchen utilisation by up to 500%, ensuring a stable, brand new, income stream. This is a win-win-win solution for everyone involved.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
The Berlin start-up scene is still in it’s early days. However, previously, there were only a few well known startups and now that has expanded to a larger pool, making it more diversified and more attractive as an ecosystem.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
Berlin is an cosmopolitan location which attracts a eclectic mix of skills and perspectives. Combined with a few successful startups, this has started a virtuous cycle of Berlin becoming an attractive destination for top talent. Combined with a reasonable cost of living and very high living standards, it’s a great place for the HQ of a business.
However, the best clients for a business like ours are not necessarily in Berlin but in other German and international cities.
Bonus Question: Anything else that we need to know about you?
Smunch is Smart Lunch (like Brangelina) 😉
Smunch was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.