Suksmasari Soepomo, Lecturer Turned F&B Entrepreneur, co-founder of MakanDiantar (EI#6)
MakanDiantar.com is a food delivery service based in Yogyakarta (Jogja), Indonesia. MakanDiantar offers customers offers customers a wide variety of food choices on its website and app. For the residents of the crowded Yogyakarta city, it is one of the best options for a comfortable meal at home.
MakanDiantar.com was started by Suksmasari Soepomo (Sari), who was a lecturer before leaving to grow her F&B business.
Consistency, quality of product and good service are critical success factors in the F&B industry – Suksmasari Soepomo, F&B Entrepreneur & Co-Founder of MakanDiantar.com
Suksmasari Soepomo never imagined herself to be an entrepreneur. She came from a family of academics, ‘I was born in a family of lecturers, both parents are lecturers so are cousins, aunties and uncles. So I didn’t have any examples of a businesswoman/man in my family.’
Sari’s venture into F&B businesses stemmed from her love of food. One day she imagined a place with hundreds of menus in it.
Since it had not yet existed in Yogyakarta, Sari decided to create it, ‘I created a foodcourt contains of hundred menus and traditional food.’
Before starting her F&B businesses, Sari was a university lecturer and master’s degree student. When the F&B business started, she lectured and ran the business at the same time until she could no longer cope, ‘I thought I could manage my time. Unfortunately, the business took almost all energy. I resigned and became adjunct lecturer after four months of running the food court.’
In this interview, find out:
- the assumptions Sari made about F&B businesses in Jogja that were later proven wrong
- the most challenging part of the F&B business in Jogja
- the value that MakanDiantar.com offers that makes it different from its competitors
- how people find out about MakanDiantar.com
- the channels that MakanDiantar.com customers prefer to order from
And more. Read the whole interview.
Starting Out in F&B in Yogyakarta
Lu Wee: What were your assumptions about the F&B industry that were proven wrong when you started your businesses?
Sari: How much price matters here in Jogja. I assumed that by providing facilities, better service and quality food, people would prefer to dine at a restaurant (or food court) than eat street food.
I was wrong. Jogja is a city where many students live. I’m not saying that people here don’t care about food quality or customer service. However, price is what matters most here.
Another thing I didn’t expect were the regulations of building and creating a restaurant. I started all units based on the regulations stipulated by the local government. I fulfilled all the requirements and was issued a certificate.
I thought the government would be strict with enforcing this. However, I found that there were a lot of places to eat and hang out which didn’t follow regulations and the government did nothing about them.
Lu Wee: What did you find most challenging about the F&B industry?
Sari: The pricing of food at other restaurants and also the coming of international brands into the Jogja has been challenging.
It has also been challenging to make changes to the business to fulfil the F&B needs in Jogja as the city evolves. Ordering food by delivery, for instance, is becoming a popular option in Jogja as the city becomes crowded and traffic worsens.
Lu Wee: If you were to do this all over again, would you start an F&B business?
Sari: I guess so, but in different scheme. For one, I wouldn’t get as involved deeply in the production process inside the kitchen.
Lu Wee: You started your businesses in F&B eight years ago. How has the industry changed since then?
Sari: More people are opting for food delivery services now than when I started providing the service eight years ago. This could be because the traffic in Jogja is getting worse and people find it convenient to order food for delivery instead.
MakanDiantar.com: On Demand Food Delivery for Busy People
Lu Wee: You started MakanDiantar.com, a web based food delivery business. How did the concept of MakanDiantar come about?
Sari: I started doing food delivery for my first restaurant, @FoodFezt without a website. A customer would make their order by calling us on the phone or chatting with us on Yahoo Messenger.
In 2014 I started www.makandiantar.com, a website where people could order directly from. Now, the MakanDiantar app is also available in the Google play store.
We were also keen about developing the delivery system business because Jogja is getting increasingly crowded and more people are opting for food on delivery.
Other than that, more people now use their mobile devices to fulfill their needs. Mobile devices are not tools for communication anymore. MakanDiantar is an app that helps people get what they want through simple clicks on their devices.
Lu Wee: What makes people choose MakanDiantar over other food delivery services or restaurants in Yogyakarta?
Sari: There are four things that make MakanDiantar different:
- There is a lot of variety in the food offered by MakanDiantar. We also change our offerings every 3 – 4 months to give our customer new choices.
- Customers can also order from the MakanDiantar app which is easy to navigate and order from.
- Also, unlike other food delivery service which is usually, 1) delivery for a single restaurant (single brand) with a limited menu e.g: fried chicken, pizza, or, 2) delivery service working with many restaurants.
- We analyze the pattern of our customers’ orders and then make sure we’re providing them with their demands of food.
Customer Behavior on MakanDiantar.com
Lu Wee: What is the most popular way people find out about MakanDiantar? (social media, word of mouth, advertising?)
Sari: People mostly find MakanDiantar by two means:
- Search engines like Google. People will usually find us when they look for terms like ‘delivery makanan Jogja’, ‘food delivery Jogja’, ‘delivery Jogja’, ‘delivery food Jogja’, etc. MakanDiantar.com is one of the top search results using these terms.
- Social media sites like Twitter and Instagram are increasingly becoming the go-to medium for people to find info about anything.
Lu Wee: There are three ways to order food from MakanDiantar: by phone, website order and app. Which is the most popular way people order food?
Sari: Orders through the MakanDiantar website and app are most popular. However, the use is segmented based on the age group of our customers. Older customers prefer to order by phone whereas younger people tend to order through the website or app.
Advice for Succeeding in F&B
Lu Wee: What are the top three critical success factors for an F&B business?
Sari: (1) Consistency (2) Quality of Product (3) Good Service
Lu Wee: What is your advice for people who want to start their own F&B business?
Sari: Prepare a good system for storage and purchasing. This way you can control the raw material, waste, orders to supplier and be able to better relate these numbers to the profit and revenue report at the end of the month.
The Future of MakanDiantar.com Beyond Yogyakarta
Lu Wee: What is your vision for MakanDiantar and what is your strategy to get there?
Sari: To be the leading online food delivery platform in Indonesia. Our strategy is actually quite simple: we work with chain kitchens with outlets in most big cities in Indonesia and act as an additional channel for revenue generation by allowing people to order their food through our website and app. This way we will be able to provide additional revenues for a restaurant without much additional cost.
MakanDiantar on Video
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