Saxion students develop an app that makes restaurant visits corona proof

Saxion students Dinand van der Graaf, Martijn Klement and Ruben Albrecht came up with a concept for an app for the catering industry last year. The idea was to make registering for a table possible on your telephone and thus make it easy to split the bill. The development of this app, BonBon, accelerated immensely due to the coronavirus. The app makes physical customer contact unnecessary, and that makes it incredibly relevant right now. “We want to help with reopening the catering industry”, the students say. BonBon also won the second prize in the national “Students Against Corona” competition, and they won a €2,500 cash prize with it. The students are investing this money in the development of the app. The development is almost finished now, and they expect the app to be launched in early June.

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in short

  • Students from Saxion are developing an app called BonBon, which makes physical contact in the catering industry unnecessary
  • The students won the second prize in the Students Against Corona Awards, and a €2,500 cash prize
  • The app is expected to be launched in early June
Hi Dinand, how exactly does the app work?

“You can check in at a table at specific cafés or restaurants through our app, individually or as a group. You can then place an order, the staff will receive a receipt with the order, and serve it at a special collection point. The guests will receive a message when their food is ready, and they can pick it up at the collection point, after which they can eat it at their table. We expect that around three to four people will be allowed at a table at most when the catering industry reopens, with a distance of 1.5 metres between them, of course. Space will be used optimally like this. Paying does happen at the bar. We wanted to make this possible in the app, but we will not. The catering industry is in a crisis, and paying through an app causes higher transaction costs for them. We want to avoid this. Especially in a situation like this one, where the catering industry is already having a very difficult time.”

How did you come up with the idea?

“We started working on this a year ago, but the original idea was a little bit different. It started as a project from our study; Creative Media & Game Technologies. We received such enthusiastic responses when we pitched the idea that we thought it would be a waste to not do anything with it. The three of us then picked the Startup Entrepreneur minor, and further developed the concept. We are participating in the Smart Solutions Semester this year, as both client and participant. But then the coronavirus came, and it became very difficult to test the concept. We then thought that we could maybe do something for the catering industry with this, with a few adjustments.”

What is the status of the app?

“We have already made good progress with the development of the app, partly due to the boost we got from winning second place in the Students Against Corona Awards. Multiple parties are interested in our app. We have been helped a lot by the Saxion Centre of Entrepreneurship, to which we are affiliated. We have the opportunity to share experiences and build a network through this centre. The centre has stimulated us enormously to do all this, and we were able to get the right coaching. We can collaborate with other students here, all with their disciplines, which means we can help each other out a lot.

What makes your app better than other similar apps?

“Quite a few ordering apps are already being used, but mainly commercial companies own these. You often need to pay after every round of ordering, and that will include transaction costs every time. This is not the case with our app. Furthermore, our platform offers some opportunities to generate more turnover for entrepreneurs in the catering industry. Our app suggests a pastry with coffee or snacks with a beer, for example. There is also a donation option. We are working on even more creative ideas.”

You wanted to make money with this app, previously. Why did you decide against it?

“We do not want to make money with it for now. No, absolutely not. The app must be cost-effective. I work in the catering industry myself, and the three of us love sitting on a terrace with a beer and some snacks. It is such a shame that this is not possible right now, and nothing will be left if this continues for much longer. We would very much like to help the catering industry with the reopening.”

Date: 25 May 2020
Source of tekst: Saxion
Author: Twente.com
Audio / video: BonBon