As Melbourne endures its second lockdown, the hospitality industry braves a wave of uncertainty for future of their businesses. Having to rely only on takeaway and delivery services, the industry faces it’s toughest challenge yet.

But amidst all the chaos, a new platform has entered the market, designed to add a little ease to an industry in desperate need of it. HungryHungry is a tech platform that facilitates online ordering for restaurants and unlike some competitors, doesn’t force venues into locked-in contracts.

I had the absolutely pleasure of chatting to co-founder Mark Calabro to discuss how the platform works and the amazing restaurants getting on board.

Congratulations on launching HungryHungry – a platform that I know is so very much needed especially now. What made you decide to launch the platform?

My business partner, Shannon Hautot, and I have been in the hospitality industry for over fifteen years providing technology solutions in venues for restaurants, pubs, bars, and cafes.

We started working on the HungryHungry concept about two years ago because we could see a lot of changes happening in our industry and not for good. For a long-time professionals who have put everything on the line to open up their own hospitality business, that they’re very passionate about, have had all these different headwinds. Costs going up, profit margins tumbling and international food delivery apps disrupting the industry and charging high commissions which were not sustainable.

HungryHungry is a tech platform designed for at-table contactless ordering and digital menus for diners. On the side, it also has an online ordering and pick-up/delivery feature. You can probably guess which feature became the most sought-after during the lockdown. Focusing on refining that features – including a function where customers could enter the colour and registration number of their car so staff could limit contact by delivering orders to a vehicle – helped over 1,000 venues across Australia keep running.

Who are some of the restaurants using HungryHungry?

HungryHungry is working with over 1,000 venues across Australia including the following:

  • Estelle
  • Mister Bianco
  • Tonka
  • Lune
  • Mr Wong
  • Bar Totti’s
  • Ladro
  • Mister Minh
  • Footscray Hotel
  • Mr Miyagi
  • Hannoi Hannah
  • Elwood Bathers

What are your hopes for the platform, and for the hospitality industry as we continue to tackle this challenging period?

We always set out to create a technology platform that would help hospitality business owners create a better customer experience while driving an increase in profit. During COVID we have expanded our offering so that we can help venues continue to operate while restrictions are in place as well as safely re-open.

This is such an important industry to get behind and support and we can’t wait to see venues back operating in full swing.