ChowHub.co.za , one of six tech start-ups in Seed Engine’s first business accelerator programme, is an online and mobile restaurant discovery platform. ChowHub allows customers to simply and speedily select and place orders online for restaurants in their geographic location from their mobile device.
The site takes users from hunger pangs to order transmission in less than 30 seconds, at the same time reducing the risk of incorrect orders through errors and miscommunication. The selected eatery accepts the order, once they do the customer receives an immediate SMS order confirmation. The ChowHub platform offers both delivery and self pick up order options on all menu items.
ChowHub’s business model does not include mark-ups on restaurant prices or processing fees and restaurants in South Africa are invited to list with the site for free. Revenue is derived from commission, charged per order. The commission is paid by the listed restaurants so ChowHub users don’t pay more to order food in this way.
The business concept for the start-up owes its origins to entrepreneurs Ismail Dhorat and Alireza Sadeghi’s frustration. One weekend, they were unable to order pizza speedily while working long hours developing an online ordering system for baked goodies. This convinced the men to switch to a restaurant-based initiative and ChowHub is the result.
Dhorat’s is a past recipient of a youth entrepreneurship award with more than 10 years experience in the IT and telecommunications industries and he also has a previous tech start-up to his credit.
Sadeghi credentials include a BIT Cum Laude from the University of Pretoria and the development and management of several innovative mobile solutions in the utilities sector;
To date the team has relied almost solely on the initial R100 000 funding from Seed Engine to cover their costs. “It has been a challenging journey thus far, and it will only increase in the years to come as we scale this business to new heights.” says Dhorat.