DEVELOPER // Sentrana
PARTNER // Sysco Food
SOLUTION // SpoonByte Restaurant Recommendation Engine & Targeted Marketing Platform
MY WORK //
- Created the Digital 2.0 Strategy for Sysco Food
- Collaborated with Sysco Food’s executive team on product development
- Led the Product & Design teams in Agile product development
THE PROBLEM //
Restaurants lack the ability to scientifically target and market to new and existing patrons with timely messages, deals, and loyalty management. Additionally, consumers lack the ability to quickly find restaurants and deals that are scientifically matched to their food preferences. Lastly, our B2B Demand Optimization platform lacked the critical data around consumer demand that would better inform our predictive models for foodservice clients.
We utilized a form of Agile called Rapid Application Development (RAD) because it emphasizes working software and user feedback over planning and documentation.
THE SOLUTION //
I worked at Sentrana, a technology company that provided Scientific Micromarket Management solutions to various companies, most notably Sysco Food. Our team crafted the Digital 2.0 Strategy for Sysco Food in 2009, and sought a partnership opportunity to help extend Sentrana’s powerful Demand Optimization technology, called MarketMover.
The initial goal was to develop a restaurant recommendation engine – in partnership w/ Sysco Food – in order to help patrons find the best food around them, help restaurants more accurately target the right patrons, and additionally, to help attain the customer demand data for our Demand Optimization Platform called MarketMover.
I worked with executive stakeholders at Sentrana and Sysco Food to develop the product strategy, requirements, and development timeline. We developed the SpoonByte website and mobile app as a restaurant recommendation engine that matches patrons to optimal restaurants – via targeted offers – based on their food preferences and previous dining experiences.
After 9 months of development and delays, we finally launched SpoonByte without any marketing and it quickly fizzled out a few weeks after launching. It was an extremely painful experience for the team and company, but we learned from it and vowed never to repeat it.
Following the failed launch, we decided to pivot the product and technology to build a mobile food ordering platform for restaurants. This proof of concept – called SpoonByte Pro – was largely successful, and eventually integrated with Sysco Food’s ChefRef app.