Star Buffet – an iOS app designed by Magora for Australia’s HoReCa net
StarBuffet app


StarBuffet iOS app interface app for Australia’s HoReCa net iOS app admin panel

StarBuffet is our bespoke app development project for an Australian client. As a highly enthusiastic manager, he was striving to optimise the internal processes in their buffet chain and cut expenses on unproductive workers through integration of cameras and video recognition algorithms. The Magora team came to the rescue and delved a bit more deeply to understand the pain points of the client’s business, help find the weaknesses and strengthen them with the right technologies.

The business model of the restaurant chain was originally based on self-service catering people paid the entrance fee and took dishes from the food stations. Each buffet had 3-4 special employees food passers who were responsible for maintaining food availability at each station. They had to monitor food items and order supplies from the kitchen when necessary, keeping in mind a lot of information such as which items were missing at which food station, which had already been ordered, which were on the servery, etc. The human factor caused a mess in the workflow, mistakes in orders and delays in supplies, with such an approach proving to be inconvenient and inefficient in general.

Magora: Brief

We reconsidered the initial idea of the video recognition system integration that the client had planned and steered his ideas on the right course. We proposed equipping employees with an iOS app. Taking into account the specialty of the client’s needs, the app provides two key roles for users.

The food passers get the necessary functionality to:

  • Choose the station and order the required items;
  • Control order completion timing;
  • Receive notifications when the order is ready;

The kitchen staff can use the app to:

  • Receive orders from the food passers;
  • Indicate the time required for completion of an order;
  • Send notifications when the order is available.

Our developers also backed the app up with a handy admin panel to manage personnel,  food items, categories and stations. As discussed in advance, the solution had to be flexible to cover the growing network of the restaurants involved.

Tech Stack

  • Backend: Java, Spring, Docker, Amazon Web Services, AWS EC2 (Ubuntu Server), AWS RDS (Postgresql 9.6), AWS Elastic Load Balancer, AWS S3 (Media Storage), AWS Lambda, AWS SNS/SQS (events from s3 and Lambda), AWS CloudWatch, AWS Route53.
  • Frontend: Angular; AdminLTE;
  • iOS: Alamofire, AlamofireImage, ObjectMapper, RxSwift, SocketRocket, Realm, RxSwift, Core, Foundation, UIKit.
Magora: Solution

The iOS app was integrated into the workflow of one of the restaurants as a test. The Magora solution proved its efficiency and we continued work on further updates to the system to enlarge its functionality, allowing the client to implement the software across the entire restaurant chain.

As a result, we helped satisfy the needs of self-service catering visitors in getting to sample the full assortment offered by the restaurant, increasing their satisfaction and loyalty to the Star Buffet brand. Magora team developed a digital system which allowed the client to optimise workflow and decrease labour costs, make the process predictable and transparent and decrease overall expenditures. The break-even point was surpassed within the first 9 months. Within 2018 the implemented IT system became an indispensable tool for the restaurants of the Star Buffet network and continues to increase their profitability.  

Magora: Result
Tags: bespoke apps bespoke software ios app development magora developers
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