HungerBox Operations – Sailing through the Storm (2020 – 2022)

The pandemic has definitely affected one and all. And we are no different. It is no hidden fact that the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry has been one of the most adversely impacted, in the last 2 years. During this tumultuous phase, adapting to the changing environment has been our guiding mantra throughout, and hence we moulded our digital café application and services to suit the need of the hour and enhance the delight we strive to provide, with each passing wave. The range of offerings were expanded to meet our client demands and expectations. Simultaneously, in order to safeguard the P&L of our vendor partners during these trying times, we also instituted mechanisms such as minimum guarantee (MG) orders, etc.

There have been various models and arrangements that we have curated and executed for our esteemed clients, during this prolonged pandemic period that has been interspersed with glimmers of hope after each Covid wave; only to be scuttled with the next deadly wave that followed. But our vendor partners have been rock solid, provided unstinted support and displayed immense will to deliver and offer services during this phase of business uncertainty. They have, and will forever be our pillar of strength. This never say die attitude combined with our agility on the technology front has resulted in HungerBox meeting all the requirements of clients, across the country.

During the initial months of the nation-wide lockdown in 2020, HungerBox was providing free food to the needy sections of the society in 7 major cities of India, under the ‘Feed my India’ umbrella programme. Parallelly, we started the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) model phase one with packed meal boxes being prepared at the vendor base kitchens, whilst adhering to the prevalent social distancing and Covid protocols, and being delivered to the client cafeterias. As the restrictions on protocols were being gradually lifted by the Govt bodies, the safe cafeteria experience started gaining traction and models such as tuck shops, bain-marie service, live counters and finally the in-house cooking got widely accepted, not only at corporate cafes, but also manufacturing sector, educational institutions, multi-tenant tech parks, healthcare establishments, etc.

The big learning for us, HungerBox as a team, during the two year pandemic period has been that adaptability and pre-empting needs of the clients goes a long way in ensuring growth and success. The company that is the market leader in B2B Food Tech and managing end to end services of India’s largest cafeterias of top-ranked clients, is bound to pave the way for a smooth employee RTO (return to office) programme. When it comes to cafeteria operations, there are a gamut of factors and aspects that are required to be closely monitored and seamlessly executed. Numerous inputs from our clients and vendor partners have been taken and incorporated in the HungerBox recommended cafeteria reopening plan.

According to statistics, approximately 60 percent of the vendors have withdrawn from the market and shut shop permanently in this period. Such has been the impact of pandemic on the F&B industry and food entrepreneurs. And hence, a huge royal salute to our warrior vendor partners who weathered the storm and have emerged ever more resilient today.

Last but not the least is the tremendous support and backing that we received from our clients in these tough times, that helped us tide over this crisis. I am sanguine that this spirit of oneness and strength from unity will stand us all in good stead for the wonderful journey ahead. Looking forward to times when our users are back to office, unwinding at the cafeterias over piping hot hearty meals.


Want to get away with slow and chaotic kitchen operations?

Are you having difficulty increasing the pace and efficiency of your culinary operations? The “kitchen system” from HungerBox streamlines your kitchen operations and speeds things up!

Fast service is the key to a great cafeteria experience but lack of speed in kitchen operations leaves you out in the cold.

It takes every opportunity to speed up service and make the most of every crew member’s talent to run a successful cafeteria.

Think about it…

Your cafeteria is experiencing its busiest time, and your staff is swamped with orders. 

Your current POS system works on only order level processing and managing operations only through kitchen order tickets (KOT) printed on a paper slip.

A POS operator passes the KOT to the chef who then clips it near the kitchen slab and starts preparation.

Once the order is ready, the chef keeps the order tray at the counter and the POS operator shouts for the customer to collect the same.

​​Your kitchen is already in disarray. The chef is putting his efforts in arranging the KOT’s on a “first come first serve” basis, wasting out on time to start the preparation. 

Meanwhile, the sandwich from the order having two items – sandwich and pasta was prepared but preparing the pasta is taking some time. 

Also there are three complete orders at the counter waiting for the customers to pick up but the customers could not hear their names because of the noise at the cafeteria. 

And now what? The ordered items of the two customers are exchanged. This might create a lot of disgust and distrust of customers on your services. Say a case where a non-veg meal is being served to a vegetarian customer by mistake. Also you may have to bear heavy penalties for the same.

For delivery type orders, the orders are packed and waiting at the POS operator’s desk. The POS operator has to mark food ready for the delivery guy to pick it up but the operator is busy with printing KOT’s, dealing with the customers at the cafeteria and the delivery executives.

The countertop is becoming cluttered and what follows is delay.

Because of all this, the overall customer experience deteriorates.

The dissatisfied customers would put poor ratings and reviews for your food and service which in turn influence the choice of other potential customers to browse past your food counter due to poor customer feedback. 

Finding the root cause of slow and messy kitchen operations…

Using the current point of sale system involves manually managing kitchen activities without tracking order status in real time and managing the menu. This impedes your business’ ability to grow and scale. The result is a messy, disorganized kitchen floor. 

So, what’s the solution to the mess of manual kitchen operation management?

Hungerbox’s “Kitchen System” – An end-to-end POS system to assist food partners with managing their respective vendor shops. A kitchen system that facilitates item level as well as order level food processing depending upon the use case.

The minute an order lands in the kitchen system, you are notified about the incoming order via a confirmation pop-up with the list of order items. You can accept the entire order or partial order by unchecking the item which you want to reject. This way rather than losing out on the entire order just for the unavailability of an item, you end up rejecting only those items which aren’t available thus cutting down the loss of revenue. 

What the Hungerbox kitchen system has to offer

  1. Order management – Item Level Processing

Effectively monitor the different orders and  their quantities that you have to prepare, as well as update the orders that you have prepared.

This feature lets you track the different status of the orders – confirmed, in-process, partially processed, processed, also facilitating item wise delivery of an order. Once any of the items of an order has been processed then you can deliver that item to the customer rather than waiting for the entire order items to be ready. Thus, the customer enjoys the fresh food and also doesn’t have to wait for too long to get their food.

  1. Order Authentication

Thinking about how to track which items are delivered to whom and what is left on the list? Don’t worry, we do take care that you deliver the correct order items to the correct customer.

At the time of delivering the ordered items to the customer, the item is authenticated via the Order QR/Pin shared by the customer. This helps you to ensure that you deliver the correct item to the customer.

Once the item gets processed, you can easily deliver the order item-wise and also track the other items that are yet to be processed and delivered. This way your customer doesn’t have to wait for long for the entire order to be processed and can enjoy the fresh and hot food.

Voila, you delivered the right item to the right customer and that too without any delays.

  1. Delayed Order Status

Accepted an order but missed on the preparation or delivery? Don’t panic, we are here. 

If any order is delayed by a certain time, we flash that order on your screen to remind you about the same so that you deliver it at the earliest. You can set the time for reminders as per your requirements from KS settings.

  1. Menu management

By adding, cloning, and categorizing menu items with a few clicks, a dynamic menu management feature will save you time and effort. It also enables you to offer specific items for a certain occasion of the day, allowing you to create morning, lunch, and dinner-specific menus.

You can also update the status(enable/disable) the top items at the start of every occasion.

  1. Inventory Management

The inventory management feature lets you manage the real-time availability of menu items by sending you alerts or automatically disabling menu items when they run out.

It helps you track real-time availability of menu items at various kitchen counters to enable customers to purchase items with greater certainty.

You can further utilize the inventory management to ascertain the quantity of food and avoid shortages or wastage.

  1. Optimized Search Options

Need to find an order/item on the go?

You can easily search for Item, KOT, delivery address using the search bar – ‘For example, you can search for B123 and this can be an order number or delivery address so you can search in a particular category or can search in the ‘All’ category. 

  1. Detailed Reporting and Insights

Hungerbox kitchen system is well equipped with smart analytics that provides detailed reports and insights about your business. 

It records the total sales done, total no. of orders received, the orders that were rejected and gives you item-wise and category-wise reports to have detailed insights about your  most selling and least selling items.

You can view, download, print or send the screenshot of the same to the concerned.

It also provides you with a section to view your overall rating and ratings and feedback on each order. Customer feedback is an essential part of customer engagement, and also extremely important as it provides insights about your performance.

You can analyze customer feedback and use it to identify and rectify your shortcomings.

  1. Scopes for Managing Kitchen System

Worried about handling all these operations through the kitchen system alone? Just Relax. You can divide the actions your staff can perform on the kitchen system based on their roles.

And decide the scope of Kitchen System users based on the view and the actions they are allowed to perform. For instance, the cafeteria manager can have access to set the view as per his preference, the chef can confirm, process or reject the orders but is not allowed to mark “delivery”, similarly the pos operator can view the order-level screen to keep track of the statuses of different orders, authenticate the order (in case of pick up) whereas delivery executive can view only the processed orders, authenticate the order (in case of delivery) and so-on.

So you don’t have to take the headache of performing each and every action on the kitchen system all by yourself. You just have to assign the scopes to your staff and monitor the operations when required.

Final Thoughts

A well-managed kitchen plays a huge role in your cafeteria’s success. Just like a well-oiled engine. 

Hungerbox’s Kitchen System is the essential ingredient of success. It provides a simple and efficient solution that will save your time, money, and sanity. Your cafeteria operations will be faster and proactive with substantial reductions in time, costs, and errors. 

We enable our clients to provide a top-of-the-line cafeteria experience through technologically advanced solutions and real-time management.

Customer experience should be of paramount importance and a good one is mostly dictated by the service and kind of food served.

Keeping up with the current trends and implementing efficient technology in the kitchen will greatly aid your business’s growth.