By Alex Kiely, General Manager of Choco UK (https://choco.com/uk/)
The UK food industry has a real appetite for tech. It’s adventurous. Many of us know that digitising our business is not optional anymore. The margin for error with orders being exchanged on pen, paper, voicemail or WhatsApp is too high. Wrong, misheard, or misspelt orders cost money and reputations. If anybody has been watching The Bear, the recent US TV drama about a top chef who takes over his brother’s neighbourhood restaurant in Chicago, you’ll have seen the repeated scenes of increasing frustration when orders are delivered in the wrong quantities.
As our industry prepares for a difficult few seasons, Choco, the industry’s No.1 global ordering platform, has launched to the UK restaurant and supplier market.
Choco can enable both suppliers and restaurants to make every possible financial and process efficiency, improving margins and strengthening the digital food chain.
Choco’s app allows suppliers to offer customers a fully digital ordering process, replacing the ‘gut feel, phone and paper list’ system. All available products are shown on the interface in real time, giving chefs the confidence that in a few clicks they can know exactly what products they are ordering and at what cost. This is hugely important, with inflation soaring and food costs changing on a daily basis, the platform provides transparency to chefs for accurate budgeting.
Food waste on the restaurant and supplier side is also adding to economic worries, and it is also leading to more of a focus on creating more sustainable environments. Currently 30-40% of food produced goes to waste each year and nearly three-quarters of that waste happens in the supply chain before consumers are involved. Waste is the third-largest driver of climate change. If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest in carbon dioxide emissions on the planet.
We estimate that, when using the Choco app, restaurants are saving on average 1.27 kilos every week by reducing their ordering mistakes and saving up to two hours every week by improving their efficiency in the kitchen.
The supplier perspective
Shaun Henderson, founder of Henderson Seafood, the Brixham-based, sustainable and ethically sourced fish supplier to the restaurant industry is using Choco. “We use it as a platform for our customers to buy online from us. We typically take 50 orders a day. WhatsApp or phone can be prone to human error, but Choco eliminates that. It saves time for our customers as they simply tick box what they want, the order comes through to us, we process it, and the invoice is automated, saving us even more time. Onboarding has been quicker than ever imagined and we were up and running within two weeks – two thirds of our orders are already coming through Choco. Customers have really taken to it. Choco has really changed the way we do things, and we couldn’t be happier.”
The chef’s experience
Chris Bassett, Head Chef at Portland, a Michelin starred restaurant in London’s Fitzrovia district serving a seasonal menu of modern British cuisine, uses Choco. “I’ve never come across an online food ordering platform for restaurants before, so when I was introduced to Choco I loved the concept. We’ve been using the platform for a few months now and it’s truly transformed the way we do things.
99% of our suppliers use the platform. We can see in real time what is available, and we can select exactly what we want any time of the day. It not only saves me approximately 20 minutes at the end of each service, but it also cuts out the human error, so I now get exactly what I ordered.
Previously, when done by phone, I could be waiting around to speak to someone, then I could read something out wrong or the supplier could have noted it down wrong so with Choco, we both know exactly where we stand so it’s a more seamless, efficient experience.”
Find out more about him and Choco UK at