Entrepreneurs Barry and Ciaran Lynch came to Etain looking to develop three cutting edge, web-based portals to launch their online business, Nifty Nosh. We were delighted to be a part of their digital strategy, helping them realise their dream of a radical, new way to order food online.

The technology that underpins our service is exceeding IT industry standards.

Nifty Nosh

Working with Barry & Ciaran we conceptualised a web portal, ordering system, encapsulating a huge variety of vendors, with the capability of securely capturing transactions in real-time, and all while delivering a ‘Mobile First’ experience. The end result was three web applications delivered using .Net, running on Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) using MS SQL Server as the backend database.

The three NiftyNosh.com applications comprise of a Public portal that allows users to register, browse lists of restaurants and menus according to postcode proximity (facilitated by Google Maps and GPS technology) , place food orders with secure payment facility, and the ability to specify delivery time and date, be it immediate processing and dispatch, or scheduling up to 7 days in advance. As well as displaying real-time order status and the provision of an order-tracking tool, Nifty Nosh users also receive SMS or Email notification advising them when their order has been dispatched.

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The second portal, for Nifty Nosh system administrators, facilitates the upload of restaurants and vendors to the service and the configuration of food types including dietary requirements such as Gluten Free. This portal also permits complex menu programming including setting availability status according to time of day or day of the week, delivery zones and associated charges, as well as a facility to add promotions and discounts relating to specific restaurants or individual users. The System Administrator portal also automatically generates monthly invoices for dispatch to the restaurants in service, dramatically enhancing the resource management of both parties.

The third and final portal is a user-friendly interface for Restaurants utilising the service. This dedicated dashboard allows vendors to log in and view order progress status, featuring touchscreen technology and audio alerts for pending orders. As well as automatic receipts printing, Restaurants can also contact public users via an SMS facility, alerting them as to order completion and expected delivery time.

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Our Approach

At the commencement of the project, we took Nifty Nosh through a measured project management process. As this was a new venture without any existing business processes to base the requirements on, the Analysis workshops were intensive, designed to challenge every angle of their vision, helping us to determine the best way to leverage leading-edge technology and digital innovation. In the fulfilment of project objectives, these workshops enabled the creation of in-depth functional document, used to guide the design process.

Through this a detailed technical document was also created, particularising every field of the application giving our team of expert developers a comprehensive blue print from which to craft the code. With regular meetings throughout the development, featuring either Ciaran or Barry from NiftyNosh acting as business analysts, this close relationship pushed the project forward and kept the momentum and excitement of the Nifty Nosh dream alive.

Risks & Challenges

Nifty Nosh’s vision for the future of ‘food to go’ was, to become simple, quick and efficient for an increasingly ‘tech-savvy’ and ‘time-poor’ customer base. Essentially ‘touch of a button’ ordering. This had to be deliverable regardless of device, and be achievable in as few user steps as possible.

Given the ‘time-pressures’ of the take-away food industry and the demands of online users, we were tasked with ensuring the site user experiences for not only the hungry end-users themselves, but also the restaurants or vendors utilising the system. Our solution had to ensure accurate order funnelling, guaranteeing the right transactions and food selections went to the correct restaurants, according to opening times and delivery restrictions; as well as facilitating the vendors in menu changes based on the time of day, and how to deal with issues such as cancelations and repeat orders.

Outcome & Benefits

Since implementation, NiftyNosh has gained a steady flow of business from the custom development we designed and deployed. The benefits of this solution have so far included giving online users the opportunity to view and order securely from localised vendors based on their postcode proximity; facilitating ‘ touch of a button’ ordering. A number of vendors have attracted orders they would not have traditionally had, helping to grow their businesses. Through the removal of the middle-man, all parties can now enjoy real-time orders with secure payment handling going straight to the restaurants. These vendors also have access to automated financial reports and invoice generation tools, negating days of manual work each month. As a result Nifty Nosh won an Inspired IT Award in 2008.

Do you need a custom software solution? Is your organisation ready to undertake a Digital Transformation? If you’d like to discuss a custom project or simply want to know more feel free to call us on 028 90 87 2222 or drop us an email using the contact form below. 

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