Customer feedback at the root of Flipdish success story

Flipdish have had a very successful year with their online ordering software company. Their customers include restaurants, takeaways, convenience stores, supermarkets and cafes which have all required online services during the pandemic.

While the current Covid situation has spurred growth for the company in the past year, they have been growing rapidly over the last few years. “In 2018 we grew 300%, in 2019 100% and in 2020 we grew 300%,” explains James McCarthy co-founder and CCO of Flipdish.

James McCarthy co-founder and CCO of Flipdish

You might say right time right place for this year’s success but a closer look at the Irish tech start-up proves this is no fluke, from the very beginning they have been listening to their customer’s needs.

Flipdish are all about giving ‘the control back’ to their clients. Using their software platform means the business has direct contact with their own customers which is something businesses lack if they are signed up to a food ordering marketplace.

Brothers James and Conor McCarthy founded the company in Dublin in 2015 after another idea for a software product tanked and put them on the right tracks.

Frustrated at the cumbersome data required by the marketplace food ordering system, especially for small orders, the pair originally set out to solve the issue by developing an app which required far less information.

“We originally built a marketplace, because it was just so frustrating trying to order through Just Eat, which was the dominant marketplace here in Ireland at the time,” explains James McCarthy.

“We designed something which was much quicker and easier to use, and you could actually place an order within two taps” he says. “The ‘two tap food app’ was our tag line.”

“We thought it was great and we brought it to restaurants, and they told us what they really didn’t want was another marketplace,” he says. “What they really wanted was a direct ordering solution, technology that would level the playing fields and allow them to have direct communication and relationships with their customers, which is why they started their businesses in the first place.”

Flipdish has now over 4,000 restaurants working with them with customers in 15 countries. They have expanded their teams into the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Benelux and North America.

Earlier this year Tiger Global Management invested €40M in the company allowing the ordering software company to keep their goals of staying at the forefront of innovation in their space.

“I think we are a company that’s done a few firsts in the industry,” says McCarthy. “I don’t know any other companies that use mobile phone numbers to verify customer, many are still using email addresses and passwords.”

“Everything we do is very customer centric, that’s the way we like our products, we only make money when our customers are successful,” he continues.

“From day one we have been trying to figure out how to make our customers more successful so that we can increase our revenue,” he adds.

Might we see Flipdish grow into an Irish unicorn? It’s a desire of McCarthy’s, “I wouldn’t say it’s the ultimate goal but it’s definitely a path we’d like to take.” Maybe we should have suggested Decacorn!

Fiona Alston is a freelance journalist based in Ireland covering tech, innovation, start-ups and interesting SMEs. Alston is also passionate about athletics, health and horses having competed in triathlons, equestrian events and horse racing, and her lived experience comes through when covering sports personalities or fitness features. Growing up on the family farm in Scotland, Alston graduated from the University of Sunderland with a BA (Hon.) in Broadcast Journalism, and is frequently published in The Irish Times, The Business Post, RTÉ and 4i Mag.