Sandwich shops and catering outlets across Wales may soon be able to have a bigger share of the estimated £4 billion sandwich market thanks to a new online solution developed by a team of scientists and engineers.
Known as Butterware, the cloud-based platform makes it possible for lunch retailers to take advantage of the considerable surge in online sales and accurately predict demand for their products on a daily basis.
Lunch retailers have access to a bespoke and fully supported e-commerce website designed by Butterware. This makes it possible to tailor their products to their customers, access built-in reports, newsletters, recommend-a-friend schemes and vouchers.
“Lunch-to-go as a concept seems pretty straightforward, except that it is almost impossible to accurately predict demand,” explained managing director, Graeme Simpson. “By creating an easy to use, fully integrated e-commerce platform, sandwich shop owners and caterers are not only able to build brand awareness online, but actively reduce the huge amount of food that ends up in our bins.”
Butterware is now looking to raise an additional £200k in seed funding as part of its expansion plans via crowdfunding platform, Seedrs.
The investment will enable Butterware to grow its existing customer base and extend its software and marketing capabilities.
Mr Simpson added:
“The benefits of our platform to the catering industry are significant. This includes reducing waste, making it possible to accurately predict staff hours, inventory, spikes in demand, etc.
“By raising development capital through crowdfunding – i.e. whether you invest £10 or £10k – we are able to involve both those businesses who get to benefit from the platform and the end customer who benefits from being able to place their orders online.”
Butterware now plans to significantly expand access to its technology platform and customer service offering across the UK.
Mr Simpson, who is a computer scientist and software engineer, was inspired to start the business when he was working in offices based on an industrial estate.
“I was fed up with the butty van turning up with almost nothing left. Because we had only 30 minutes for lunch, racing off to find somewhere and then spending another ten minutes in the queue was painful. Butterware was born out of a desire to solve these issues.”
The system is simple: custom-branded online ordering websites allow lunch-to-go businesses to take orders for collection or delivery, for individual orders or buffets.
In turn, customers can have their lunch delivered, or arrive and collect it without wasting part of their precious lunch break queueing, ordering and paying.
Potential investors can expect to enjoy a compound yield of 12% per year over a five year period.