Recently, we interacted with Mr. Mainak Sarkar, Co-founder and CEO, Explorex – A full-stack OS that helps restaurants manage their entire business operations and processes, with optimal results.
Here are the interview highlights:
What role does Explorex play in the restaurant business?
Explorex has created an ecosystem that tackles all aspects of restaurant management like order administration, operations management, online delivery, payment processing, reports & analytics, guest identification and re-engagement, and much more using a single system. Explorex was brought into existence considering how inconvenient it is for today’s business owners, where their software lacks interconnection and data transfer from one operating system to another. These present solutions are not easy to set up, as they are unable to interface with services and are not modular. Furthermore, restaurants become frustrated by the 5-6 distinct, non-communicating systems.
Explorex’s competitive edge stays consistent in our unwavering devotion to a well-crafted and established business plan in an increasingly large marketplace where tech giants are expanding into the restaurant industry. This strategy has been methodically created to cater to a wide range of enterprises, from the smallest neighbourhood eateries to massive industry leaders. What distinguishes us is our distinct ecosystem strategy, which seamlessly integrates all of the tools required to run a restaurant within the Explorex platform.
What was the thought process behind Explorex? How did this idea become a reality?
We began our first venture before COVID-19 called Eatable, which was dedicated to improving the dining experience through digital menus for restaurant customers. Despite the fact that it had to close because of the pandemic, we obtained a greater understanding of the industry as a result, which helped us pinpoint the fundamental cause of the problem we were attempting to solve. During the year 2020, we began Explorex by implementing the lessons learned from our previous startup and creating a very successful venture out of it, addressing the key features that future restaurant markets require to gain better traction. We maintain a digitalized and efficient stand to compete in future markets while building customer loyalty, which enabled us to grow further and work with 1000+ restaurants in 15+ cities across India.
Our ecosystem includes everything from online menus to order management, POS/mPOS, contactless payments, inventory management and much more. We empower restaurateurs to entrust us with the minutiae of their business operations by using the power of technology, allowing them to devote their focus to their primary competence – delivering extraordinary culinary experiences to their cherished customers.
How is Explorex different from other SaaS platforms in the restaurant industry?
Prioritizing client satisfaction and retention is critical in the restaurant industry, and Explorex is committed to attaining this. We’ve reduced table turnaround times by 40%, thanks to our completely automated and integrated restaurant management technology, improving the frequency of serving rounds and overall restaurant revenue. Our software also assures a smooth and quick ordering experience, resulting in a considerable rise in the average number of orders per table and a 30% increase in average ticket size. Furthermore, by speeding up the ordering process and making it easier for guests to ask for assistance, the restaurant owners saw a significant boost in guest experience and satisfaction.
Explorex is more than just a SaaS platform, it’s a tech-enabled powerhouse that drives restaurants to their top potential. We provide other features including menu pricing updates at a touch of a button, automatic table settlement with integrated payment systems, and customer-initiated calls for steward help. The ability to manage many locations from a single dashboard not only improves customer involvement but also guarantees that restaurants run efficiently. In the end, what sticks in the minds of customers and turns them into devoted, repeat customers is the entire customer experience. Explorex is dedicated to providing diners with exceptional experiences that entice them to return.
What is the future of SaaS based platforms in the restaurant business?
Following the pandemic, restaurants quickly began to digitize, which helped the hospitality sector recover greatly. Many restaurants are adopting technology to assist in streamlining operations and improve customer service as a result of this digitization of operations. SaaS technology isn’t just transforming things; it’s improving them, much like the way fine dining establishments run. This entails putting a priority on establishing trust with clients and ensuring employee satisfaction. The fact that more and more restaurants are setting up all over the world and utilizing contemporary technology, such as cloud-based systems, to support their expansion, is contributing to this trend.
An excellent example of this is Explorex, which uses technology to streamline restaurant procedures similar to those of a well-run kitchen. There has been significant expansion, as evidenced by the approximately 115% increase in total GMV processed between February 2023 and July 2023. In just a few months, our team grew from fifty members to an astounding one hundred and more. In a similar vein, our clientele has expanded from 350 to over 1000 establishments, and by the conclusion of the fiscal year, we hope to continue on this trajectory.
How do you plan to use OaaS for your business? How is it going to affect customers and restaurants?
In the dynamic and ever-changing business environment of today, organizations are always looking for new and creative methods to surpass their customers’ expectations. The Outcome as a Service (OAAS) model elevates traditional technology service models by providing actionable business outcomes rather than just raw data. In contrast, Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms offer a one-stop shop for all technological needs. The end user is then tasked with conducting the analysis and choosing the appropriate course of action, utilizing the insightful, customized data for their enterprises.
With a focus on customer satisfaction and risk reduction, Explorex, a well-known SaaS pioneer in the restaurant sector, is using Outcome as a Service (OAAS) to transform the restaurant business. Along with a strong focus on fostering client loyalty and trust, the business also places a high priority on maintaining employee well-being. Explorex utilizes cutting-edge technology to optimize restaurant operations, simulating the effectiveness of a well-maintained kitchen. Explorex provides restaurants with a visual representation of trends and data gathered using machine learning to aid in decision-making.
The angle of modern visual reports which help in decision-making rather than spreadsheets, making it easier to understand the data.
How do you plan to expand Explorex in the near future?
By automating end-to-end business processes—from hiring employees to preparing the kitchen to digitising the menu—we at Explorex aim to share the strain of running the restaurant. With our main office located in Bangalore, we were also prominent in Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. As of March 2023, we had over 1000 restaurant partners spread over more than 15 Indian cities, and we had secured USD 6.5 million through pre-seed and seed rounds. The company plans to expand its offerings across India and use the funding for product development. We want to increase payment volumes and put in place a dependable acquisition strategy in order to provide it with a greater competitive advantage in the services sector and solidify its market position. Explorex processed over INR 70 crore last year, nine months after starting to receive payments. We intend to process at least INR 500 crore this year. With over 100 employees, we moved to a larger, advanced office building. Between February 2023 and July 2023, the total GMV handled increased by almost 115%, making us one of the fastest-growing startups in the restaurant industry.