Tiffany Loh: Hey Adam, thanks for having breakfast with me.
Adam Theobald: Fantastic, thanks for having me.
Tiffany: How did you initially finance Beat the Q?
Adam: After being at a Jack Johnson concert, we waited for 45 minutes [in a food queue] and decided we had to build an app to solve this long wait and pain point for both the retailer and consumer.
Tiffany: That’s really cool, you obviously have very nice family and friends. So you’ve seen phenomenal growth, can you tell me a bit about that?
Adam: We’ve been doing this now for nearly three years. We did the numbers the other day and if you were to stack the coffee cups back-to-back, since the start of Beat the Q, you’d get the international space station three times over, so that was really exciting for us.
Tiffany: How many coffee orders is that?
Adam: We’re fast approaching a million orders, which is something that we’re so excited about.
Tiffany: So what do you think are the big issues affecting the hospitality industry and particularly cafe owners?
Adam: Something we’re consistently hearing from our cafes is that there’s a huge competitiveness in the cafe sector right now. A couple of years ago there might have been about seven or eight thousand cafes, we’re seeing well over ten thousands cafes today.
Our friends and family were hugely supportive of the Beat the Q idea and saw a real need in the marketplace, and they helped us with the initial investment round.
Tiffany: So what’s been the most amazing customer experience you’ve seen so far?
Adam: My very first Beat the Q cafe is in Balmain, The Little Marionette and people there actually order on their phone and have it delivered across to them in the park.
Tiffany: What are the key human challenges facing the hospitality industry?
Adam: A big one is finding and retaining high quality staff that is customer focused; huge challenge, and one area that is a big focus for successful cafes.
Tiffany: And what’s the solution to that?
Adam: Some of the options include flexible working arrangements, having relationships with universities nearby; these will help get and keep your high quality staff, and introduce new people.
Tiffany: What other technologies are being used to help improve cafe efficiency?
Adam: Where in yesteryear a lot of the cafes operated on a cash tool, today they’re operating on brand new point of sale systems that are delivered by an iPad or other ways.
Tiffany: Do you think those trends will continue over the next few years?
Adam: In a venue that offers all other payment methods; cash, credit card, Eftpos, and tap and go, we see that we have a very high percentage take up in those cafes because it’s not just a payment benefit, it’s ordering ahead – time is valuable.
Tiffany: Thanks for coming along Adam.
Adam: Thanks for having me, it’s been a lot of fun.