Tech firm aims to make lunchtime more convenient

Hanoi is often scorching hot at midday when Nguyen Phuong Ha is waiting for her lunch with her co-workers in a crowded restaurant.

Tech firm aims to make lunchtime more convenient
A man orders food on his phone with the Utop app. — Photo courtesy of Utop

Sitting in the heat for the usual wait of more than 20 minutes for her food would normally be unbearable, but now Ha can have food on her table in less than five minutes.

Before arriving at the restaurant, the 23-year-old woman ordered her lunch with Utop, an application which helps people order food for dining in before they arrive at the restaurant.

Ha works in crowded Cau Giay District, which is filled with office buildings where thousands of people go out for lunch at the same time.

"Time spent waiting for food could be more than 30 minutes somedays when the restaurants are too busy with customers at the same time.

"I have only more than an hour for lunch and a nap. Waiting that long for food really makes me tired in such hot weather," she told Việt Nam News.

As most of the diners are young office workers, lunchtime is also time for them to hangout.

Nguyen Huy Hoang, 33, who works for an IT company in the same area told Việt Nam News: “Having nice food and drink in a cool restaurant or café is something necessary for us.”

Like Ha, Hoang and his friends have about one or two hours for lunch and don't want to waste time waiting for food in crowded canteens, food courts or restaurants.

“Ordering food to my place is nice but it costs more,” says Ha, adding, “I don’t like to spend as much on shipping fees as my meal and I still need to use a plastic container.”

Smart eating

The concerns of people like Ha and Hoang may be a thing of the past soon due to Pham Nguyen Vu, founder and CEO of Utop, a technology firm offering an online-to-offline (O2O) solution, combining traditional and online retail methods with digital technology. 

"A lot of O2O platforms offer home delivery but only few offer the in-home delivery solutions while demand for it is very high as most people still enjoy being served their meals in a traditional method," Vu says.

The firm launched a smart menu in May, which the CEO says aims to be a solution to minimise waiting time for ordering food and drinks, adding that Vietnam had avoided the risk of COVID-19 infections for a few weeks but its impact will continue.

“In this case, Utop’s smart menu will become a tool to protect consumers, limiting crowds and cash use, which are believed to worsen the situation,” he adds.

 

With the app, one can order food and drinks from a list of locations within a 5km radius, or users can scan a QR code on the table or the front desk at food courts and canteens to save time.

No cash is needed as they pay for everything with Utop points, which they can also use to buy other services connected with the firm.

As for businesses, the app gives them access to technological advances they don’t need to build themselves to attract customers.

With Utop’s technology, owners of restaurants and food courts can understand their customers’ behaviour on the online platform.

According to the CEO, restaurants will benefit from the firm’s promotional activities, adding: "It is difficult for small shops or food courts to have enough capital and personnel to develop technology solutions.”

Restaurants, cafes etc can use Utop for free and get access to AI, QR, e-wallet, analyse data and other advantaged technology, though Utop takes a percentage from every order placed on the app after the first three months of use.

After running the app for a week, Nguyen Thi Huyen, owner of Coffee Huyen, said the app helped her reach and serve more customers especially who prefer technology.

"As soon as they order, information about their drink is on the POS (point of sale) screen. After several orders, I can identify who the customer is, a patron or a stranger, predict the time the customer will arrive and also their taste to better prepare drinks and serve them better.”

Established in HCM City a year ago, Utop has more than 200,000 users and more than 800 partner stores, restaurants, food courts and canteens in Hanoi and HCM City.

According to Nguyen Hai Tan, the firm’s chief marketing officer, its monthly active user growth rate is consistently above 40 per cent.

Believing that the smart menu will attract investors to the firm’s technology, Tan tells VNS: “We plan to build Utop as the leading O2O platform in Vietnam.” VNS

Minh Huong

E-wallet companies spend big money to beat rivals

E-wallet companies spend big money to beat rivals

‘Bleeding money’ is the strategy that all the three biggest players – MoMo, Moca and ZaloPay – have been using to gain part of e-wallet market share.

Tech companies looking global

Tech companies looking global

Local tech platforms and startups aim to take on the world but doing so won't be easy.

 
 

Other News

.
HCM City's many flood-prevention programs still not solving problems
HCM City's many flood-prevention programs still not solving problems
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  14/07/2020 

Tens of trillions of dong have been spent to develop the flood control system on HCM City, but the situation appears to be getting worse.

Ministry to conduct a large-scale inspection on junk SIM cards
Ministry to conduct a large-scale inspection on junk SIM cards
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  13/07/2020 

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has said it plans to deal with telecom waste and continue large-scale inspections of junk SIM cards.

Vietnam to commercialise 5G in October
Vietnam to commercialise 5G in October
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  13/07/2020 

Vietnam will commercialise 5G network in October using entirely domestically produced equipment, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

HCM City takes steps to reduce vehicle emissions
HCM City takes steps to reduce vehicle emissions
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  13/07/2020 

Ho Chi Minh City is carrying out multiple methods and programmes to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions in its aim to create a "clean, green and beautiful" city.

Six-man squad protects animals in Son Tra Peninsula
Six-man squad protects animals in Son Tra Peninsula
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  13/07/2020 

Son Tra Nature Reserve is known as the “green lung” of Da Nang City with a diverse eco-system and thousands of flora and fauna species.

Binh Duong fines 87 units for environment violations in first half
Binh Duong fines 87 units for environment violations in first half
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/07/2020 

Eighty-seven facilities were fined for environmental violations in southern Bình Dương Province in the first half of 2020, according to local Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Will the sand in the Red River be depleted in 100 years?
Will the sand in the Red River be depleted in 100 years?
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  13/07/2020 

Ninety percent of sediment is trapped in Chinese and Vietnamese reservoirs, which will lead to erosion, according to Mai Van Bieu, an underground-work expert.

HCM City aims to reduce water pollution by 90 percent
HCM City aims to reduce water pollution by 90 percent
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/07/2020 

HCM City authorities have ordered the city Department of Natural Resources and Environment to work with agencies and district authorities to strictly monitor the discarding of litter and untreated sewage in canals in the city.

Forest fires a burning problem during dry season in Vietnam
Forest fires a burning problem during dry season in Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/07/2020 

As many as 160 forest fires were reported across Vietnam in the last six months, destroying about 756ha of forest, according to the Vietnam Fire and Rescue Police Department under the Public Security Ministry.

A high-school student successfully extracts calcium from tuna bones
A high-school student successfully extracts calcium from tuna bones
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/07/2020 

A high-school student has discovered a simple way of extracting calcium from tuna bones.

Contest launched to seek digital transformation solutions
Contest launched to seek digital transformation solutions
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  09/07/2020 

Viet Solutions 2020, a contest seeking solutions for digital transformation process in Vietnam for individuals and businesses over the world, was launched by the Ministry of Information and Communication and Viettel Group.

VNPT-invested undersea cable connected to Vietnam
VNPT-invested undersea cable connected to Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  09/07/2020 

The Southeast Asia – Japan 2 Cable System (SJC2), invested by a consortium including the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), has been connected to Vietnam.

Drought in Mekong Delta worsens due to hydropower, water diversion
Drought in Mekong Delta worsens due to hydropower, water diversion
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  09/07/2020 

Since countries in the upper course of the Mekong River have diverted water, problems related to drought, saline intrusion and landslides in Mekong Delta have become worse.

The journey of a Vietnamese student to an internship at NASA
The journey of a Vietnamese student to an internship at NASA
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/07/2020 

After receiving a full scholarship worth VND6 billion to study at a university in the US, Nguyen Hoang Ngan won an internship at NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) thanks to his creative science projects.

VN develops new rice variety for flood and drought-prone areas
VN develops new rice variety for flood and drought-prone areas
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  09/07/2020 

New rice seed variety which is capable of adapting to climate change has been planted in flood and drought-prone regions in north and south central provinces.

HCM City develops wide-ranging AI strategy
HCM City develops wide-ranging AI strategy
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  09/07/2020 

HCM City is drawing up a wide-ranging plan to promote artificial intelligence (AI) development and research in the near future, Duong Anh Duc, deputy chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, has said.

TikTok: Chinese app may be banned in US, says Pompeo
TikTok: Chinese app may be banned in US, says Pompeo
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  08/07/2020 

US Secretary of State hints that Chinese apps - like TikTok - could be targeted.

Mobifone blocks subscribers making spam calls
Mobifone blocks subscribers making spam calls
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  08/07/2020 

Viet Nam Mobile Telecom Services Corporation (Mobifone) has launched a system to detect and prevent spam calls using big data technology (Big Data),...

COVID-19 a once-in-a-century opportunity to boost digital transformation
COVID-19 a once-in-a-century opportunity to boost digital transformation
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  08/07/2020 

The COVID-19 pandemic was offering a once-in-a-century opportunity for Vietnam to boost digital transformation on a national scale, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said at the ministry’s conference on Monday.

Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park will become tech centre for Vietnam
Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park will become tech centre for Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  09/07/2020 

Tran Dac Trung, deputy director of the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park, speaks on the park’s plan to become a tech hub in Vietnam.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN