The Business Pitch: App La Carte

By Andrew Malcolm, Rohan deSouza

Rohan deSouza and Andrew Malcolm explain what they hope to achieve with their start up tech business App La Carte.
Some of the Moa Creative team Nishal Thomas, Charles Wang, Moon Kim, Eugene Bridger, Jay Moon. Photo / Andrew Malcolm
Some of the Moa Creative team Nishal Thomas, Charles Wang, Moon Kim, Eugene Bridger, Jay Moon. Photo / Andrew Malcolm

App La Carte, which incorporated on March 15, is our second business, designed to export from day one. We are also the main shareholders of Moa Creative, a smartphone app development company based in Birkenhead.

We, Moon Kim and Rohan, came up with the idea sitting in a restaurant. We always wanted to get into software as a solution (SaaS) and wanted to create apps for people with no particular skill in this area.

We have developed an app platform template for the hospitality and retail sectors. App La Carte is an easy to use, low-cost way for restaurants and brands to have their own smartphone app for both iPhone and Android.

We currently have the Wendy's NZ fast food chain on board with the technology, as well as hospitality groups such as Barworks, Frenzi-Group, and Showcase Group. We also have done selected single apps for family owned restaurants such as Parnell's Non Solo Pizza.

For a restaurant, the app would have the menu, or feature product (promotional coupons), news events, locations of stores and closest location.

On the retail side, we are working with Bang & Olufsen with their NZ business and hopefully in overseas locations in the future. App users in China, Australia and Denmark have already started downloading the Bang & Olufsen NZ app. The catalogue is in the app, and the company can track how many people are looking at it.

The main goal for the next six months is to sign up clients to the App La Carte platform in the thousands across a multitude of countries. We are looking at Australia, the US and India initially but are open to partnering with the appropriate companies in any country.

The exciting thing about App La Carte is it makes an app affordable and accessible for all small businesses. Previously, it has taken months to build an app, now for App La Carte users, it takes minutes.

You can crank one out very quickly for a fraction of the cost. Many apps used to cost $30,000 - 40,000 plus extra development costs to upgrade them, which outpriced the majority of restaurants.

We are democratising the process, making it affordable for small companies without massive up front cost. App La Carte charges a small one-off setup fee for iPhone and Android, and after that a small monthly fee. Clients can pick from a few payment options.

This medium enables small brands to reach out to loyal customers by offering them their own daily deals platform as GrabOne does, perhaps a lunchtime offer but without the extra costs and without attracting non-loyal bargain hunters. The companies send out a push notification, to the app user's smartphone, in an instant message like SMS. With the push notification we can tell companies real-time up to date data about views of the app and redemption rates.

Our priority is to take App La Carte to America quickly. We are looking for $250,000 of funding to set up over there. There are competitors but we have found our niche in hospitality and retail. We find our solution is more scalable than our competitors.

See a video blog about the progress of App La Carte here.

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