Built by Shape
Ljubljana, Slovenia, Mar 2023
Food waste is a global problem. According to the World Wildlife Fund, around one-third of all food produced in the world is wasted, and the food industry is responsible for a significant proportion of that waste. If you want to make an impact and create meaningful solutions, you need to start with yourself. And that's precisely what we did. We started our product discovery by researching and about this problem in Slovenia asking:
First, some sad stats on why this problem needs our attention:
And whilst all this, there is a lack of Saas products, that could help to tackle this problem in the restaurant business. Let’s level up this product discovery!
To investigate food waste problems in Slovenian restaurants, we contacted and interviewed their owners, seeking a better understanding of their businesses. This is what we found out so far:
At first, we had the idea to tackle this restaurant business problem by building something similar to 2Good2Go which is an innovative food-saving app that connects users with unsold food from restaurants and cafes at discounted prices.
But product discovery isn’t about listing ideas that might seem possible to implement. If fact, it is the opposite. The main goal of product discovery is to gather information and insights that can inform the development of a successful product.
After our interviews, a bigger picture showed up. (product discovery 101) The restaurant business is way more than just food preparation. We found out about another way to solve this problem at the root by making predictions about how many guests there will be at the event. Imagine a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution helping catering businesses to predict how many guests are going to show up based on different inquiries. Sort of an anti-food waste fortune-telling.
This is just a reminder of how important product discovery really is. The insights gained from any product discovery (quick or thorough) can help ensure that the resulting product meets user needs and addresses a real market opportunity.
By researching the problem of restaurant food waste in Slovenia we aim to raise awareness of the issue and promote action to reduce waste, as well as help identify key drivers of waste and potential tech (hopefully AI) solutions.
Based on the insights provided, we are currently working on questions and ideas to present to restaurants next time. We will check whether this solution is viable for others as well during our next presentation. If you have to remember something from this experience, let this be it:
Questions first, building next!
For more about the specifics of the Slovenian restaurant business, the main issues concerning food waste prevention Saas product, and what else we (product) discovered read in part 2!.