Dubbed the No. 1 ordering platform for the food industry, Choco is entering the UK restaurant and supplier market.
Unicorn, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, has pledged to invest £20m in a bid to open 10,000 restaurants by 2023.
Choco says order management could be fully automated by 2026. Its mobile app allows vendors to offer customers a fully digital ordering process, replacing the “feel, phone and paper list” system traditionally used by chefs.
All available products are displayed on the interface in real time, so chefs can see exactly what products they are ordering and at what price – eliminating human error on both sides.
With operations in the US, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Spain, the total value of goods sold through the platform since the creation of Choco in 2018 amounted to more than 1.2 billion euros.
Choco works with more than 15,000 restaurateurs as well as more than 10,000 wholesalers worldwide.
“Automation is particularly important in an industry where suppliers operate 24/7 due to limited manpower and restaurants operate 24/7 to provide customers with the ultimate dining experience,” said Alex Kiely, UK General Manager.
“There is a real appetite for technology in the UK. The food industry in particular knows that digitizing their business is no longer an option and they need to act now.
“Choco has the proven track record and strong client base to lead the UK market on the digital journey and is already working with digital clients across the country to deliver efficiencies.”
Shaun Henderson, founder of Henderson Seafood, a Brixham-based fish supplier to the restaurant industry that ethically sources fish, said: “We use Choco as a platform for our customers to buy from us online. We wanted to digitize the food ordering process to give our customers a better and faster experience and make the process more efficient for us.
“We usually take 50 orders a day. WhatsApp or phone may be prone to human error. Choco eliminates this. This saves time for our customers as they simply tick off what they want, the order comes to us, we process it and the invoice is automated, saving us even more time.
“The launch has been faster than ever anticipated and we were up and running within two weeks – two thirds of our orders are already coming through Choco and customers have really loved it. Choco has really changed the way we do things and we couldn’t be happier.”
Chris Bassett, executive chef at Portland, a Michelin-starred restaurant in London’s Fitzrovia that offers a seasonal menu of modern British cuisine, added: “I had never come across an online food ordering platform for restaurants before, so when I was introduced to with Choco I loved this concept. We’ve been using the platform for a few months now and it’s really changed the way we do things.
“99% of our suppliers use the platform and we can see in real time what is available and can choose exactly what we want at any time of the day. Not only does this save me about 20 minutes at the end of each service, it also eliminates human error so I now get exactly what I ordered.
“Before, when I did it over the phone, I might wait to speak to someone, then I might read something wrong, or the provider might write it down wrong, so with Choco we both know exactly where we are, so that it’s a smoother, more efficient experience.
“As a restaurant that produces a very seasonal menu, it’s essential that we have access to the best ingredients available at any given time, and Choco gives us the ability to do that.”
Choco is now available for free to all UK restaurants, and UK suppliers can sign up for a fee to get on the list.