My first year at Hangry

Hangry Mates

On this day, one year ago, I joined Hangry as a Software Engineer. Today, I want to tell a bit of my story being at Hangry for the past one year.

What is Hangry ?

Hangry is a multi-brand virtual restaurant company with a HQ based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Maybe some of you might have heard of San Gyu, Moon Chicken, Ayam Koplo, Dari Pada or Bude Sari — those are the 5 F&B brands which Hangry launched for the past one year.

How did I end up in Hangry?

Around September last year, my previous CTO who happened to be the co-founder of Hangry shared to me that he was going to start another startup. After he and the other 2 co-founders of Hangry decided to go with virtual restaurant business model, they started to create the brands and the menus and I was invited to one of their blind tasting session.

Blind Tasting Session

During the session, the co-founders shared their business model, vision and mission of the company. Given my experience working under their leadership, I was confident that they will succeed and I also knew the quality of the team that they will make. Long story short, I was really interested in the idea and decided to explore if there was any role for me in Hangry and I was really happy to hear that they were looking to build a tech team despite being an F&B company.

The tech team will become the enabler and one of the key pillar for Hangry to succeed in the long run

I quote this sentence from our CTO when he shared about the role of the tech team that he wanted to build and it became one of the key reasons of why I decided to join Hangry.

One thing that I like the most

The typical responsibilities of a backend engineer are to design, build and maintain the systems. Most of the time, as a backend engineer we get to only work on product or technical specification that has been defined. However, I loved the fact that I was involved in many things outside of my main responsibility here. For example, I was involved in the product roadmap discussions, UI/UX discussions, as well as discussion for setting up outlet operations team SOP. This helped me to be a more effective engineer as I got to see from different perspectives. In my opinion, there’s literally no boundary that will limit my learning opportunity and growth in Hangry.

What I have done

Our first project was to build our own mobile application to serve our products without relying on food-delivery platforms. We then had a discussion on how we gonna split the project into tasks based on our interest and capability. Out of the initial 5 services for the project (User, Payment, Notification, Order, Delivery), I chose the Order service, which is in charge of the outlets, brands, menus, cart management and order flow. It was really challenging and exciting, because it was my first time building a food ordering system from scratch without any prior experience.

I also had the chance to learn new technologies from building our own internal dashboard, which provide management functionalities over our products and orders. In this project, I developed not only the backend side but also the frontend side too. This was also the first project that I developed using React (antd) + GraphQL.

Snapshot of our internal dashboard

Lean & Agile Tech Team

The initial tech team was assembled with 1x CTO, 1x product manager, 1x product designer, 2x frontend engineers , 3x backend engineers.

While we released the first version of the app earlier this year with many shortcomings and with only one use case (delivery order), we had iteratively added several key features such as:

  • Promotion — price cut, vouchers, promo codes, promo T&C rules
  • Loyalty — allowing our loyal customers to collect Hangry points, which can be used to redeem merchandises, vouchers or direct discount on checkout.
  • Referral — we all know what this is 😉
    Here’s my referral code: ANDYSQLZ
  • Takeaway — customers no longer have to wait in queue to order, they now can order it from home and pick it up at the outlet once the order is ready.

We are really proud that we could develop all these features while keeping the team lean. Moving forward, I hope that the tech team will continue to be the enabler for Hangry’s growth.

P.S. If you have tried our Hangry App and have any feedbacks or suggestions, please do not hesitate to tell me.

Snapshot of Hangry App

Looking back…

We started the journey of Hangry with a very small team, less than 20 people. At that time, we didn’t even have an office yet, so we had to work at our CEO’s place until the end of 2019. Before the first outlet launch, we did numerous blind tasting of our products vs competitors to find the best recipe for all of our menus. We also had a weekly huddle with everyone to discuss our progress.

Early Phase of Hangry (December 2019) — Photo was taken at our soon-to-be office

Long story short, after about 2.5 months of preparations — finalised the branding, packaging and menus, set up the outlet, hired and trained the kitchen staffs — we finally managed to start the operation of our first outlet on 19th November 2019 at Sudirman Park.

I still remember that things were quite messy on our first day of opening. We had to do a lot of firefighting as the outlet staffs had difficulty in following the SOP, which caused a lot of mis-served orders and very long serving time. It wasn’t going as we expected it to be.

Fast forward to now, I’m really proud of what Hangry team have achieved.

  • A nice office in West Jakarta which also served as one of our outlet. 🎉
  • 30 outlets across Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang, Bekasi and still growing… 📈
  • Serving more than 10.000 items per day 💪
  • Average Rating of 4.8 / 5 in GrabFood and GoFood for all our 5 brands 🌟
  • And many more…

Conclusion

I’m really grateful for the decision that I made last year. Building something from zero to one was really exciting and rewarding. It was painstakingly hard, but it was made possible by great teammates that made the whole process enjoyable especially during this pandemic period. With this chance, I want to give a shoutout to all Hangry-mates for the amazing efforts for the past year.

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