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The land of 馃崳Sushi馃崳


I recommend we build a sushi ordering app.

I鈥檒l explain why sushi ordering, why not the other ideas/opportunities, and how we should approach the opportunity.

Agenda (see side nav on the right!)

Evaluate the opportunities
Decision summary
How we should execute on sushi ordering and validate along the way.
Actual next steps
V1 defined - strategy, features, happy path flow
Go to Market

A note on my Methodology
I read the prompt, then started speaking aloud and went through my typical process when someone asks for my feedback on an idea. I took the prompt as written, and some statements I assumed as true. This means it鈥檚 pretty subjective and all my opinions would likely change with more data/info.

Let鈥檚 evaluate the options

Evaluation question
Inventory Management
Sushi ordering app
Sushi delivery
Restaurants Consumers
Restaurants Consumers Drivers
What VALUE can we offer?

Do those vibe with small business owner psychology?
Save money (maybe) from less waste
Save time (maybe)
More revenue (restaurants)
More convenient than existing options (consumers) if done right
More revenue (from deliveries + more orders)
More convenient than existing options (consumers)
More delivery revenue for drivers? Unlikely.
How do we make money?
Saas monthly fee
% of Order transactions
% of Order transactions % of Delivery fee
Revenue formula
# of Customers * monthly fee
% of $$ sold
% of all $$ sold/fees
How complex of a V1 solution do we need?
Inventory database. Custom formulas on storage, duration, alerts, location, consumption.
Should tie into orders, for consumption but may not be 1:1. You may have 2 chefs in the same store consuming different amounts of fish for the same roll.
Sales is directly to the SMB restaurant owners.
Menus (mostly static, could scrape existing sources)
Pricing (mostly static)
Ecommerce shopping cart (integration)
Payments (stripe)
Back and forth between Consumer & Owner (possible integration with existing tools) (most complex)
Orders confirmed
Changes requested (insufficient inventory)
Order updates
Could be a very simple addition to the sushi ordering app. Let owners offer their own delivery service, for a fee.
Then offer our own, for a similar fee but we handle the logistics.
This one is much more complex as we have to deal with the supply of delivery drivers.
What has to happen for GTM to be successful?
SMB Sales with GTM assets (training, onboarding, faq, marketing)
National sales strategy, geography shouldn鈥檛 matter.
SMB have to be sold and onboarded ahead of time
Consumers have to find & engage with the app
Geographically limited to optimize the consumer experience (avoid having only 1 sushi restaurant listed in NYC)
Add into Sushi ordering & start training SMB
Consumer + SMB sales
Simpler GTM Harder PMF 鈫 Hard revenue Easy to validate
Harder GTM
Simpler PMF 鈫 Easier revenue
Harder to validate

Harder GTM Could be simple feature Could be complex PMF - driver supply
Initial Validation
Create a compelling pitch customers understand
Get pre-launch signups
Get pre-launch deposits $$
Create compelling pitch & demo they understand
Get pre-launch signups.
Market has validated intent.
Interview & Test value of our app features
Will restaurant owners purchase this software?
Will consumers order sushi from our app? Will restaurants welcome the additional channel?
Will consumers order sushi from our app? Will restaurants welcome the additional channel? Will restaurants want to do their own deliveries? Will restaurants want another 3rd party delivery service? (not likely)
There are no rows in this table

Decision Summary

Inventory Management: Don鈥檛 do

鉂楋笍Value for small independent restaurants is not validated or obvious.
Would need to clearly define amount of waste we could prevent. Same with 鈥渢ime鈥 but time savings doesn鈥檛 always equal cost savings.
Even though product is likely 鈥渆asier鈥 to build, the lack of clear path to product-market-fit means this idea needs more validation.

Sushi ordering app: Build towards validation

Value to restaurants is real, and something new owners are 鈥渧ery motivated鈥 to adopt.
Value to consumers is convenience and should be further validated. However, I鈥檓 confident there鈥檚 a market where this could thrive. We need to research this more.
Starting with an app to order sushi ahead of time as dine in or takeout, is a great starting point to a platform that may expand to other value offerings once we gain traction.

Sushi delivery app: Do delivery later

鉂楋笍I believe we should save delivery, as a future feature of a sushi ordering app.
A sushi ordering app requires us to launch to 2 user groups. Delivery requires a 3rd user group, complicating GTM requirements and increasing development scope.
Without proven levels of orders going through the app, drivers will demand higher fees due to the uncertainty of driving for this new delivery service.
It鈥檚 unclear how we can lower the cost of delivery fees below current 3rd parties; which per the prompt:
Owners are frustrated by the high commission charged by leading 3rd party applications, ranging from 20-30% on each order. Up to 40% of sushi restaurants we have interviewed do not work with any 3rd party apps.

Actual next steps:

Talk to restaurant owners
How do restaurants take our orders? How do they provide updates on those orders? What鈥檚 possible here? What鈥檚 ideal?
Prepare a pitch and get restaurants to sign up for the app
See if they will pay NOW to be listed on the app and promoted
A demo would be helpful here, but doesn鈥檛 have to be functional.
Learn about the features we need on V1
What % of owners would offer their own delivery service through the app if we built that functionality?
Talk to sushi eaters. Offer to pay for sushi and have people order sushi right then.
Find out data about sushi order sizes - to help estimate revenue potential
Find data sources that may enhance the experience:
google ratings, reviews, address, operating hours, etc.
Menus, pricing (would be great to automatically list the restaurant via web scraping so the owner has very little onboarding work to do)
From this research and testing 鈫 define V1

Let鈥檚 build a 馃崳sushi馃崳 ordering app!


Build the easiest and most convenient sushi ordering app. Gain traction. Earn Revenue.
Allow restaurants to offer their own delivery service for an added fee. Restaurants collect entire delivery fee.
Analyze the data on sushi delivery, from our ordering app to decide if we expand into sushi delivery ourselves, or integrate with 3rd parties for restaurants who don鈥檛 offer their own delivery.
Analyze the orders and explore if the ordering app provides a competitive advantage to build an inventory management platform that adds explicit value to restaurants.

App description (not gtm copy):

An app where people can order sushi from local restaurants, for either dine-in or take-out.


Features that make this app better than existing solutions for the consumer:

This app is all about conveniently finding the best Sushi. But we know that Sushi is very, very subjective to the individual so lean into the unknown and allow users to search by their own preferences. Also focus on speed to order. Ordering should be a delight, not a chore.

Searching specific to Sushi
Specific roll or menu item
Menu variety
Avg price for basic or specialty rolls
Who offers delivery
Location (map view)
Wait time??
Which offer delivery and delivery cost/time?
Optimize order flow
Once they鈥檙e ready to order, can we order menu items based on their original search?
Is there a better order flow?
search 鈫 see restaurant options 鈫 select a restaurant 鈫 order from menu
Can we skip steps and still have it be a good experience where users won鈥檛 feel lost or taken advantage of?
This may not be worth any effort since people are used to an existing order flow.
Create data specific for sushi restaurants
Have users rate their orders based on Sushi relevant metrics. Examples may be:
This helps improve our user experience over time.
Order feedback loop must be 馃敟
Communication on orders needs to be as good as possible.
Notify the user when the order is being prepared and/or estimated time of completion.
Notify the user if their order has to be changed due to restaurant running out of ingredients
FUTURE: If this happens, would be awesome if we notify the user and ask if they want to transfer their order to a new restaurant, or change their existing order. Then we do the work for them.
Notify the restaurant of any changes and collect payment updates up front so the restaurant doesn鈥檛 worry.

Features that we need to have an app that can take sushi orders

How do restaurants take our orders?
How do restaurants give updates on our orders?
Restaurant database
items for searching
integration for restaurant meta data
rating, location, contact info, all the google maps stuff
pricing on items
shopping cart
includes accounting so we know how much of each transaction we鈥檙e collecting, the system is taking, and the restaurant is getting paid.
Orders database
Order uuid
Status (updates)
Details (timestamp, cost, etc.)
Payment status

Front end (ish)
location sharing
displaying results in list
displaying results in map
apple/google pay
push notifications for updates

Features we won鈥檛 build initially, but should be investigated for the future
Allow delivery services (& fees)
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