Crafting the future of hospitality with Ollie
Ollie is a concept that was still unique at the time of its creation. The COVID pandemic, which could have been the turning point from a good idea to a great business, finally revealed many competitors who knew how to move much faster.
In 2019, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, two friends and I launched a project with a simple but novel idea: online order taking, on site at a restaurant. After several weeks of market research, it was clear that this idea could work. But there was also a demand for a more global offer for the digitalization of the hospitality industry. So we added two ideas to this concept: on the one hand, the classic click-and-collect, and on the other hand, advance ordering to allow people in a hurry to eat more quickly in a restaurant by having pre-filled their order.
Here is the video we made to introduce the product:
This concept had several objectives:
- To allow restaurants to sell more by reducing the disincentives to consumption (for example, waiting for a waiter to take an order)
- Reorient the skills of waiters to enable them to act as advisors, and thus enable them to better assist the customer in their choices
- Develop the hospitality industry by offering a trusted application that centralizes several services to users
Sometimes, things do not work.
This project was therefore launched with two other people. My role was the whole design part of the application, from brand design to app design. The other two roles were for one, business development and for the other, application engineering. Due to a lack of means and time, some steps like the market study or the development of the applications were strongly slowed down. In the meantime, the COVID-19 pandemic appeared and other brands launched this concept with more means, such as Square and its solution for restaurants. Several of our restaurant partners have told us that they have found more advanced solutions. We have therefore stopped the development of this project while it was in progress.
I personally retain all the UX research part I was able to do, with an important competitive benchmark (Uber Eats and Deliveroo for example for the consumer part, and Square and Uber Eats for Restaurants for the professional part). Also, I remember that you shouldn't want to launch a perfect version of a solution from the start. We wanted to implement a lot of features from the start to seduce users and restaurants, but we should have proposed a first basic solution.
As Designer, two years later, I still love what this application looks like. And this is sort of a success for any designer.