Behind the steaming hot food and bustling waiters of every restaurant is a tangle of technological systems keeping the whole place running. As restaurants discuss the effect of delivery apps on their business and get creative with data-mining to keep their restaurants open and thriving, the technology behind the brick-and-mortar is more important than ever. Join us for a discussion with Shu Chowdhury, the Founder of SALIDO, a single platform for restaurant operations, to learn about the platform, how it got started and what his favorite restaurant is right now! Hint: It’s below 14th street.
So I’ve seen SALIDO described as “the restaurant operating system”. Can you walk me through what that means and how Salido works to help restaurants?
Sure, think of how easy it is to use your phone. Whether you’re using iOS or Android OS, the Operating System allows all of your apps to work smoothly, in one place. We’re bringing that experience to restaurants with our restaurant operating system that allows applications like point of sale, labor management, inventory and reporting to coexist in one place, the same way that e-mail, calling and text do on your phone.
How did you come up with the idea for Salido? Was there a sort of the “a-ha! -moment” or did the idea develop over time?
It was more of an A-ha! moment with SALIDO. When we found out the sheer number of old disjointed systems that restaurants use on a daily basis and how much data was being lost, we knew a platform that connected them all needed to exist.
What are some of the features of Salido that restaurants tend to gravitate towards?
Restaurants that use SALIDO love our quick, easy-to-use interface. We’ve heard a lot of great feedback about our payments functionality as well, particularly how we split payments. The reporting side of the platform gets raved about, too.
New York City is filled with some of the best restaurants in the world and is a hub for new food ideas. How have you been able to break into this industry? What are some of the challenges of getting restaurants to give your product a try?
New York City is definitely the hospitality capital of the world. If we’re going to be able to build the best software, we have to work with the best restaurants. When speaking with new customers, they can be a bit hesitant to try something new. However, we’re lucky to have an amazing group of restaurant operators using our platform already and providing feedback to help us to make SALIDO even better. For example, late last year we installed in Eleven Madison Park, which was ranked #1 restaurant in the world. Prospective restaurants see who we’re already working with and are quicker to hop on board and try it, too.
What are your future plans for Salido? As you continue to grow, will you be adding new features?
As a product company we have amazing women and men working directly with our restaurant operators to plan and deliver the features they need. We have many new features planned for 2018 including labor management and inventory. We’re really excited to show those features off!
The restaurant business seems fun, fast-paced and also stressful. Do you have any favorite parts about working in the industry? Or any fun stories you’d want to share?
It’s definitely all three at lightning speed--But the great thing about hospitality industry is that they are in service of their patrons. Helping the restaurant achieve the best possible experience for their customer really makes what we do exciting. When we’re in training a new restaurant to use SALIDO, we really enjoy getting to know the restaurant’s team. It’s a familial atmosphere because we become a temporary member of their team, which is a lot of fun.
If it were day one of Salido again, what would you do differently?
Hindsight being 20/20, there are always things you would do differently if given the opportunity but I really love where we are right now and am inspired by our future trajectory as a team.
Our favorite question: if you could combine two existing, but unrelated startups to make something totally ridiculous, what would they be?
I would say combine the best of Apple and Google, but I guess they aren’t exactly startups.
Favorite food and where to find it in NYC?
This is like asking me to choose my favorite child. I’m no stranger to sushi or 4 Charles, but right now my favorite is Vietnamese food at Hanoi House on St Marks Street in the East Village.
If you could create a restaurant of your own, what kind would it be?
Pizza, Sushi, Burgers, and Salads.
Last question, what is a favorite social media account to follow and why?
@thedogist on IG. I recently got two pups and this account is just fun to look at. Great photographer, too!