Who founded the company?
The founder is Acen Jiang Hai Tao, who worked previously in a Macau bank. He saw that these kinds of service are very popular in Mainland China, where clients will use their app to order food – half of the populations uses them.
These services also provide ticket coupons or the ability to book restaurants, knowing when seats will be available and the cheapest prices.
Macau is quite slow in getting into Internet communications. For example, if I want to know which restaurant is having a promotion I’m just told by my friend or I just walk into the
restaurant and see they’re having a promotion.
How many people are in the company?
We have 11, one team for the group and another for the delivery. In the beginning it was just three or four.
What systems do you use for the app?
We got the operating system from Meituan & Dazhongdianping – a site from Mainland China that gathers groupons, and where everyone can rate and comment upon businesses.
When did Aomi start and how has it evolved?
Just one year ago, the beginning of June was our anniversary. Although from June of last year to October we were in the preparation phase and conducting a constant update of the app. From November on we started looking for restaurants. Now we have more than 400
restaurants online and receiving orders. We also have 100,000 registered users. It was a rapid growth. Especially after placing advertisements in buses, the first advertisement we did. After that, every day we started getting 400 to 500 more users. We aim to have 300,000 users and 1,000 restaurants in the future. Macau is a small place, so if one restaurant is making money with Aomi they will tell other restaurants.
What capital was used?
Our founder used his own capital. This industry burns money. We have people in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Zhuhai and Macau all collaborating for the app and needing salaries. Honestly, at the moment we’re not making a lot of money. We need to give free trial periods to the
restaurants and nurture the habit of using the Internet.
So what services are provided?
We have a page for groupons, vouchers from different hotels, cafes, exhibitions with 50 per cent discount. The customer can now see the best deals and decide to go with their friends and pay more than the offered price. Restaurants are fond of this model. You can also see the number of vouchers that were already sold. We even have deals for US$1 sushi, which are all sold out. We’ll also have buffet reservations later.
If you don’t want to get out you can press the delivery option to buy food online. The
restaurants you can order from are listed from nearest to further away. Right now we deliver in Taipa, Coloane and the Macau Peninsula, or restaurants can deliver themselves and decide what area they deliver to or the rate for different areas. The restaurant and clients can interact with each other; clients can ask why the rice is not cooked or the food is too oily and the restaurant can respond.
We also provide a machine that allows the restaurant to receive the order, it’s handy and allows coupon codes to be scanned, and it can scan debit cards and print receipts. We provide a free trial of the machine, with the restaurants deciding if they buy it. It costs MOP2,000 – it’s user friendly and it’s our own system.
We also allow access to the restaurants of Big Data, they can see what kind of food has been ordered more, and where the customers are located. If I know more clients are ordering beef I can cut down on pork dishes.
Can people use a credit card in the machine?
For the time being we’re still applying for the licence for that kind of payment, but you can register your card number with the service for online payment. UnionPay, Alipay and WeChat Pay can be used.
Why would customers choose your service instead of just calling the restaurant?
With the app you can order the food and choose the ingredients. If you choose noodles, you can ask for it to be less spicy, or no onions, or larger. A lot of restaurants have quarrels about missing ingredients and maybe you didn’t speak clearly, there was a misunderstanding. You reserve the food to be delivered at a specific time or location.
Why should restaurants partner with you?
We provide this service so they can operate better. A lot of restaurant owners we meet are extremely busy. They deliver and also need to spend time doing promotions, answer WeChat messages from customers and operate the store. At least with the service you don’t need to listen to the telephone. The restaurants can request the delivery be made by us, and the customers also pay instantly. We have a service commitment that after the order we will deliver the food to you in 50 minutes, 40 on the Macau Peninsula.
Are you seeking investors?
We’re in talks to collaborate with ICBC Macau to promote the app. We have four investors wanting to collaborate with us. Vitasoy is also our partner.
What were the main obstacles for the business?
People in Macau are not used to using online methods; they’re used to calling directly to order food. Some might reject technology, saying it’s not reliable. We’re pretty sure after the first trial you’ll love it. It’s very convenient. You can see where the driver is, if he’s almost arriving.
There are many food delivery apps in Macau, so what makes Aomi different?
It’s very user friendly – and we have more restaurants!