KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Let’s face it! Digitalisation has become the hot new trend that meets the needs of today’s mobile generation perfectly.
While many industries and sectors have already shifted their businesses to digital platforms, the food and beverage (F&B) industry seems to be quite slow to embrace technology and still rely on spreadsheets, posters and conventional payment method.
Recognising the need to align the industry with the current trends, prominent wine and spirits consultant Lionel Lau has founded online ticketing platform DiineOut.com to help connect restaurateurs and diners.
Designed for the tech-savvy epicures who are always on the lookout for the best dining experience in town, the user-friendly platform is divided into five categories, including Lunches, Dinners, Tastings and Pairings, Nightlife, as well as Workshops and Masterclasses.
Arguably the first of its kind in the world, DiineOut aspires to help restaurateurs effectively reach out to the customers, and allow diners to seek out for exciting dining events at a touch of a fingertip.
“The idea to create the platform came to my mind when I realised there’s no such websites for restaurants to list and sell their events,” said Lau.
“We noticed that many F&B operators try to organise events to attract more customers, but they were all struggling to reach out to masses due to the lack of advertising budget and a common platform for customers to access.”
On the current digitalisation trend, Lau said the future was about the speed of the mobile, and it was quite evident that many people opted to purchase their products and services online.
Referring to their website statistics, he said since the platform was launched in January 2018 until now, over 82 per cent of their monthly traffic to the website is via mobile.
“The reason why people prioritise online purchase is because it’s convenient, time saving and very efficient,” Lau added.
On the platform, diners can use the website’s filter feature to choose an event based on location, timing, dining category, pricing and restaurant.
There’s also a remark section for the diners to fill in their dietary requirements or special request for the restaurateur before they check out and make payment.
“The whole idea is to offer variety of dining experiences to our visitors and allow them make bookings in a seamless and hassle-free manner.”
For F&B operators, DiineOut allows them to create a listing on the website and helps them promote the event through various digital marketing tools without any charges.
Lau said they only deduct a transaction fee from the restaurateur after every successful transaction on the platform.
“We can even help them with the listings and copywriting should they require any assistance.”
With over 20 years of experience in the F&B industry, Lau admitted that most of the restaurateurs, from all over the world, were still “old-fashioned” and quite hesitant when it came to exploring digital technologies.
“Surprisingly, it took us about six months to convince restaurateurs to list their events on the platform,” he added.
However, despite the bumpy start, Lau said the ticketing website has already listed about 500 events since last June and currently has around 30 events on offer monthly.
Apart from F&B events, the website is also integrated with the home-grown online alcoholic beverage marketplace The Cask, which offers a wide range of spirits, wines, cigars and bartender services.
Moving forward, Lau said the company is planning to launch the mobile app version of DiineOut with added features in the near future.
He also hinted that they planned to expand to other states including Penang and Johor Baru as well as neighbouring countries in the future.
Surf over to DiineOut.com to check out the latest F&B events on offer.