Restaurant Discovery Two-Sided Platform


Cream was solving a customer experience problem: searching for and choosing a restaurant takes too long and isn’t reliable

Where we get our dining information from - User-Generated-Content (UGC) platforms - isn't trustworthy anymore. Trip Advisor had a fake restaurant reach #1, bloggers & reviewers get paid for favourable reviews, Instagram influencers are paid to post and Yelp admitted 25% of their reviews are fake. Because customers visit numerous platforms to de-risk their decisions, venues must invest time and money keeping each platform up to date with little to no measurement criteria to analyse success.

So our mission was clear

Create a more trustworthy experience to discover food that provides venues a more effective & efficient way to attract & retain new customers. We believed restaurant recommendations from top chefs & restaurateurs on a beautiful platform that automated transacting, analytics, and audience building would do that. Leveraging and concentrating readily-available valued information to generate exponential value for both sides of a market was the name of the game.

Telehealth is healthcare delivered from a distance by humans.

Virtual healthcare is healthcare delivered from a distance by software.

Our bet?

Because chefs & restaurateurs dedicate their lives to great food & drink and their professional reputation is on the line, diners would value their recommendations more than the alternatives. More trustworthy content within a great, personalised search experience would yield a more confident consumer who could and would transact more quickly and frequently. Partnering this with tech to automate transactions, communications, and audience building would both increase revenues and drop costs for venues.

How did it go?

At month four, we'd achieved over 5,000 recommendations in Melbourne and Sydney from 150+ top chefs & restaurateurs that was growing weekly, our MAU/DAU ratio was 23% (not bad by the end of month three and we had revenue starting to trickle in. So there we were. Acquisition, activation, and retention were showing signs of life, we’d altered our direction after learning and listening to our customers, we’d added a CTO to the team, we were in the early stages of proving revenue with promising monthly media partnerships on digital and radio on the close horizon to boost our audience and revenue, and joining a six-month seed program with $100,000 funding was a real possibility. COVID-19 hit the following week and most came to a halt.

I published a post mortem on what happened at Cream next. Read it here.

What’s next?

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