Owing to the pandemic in 2020, things have gone contactless in almost all sectors. Especially in the hospitality sectors, where menus are getting replaced with QR codes. It’s quite a unique way that allows users to see the menu in great detail all through their phones. It’s the same category where Scanly comes into the picture but with a difference.
Scanly is an application that is broadly used in the hospitality sector to display the menu. But not in a PDF format; it’s all fluid and quite illustrative in terms of how it has to display things. The entire application is buffed up in offering a unique user experience of portraying dishes and more; in turn boosting the outlet’s sales and credibility. Speaking with Marat Muslimov, the founder of Scanly, the resulting conversation that took place are provided below.
What is the startup / product / venture about? Give us a brief description of it.
Scanly is free contactless digital menus for Restaurant, Cafe, Bars, Pubs and Hotels. Scanly aims to help small businesses fight the pandemic. Free, fast, simple and user-friendly digital menus with QR codes and other advanced functionality should make business safer and increase sales by 20-40%.
How many co-founders are there? Please introduce them and their backgrounds.
I am the sole founder and creator of Scanly. I am primarily a designer with over 10 years of experience. For a long time working with digital products, I have mastered programming and now I am engaged in complex product design. I have three profitable projects under my belt, one of them is also related to business in the service sector (restaurants, hotels, etc.), the second is fintech for investment, the third is next-gen ecommerce. During my work in IT and design, I managed to work with large international companies, such as KFC, Paul (bakery), several large banks, Dodo Pizza, dbWatch, wealthX and much more. Some of them are our clients.
How did you come up with the idea? What motivated you to do this?
I’ve always disliked paper menus. A paper menu is inconvenient to leaf through, it can be dirty, and you always have to wait for the waiter to bring it. I thought it would be nice if menu would appear on my phone at any moment, and I would not have to search for it. And with the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, this has become more relevant. A couple of months ago I was in Dubai on vacation with my family. There I saw QR menus in hotels and restaurants, and this service is provided by on monopoly company. I thought, “Oh, it’s cool that it’s already done and it really works.” But after using this a few times, I got upset. I was not satisfied with the usability and functionality. So I decided to do my own thing.
Who is your target market? Why do you think your product will appeal to them?
Our target is of course restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels. But now (we were surprised) Scanly are used by car washes, retail stores, barbershops and many other organizations that at first glance are not our target audience. Our customers love simplicity, speed and fact that it’s free. They point out that it is really simple and fast. Nothing needs to be installed and implemented for a long time. All you need is a browser! I think we were able to achieve this thanks to the use of the latest technologies in the web development and serverless computing from Amazon and Vercel.
Who are your competitors? How are you different from them?
After research competitors, I identified the key weaknesses: userful and speed for both customers and guests (end users), and price. Now is a difficult time for small businesses. Therefore, I decided to provide everything that Scanly needs to work for free.
What are the future plans with the product/startup? Any new features you are planning on?
We are planning to introduce direct payment and contactless ordering functions. And in the next update, Scanly will have search and adding photos from a million-strong base of professional photos, reviews and likes, COVID-19 check-in, analytics, affiliates and API.