1. How did the business start? What was the decisive moment when it dawned on you?
The initial idea for orderbird came to one of our founders over ten years ago. As a professional cash register dealer and Apple aficionado, Bastian Schmidtke wondered why it wasn’t possible for cash registers to be just as easy and intuitive to use as Apple devices. Bastian’s idea came at just the right time: In 2010, after the release of the iPod Touch and iPhone, Apple launched the iPad.
Encouraged by the new technology, Bastian brought his friend Jakob Schreyer on board, and later also the additional co-founders Artur Hasselbach and Patrick Brienen-Lucius. Their common goal: infuse a breath of fresh air into the hospitality market! Small businesses would finally have access to the technology and analytics of the big market players.
The first prototype of the founders’ innovative iPad POS system hit the ground running at the reopening of the famous P1 club in Munich. The four founders were able to acquire their first customer with a practical application, and word of the “waiters with iPhones” spread quickly.
This successful premiere was the starting signal for orderbird.
2. What challenges have you overcome so far?
With the founding of orderbird in 2011 and being Germany’s first iPad-based POS in the hospitality sector, it was not always easy. There was no blueprint to follow for e.g. the perfect pricing model or sales concept. Plus our customers needed to be convinced by a brand new technology. This is why we still invest a lot in building and maintaining trust in our products and brand. And since our product was and is very successful, many others entered the digital POS market after us. Still keeping us busy.
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3. How did your company react to covid?
Most of our products are catered to the hospitality industry, one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. Therefore throughout all of last year we had to be quick and on our toes while at the same time remaining conscious of our clients’ situation. In order to offer accommodation to restaurant owners we released our new one-stop guest management software. Among the many features is for example an online reservation system to optimally utilise the already reduced seating capacity and provide guests with the necessary distance. It also offers an ordering system for out-of-home business and table service, guest marketing, as well as voucher management and shift planning. That way restaurateurs are able to increase online visibility, store preferences of regular and returning guests in a customer database, and reduce staffing costs. In addition, they remain flexible during this uncertain time because the tools can be cancelled on a monthly basis.
We also published an ebook with helpful tips on what restaurateurs can do now in order to prepare for the reopening of their businesses, despite the current lockdown situation.
In collaboration with YND and Mastercard we furthermore launched our MINI by orderbird, an intuitive and mobile pocket sized POS system. Especially in the current situation it helps to make retail or hospitality business models more mobile, to comply with hygiene regulations and to plan flexibly.
4. What are your plans for growth this year?
In 2020 our Annual Recurring Revenue grew by 26% while Generating Positive Operating Cash Flow. So for 2021 we set our growth target to reach 27.5% ARR. With the fiscalisation deadline nearing as of which all cash registers in Germany have to be equipped with a technical safety system (TSS), we are positive to hit this target by the end of this year.
Another goal is to become a licensed Payment Facilitator as it will give us the flexibility to tailor our products and processes to best address the needs of independent gastronomers and retailers and help their businesses adapt and grow in this difficult environment. Therefore we have invested more than EUR 1.1 million into new technologies as well as into research and development. We are planning to launch our first Payment Facilitator-enabled financial services early next year.