In the bustling world of restaurant business, Growdash, a startup founded by Sean Trevaskis and Enver Sorkun is poised to redefine how restaurants tackle the challenges of the modern digital landscape. Sean and Envers journey from working for the region's biggest online food delivery channels to founding Growdash is nothing short of inspirational.
Their motivation stemmed from a lingering concern that restaurants are continuously making poor returns when investing in the large selection of ‘visibility’ and ‘discounting’ tools available to them and the fact that this is being widely unaddressed by the industry itself.
Launched in 2022, UAE-based Growdash emerged from the realisation that restaurants worldwide are grappling with the conundrum of gaining meaningful returns from their advertising investments.
According to Trevaskis, "It seemed crazy to me that no-one was trying to tackle this problem head on, the e-commerce industry has tackled this years ago; why not restaurants?!"
The company's inception was fueled by a mission to build an Analytics and Business Intelligence platform that enables restaurant operators to build, execute and proactively manage profitable growth strategies.
Breaking away from the conventional software landscape, Growdash introduced an easy-to-use, dynamic and interactive platform designed to empower restaurants in efficiently managing their advertising campaigns.
Trevaskis expounded, "We’ve tried to simplify the complexities involved with managing multiple campaigns across multiple brands on multiple digital delivery channels.”
He added “Our product methodology is direct; every feature we have built is focused on making data accessible, using our recommendation engine to derive actionable insights that allow users to optimise campaigns and then finally, facilitating action through automation which alleviates the workload associated with performance marketing.”
Growdash is working to change the way restaurants think, manage and deploy growth strategies throughout the GCC. They have already had some notable milestones and successes in their short tenure including; growing over 600% year-to-date, now working with over 200 restaurant brands in UAE, Kuwait and Qatar; plus shifting from their MVP to a completely custom built technology stack that will fuel their scalability and ability to bring more innovative features for the purposes of empowering restaurants to grow online.
In Q4 Growdash will be launching in KSA, already working with some partners there at a small scale to test their product in the unique markets of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. Enver highlights “KSA is the BIG opportunity in the GCC with a forecasted CAGR of 19% between now and 2027. We will be investing heavily there in 2024 and plan, long term, to centre our regional business around KSA.”
Growdash's journey commenced with a small selection of innovative restaurant partners and an MVP crafted using an Excel sheet before transitioning to the amazingly robust product partners are using today. Their focus extends beyond developing a unique product but also cultivating a collaborative synergy between restaurants and aggregators.
Trevaskis revealed, "There is so much innovation that can be explored with aggregators to the benefit of restaurants. Rest opportunity and ability to grow on using the advertising tools on these channels and our vision is to become the catalyst that skyrocket restaurants’ ability to achieve top-line and bottom-line growth from online sales.”
Currently collaborating with over 200 restaurant brands across the UAE, Growdash is entrusted with managing a substantial capital pool, a testament to its robust presence in the market. Trevaskis disclosed, "In terms of the numbers, we've grown about six times over the last year and we have copious case studies that validate our mission and product... What sets us apart is our rapidly evolving recommendation engine and our core belief that automation alone is not the solution, it simply automates the existing problem. Automation is a feature within Growdash and with a combination of product methodology; Insight, Decision, Action, we have the solution that restaurants need to get ahead in this competitive landscape."
The transformative impact of Growdash becomes vividly apparent through the success stories of its partner restaurants. Notable examples such as Kreative & Co, Malak Al Tawouk and Pizza Di Rocco, prominent restaurant brands; their journey, intertwined with Growdash's strategies, showcases the potency of data-driven decisions and innovative solutions.
These partners and many, many others have used the comprehensive analytics and business intelligence tools available to them thanks to Growdash to optimise its visibility campaigns, discount investments and organic growth opportunities like menu engineering; resulting in remarkable growth trajectories.
The numbers tell a compelling story; restaurants averaging the industry benchmark of 2.2x Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) are, within weeks, hitting double digit ROAS with Growdash. Enver added “In July alone, the quietest month of the year-to-date our average Return on Advertising Spend across our portfolio was 8x, 4 times more than the market average!”
Sean cemented “We become a profit centre very quickly for restaurants; helping them achieve more orders and revenue at a much lower cost base than they have achieved without us. Even when a restaurant is doing over 8x by themselves, we are able to empower these incredible teams to that the ROAS even further and with ease”
GrowDash's business model, characterised by a modest monthly subscription fee, underscores the company's commitment to consistently deliver value and innovation to the restaurant industry.
Trevaskis's fervour for the industry and his aspiration to be a source of enrichment rather than mere poacher on a restaurant's already tough unit economics, have been pivotal to Growdash's accomplishments. The company's auspicious reception in the regional market has set the stage for their mission - to empower restaurants to build, execute and proactively manage profitable growth strategies.
Innovation remains the nucleus, driving ongoing research and development to fortify their product's efficacy. Beyond this, they're poised to broaden their horizons, envisioning expansion into Europe and Southeast Asia, a trajectory marked by partner growth and product evolution.
Initiating a business needn't translate to a colossal financial burden. Instead, it calls for passion, dedication, and a supportive network. At Growdash, these principles are etched into the very fabric of their corporate culture. An illustrative embodiment of this ethos is their tradition of ordering lunch from different restaurants every Friday, a ceremonial acknowledgment of their achievements and a nod to the industry they're devoted to enhancing.