Wed, Dec 06, 2017 - Page 12 News List

IChef, KGI Bank launch big data collaboration

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Restaurant management service provider iChef (資廚管理顧問公司) and KGI Bank (凱基銀行) yesterday launched a partnership to jointly grow their business through big data technology.

The Taipei-based start-up, which provides restaurants with cost and operation analyses through its point-of-sale system, has seen its customer base increase to 32,000 since its establishment in 2012, cofounder Ken Chen (程開佑) said.

“The figure suggests an increase of 200 customers a month, with turnover soaring from NT$5 billion to NT$20 billion [US$166.7 million to US$666.8 million] a year, thanks to the rapidly growing popularity of iChef as a business reference tool among small and medium-sized restaurants in Taiwan and abroad,” Chen told a news conference.

The company gathers information regarding diner arrivals, dish selection, dining duration, payment choices and other details without disclosing the identity of the restaurants, Chen said.

It is seeking to analyze diner behavior and identify attributes of successful and loss-making restaurants, so their managers and owners can decide whether to adjust business strategy while prospective entrants can lower investment risks, Chen said.

Dining expenditures rose to a record high of NT$439.4 billion last year, but 260 registered eateries and lodging facilities opted to bow out of the market, suggesting a need for management guidance, he said.

The number of diners and revenue are the two most decisive factors, and unprofitable eateries tend to have fewer than 2,000 customer visits per month, Chen said.

While discounts might weigh on profit margin, they are useful in attracting diners, he said.

Long business hours could help boost revenue, but are no remedy if restaurants fail to attract diners during peak hours, Chen said.

KGI Bank head of financial technology and new financial services Brian Chou (周郭傑) said the partnership would allow the lender to reach new clients and identify potential financing opportunities.

Other local banks have been active in the provision of payment services at restaurants, so KGI is contented with being a supporter for the time being, Chou said.

The bank would take the initiative and reach out to customers when the time is right, he said.

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