Foodi Menus | Case Study

Foodi Menus

Web App

Foodi Menus

Foodi Menus hired Pristine Tech to build their digital menu web app and create a powerful but effective proof of concept.

The Situation

Foodi Menus saw a need for a digital alternative to menus that enabled menu management with a strong feature set and offered a visual menu experience for diners.  With their limited budget and timeline, they needed to prove that their product could work and would be appealing to restaurants and diners alike.  Because of their detailed long-term vision, they also needed a web app that lay the groundwork for a platform with expanded functionality while maintaining an easy-to-use experience for managers and diners.
Through extensive conversations with Foodi, we clarified and formalized the early, mid, and long-term goals for the service, and what specific need each aspect would address.  Understanding both the technical goals and the business assumptions behind the web app gave us the best picture to develop the development timeline.  With user stories and feature lists in hand, we were ready to evaluate the best technology to achieve their goals.

The Goal

Qualitatively, Foodi Menus was aiming to create a menu experience with a strong visual focus.  Diners needed to be able to clearly see what they were ordering, and relevant information for each dish in an easy-to-understand layout.  Restaurant managers needed a fully functional back-end to create and manage menus, potentially making multiple changes a day based on demand and availability.
Technically, Foodi needed a web app that would be fast, scalable, and easy to use.  “Foodi Menu’s team did a great job of providing clear guidelines for what the user experience needed to be.  It was up to us to code a solution that could provide that without sacrificing the flexibility they needed as they grew.” said Art, the lead developer on the project.  That meant a back-end that would be easy to maintain with minimal buffering, a flexible and dynamic database, and that would connect smoothly to the front end for new feature development.  The front end needed to be clean, fast, and reactive.

How We Did It

On the back end, we used Node.js and Mongo DB.  Node.js is one of the fastest runtime environments that uses JavaScript, and one of the most popular programming languages. It is easy to maintain and is very scalable, has no buffering and is asynchronous. Mongo DB is a scalable, flexible, dynamic, NoSQL DB. It combines well with JavaScript as it has a document-based structure and returns JSON like objects which makes it much easier to scale and implement new features.
React.js is fast and, as the name suggests, reactive. Foodi Menus requires fast loading times and to have reactive components that can be scaled easily. Together with Node.js, React.js creates a great combo that is easily managed in a single code base. Any change to the back-end options (adding dishes, changing branding etc.), React.js will serve it instantly on the menu preview without the need to reload.
In addition to technical ability, Pristine Tech needed to be flexible and responsive to the ambiguity and pivots inherent to working with a startup. We were able to deliver on that in a way that kept Foodi Menus on track without sacrificing their vision. "While the product Pristine Tech built us has been flexible, dynamic, and responsive - one of the biggest benefits of working with them has been that their team is equally flexible, dynamic, and responsive. They understand the uncertainties associated with building a startup, testing an MVP, and going to market, and did an amazing job of supporting us through our growing pains." said Ben, Foodi Menus' founder.

The Result

Foodi Menus is live and taking on new users.  In the words of their own founder, working with Pristine Tech has created a product that their users are calling “a game changer” for their restaurants.  The structures we built are serving as a solid foundation for the continued advancement of the Foodi Menus web app, including order and payment integration and user interaction tracking.  “Before Pristine Tech, Foodi was just an idea.  Now we’re a business,” said Ben.