TuMenu

I had the idea of a platform that enable restaurant owners a simple an easy way to create and publish their restaurant menu. The platform consisted in a simple content management system for restaurant owners and a mobile application for clients. The idea emerged when I saw that not many restaurants had a mobile application where clients could check the menu and possibly order vía a simple app. One of the main reasons is the cost of development. However, what if the cost of having one mobile application is very cheap?

The following are the characteristics I thought about the product:

Technology

From a technical perspective, as new frameworks like Ionic and React enable developers to build mobile applications with the use of web technologies. I was thinking in a standard and conventional way to create them by the usage of a kind of template and an automatic process for creating the packages for the different platforms. That kind of task can be performed by the usage of technologies like Powershell and a content management system for the different restaurants. I thought that by automating this process and creating a simple product platform, I could only worry about the future acquisition of customers.

However I still had to validate the idea. Would restaurant owners be interested in a platform like that?

Idea validation

In order to validate the idea I created a minimal website and a simple app demo for a fictional restaurant called “El Buen Sabor”. I then visited a couple of restaurant owners and had a little conversation with them.

Unfortunately during those days I didn’t have so much knowledge about research methods for designers and I didn’t read many books like the The Mom Test. In fact I did many good things like the fast prototyping and the website because I avoid many expenses, however the research I conducted wasn’t very good because I didn’t do Ethnography studies and the interviews with potential customers were very bad and I didn’t have any idea of what exactly I wanted or how can I convince the restaurant owner that it was a good product.

On the other hand, I didn’t have a clear understanding of the difference between end users and customers. I’m sure that would have save my life in those days. Also, I think I was very product focused instead of more human centred. Maybe by looking more closely to the problem and the frictions that I was trying to solve I could potentially discover more insights and find a different problem.

Demos

Website

Android App on Google Play

Repositories

https://github.com/EdsonAlcala/tu-menu-mobile

https://github.com/EdsonAlcala/tu-menu.io