Soni Kaur and her husband, Dalwinder Singh, have married their restaurant and IT experience to create a new startup called Munchout.
“We know the ins and outs of the restaurant business, and we know the ins and outs of software,” Kaur said.
Kaur’s parents have operated an Indian restaurant in Louisville since the late 1990s, she said, and as a young girl, she would work in there. Today, her parents run Taj Palace on Westport Road, and Kaur still does some work for them but as their website and social media manager, not as a waitress.
Both Kaur and Singh also have full-time jobs in the IT industry, she told Insider Louisville, and one day, her husband had the idea of starting a business all their own — specifically a delivery service. While she was skeptical at first, Singh explained that the service would be different; it would include an automated communications system, no delivery fees and cater only to office buildings.
Munchout also will only offer delivery from one restaurant a day.
“That way we are able to cut the cost because our driver is not going to different restaurants at one time,” Kaur said.
Here’s how it will work: Customers submit their phone number and office address on the website, as well as link a credit or debit card to the account through a secured system.
Every day at 9:30 a.m., the company’s software system will send out a text message to those signed up with the name of the restaurant it is offering delivery from that day, with two to three meal options and prices. Customers who aren’t interested can simply ignore the message, but those who want to place an order will have until 10:30 a.m. to respond to the message with a 1, 2 or 3 depending on the meal option they like. Those who respond will have their cards automatically processed.
The orders then are sent onto the restaurant, which has about an hour to prepare all the meal orders for delivery. A delivery driver for Munchout will make stops between noon and 12:30 p.m., leaving the orders in a common area such as at the front desk of the office building. Through the software Singh created, the driver will be able to alert customers when their orders have arrived.
The food will be kept in a heated container to ensure it doesn’t get cold while out for delivery, Kaur said.
Those who don’t want to receive a daily text message can opt out of them by replying “STOP,” and they will still be able to order delivery through Munchout’s website, she said. “It is in the customers’ hands.”
Customers don’t pay a delivery fee, and Munchout has a no-tipping policy, Kaur said. The startup will make its money by charging a 15 percent to 20 percent commission to the restaurants it partners with.
“If (the restaurants) sell something, we get paid. If they don’t sell something, we don’t get paid,” she said.
Munchout hasn’t started its delivery service yet, Kaur said, as they are currently working on building up a database of potential customers. At least 10 people within one office building must sign up for the service for Munchout to start offering delivery there.
“We want to have a couple of orders placed, so it’s worthwhile,” she said.
There are already two office buildings in the Hurstbourne area that have close to 10 people signed up. Kaur said they hope to start delivering in the next couple of weeks.
The pair has already signed contracts with Indian, Chinese and French restaurants in the same part of town, and they are talking to two Mexican restaurants. Kaur said that their current goal is to have a total of 10 restaurant partners, so that Munchout has a two-week rotation.
“We are hoping people will love it, and it will grow and expand,” she said.