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article imageApps help to transform small food businesses

By Tim Sandle     Sep 26, 2017 in Technology
The food sector is lucrative and take-out food services are booming. Small food business, however, often struggle with cash flow. A new app aims to address this.
Many suppliers of take-out ('take-away') food are small businesses and many grapple with the same problem: how do the companies obtain the money they require to buy supplies before they actually make sales? To address this conundrum, a new app has been launched and its intended to help food-related small businesses improve their cash flow. The app, and the name of the company, is called “Credibles”, and it has been developed by a San Francisco-based start-up. "Credibles" is a portmanteau of edible credits.
The company sets out to help small food businesses by allowing customers prepay from a growing number of small food companies. In essence this establishes a prepaid tab. With Credibles customers can prepay their food purchases, and then “eat their tab of edible credits” over time. This means food businesses have the money to use to prepare food, avoiding the need to take out loans. This business model has been dubbed "community underwriting."
The founder of Credibles, Arno Hesse told USA Today why he felt the need to step in: “It’s easier to put money into Monsanto and McDonald’s than invest in the bakery down the street", signalling that the small food sector is not sufficiently attractive for the big investor. The scheme has been successful with prepayments per customer averaging in the $300-$400 range; more importantly, with many customers return for a “refill” once they have “eaten” their initial credits. The sign of any successful business is with customer return.
Enjoy your coffee and the cafe? Now you can invest in it.
Enjoy your coffee and the cafe? Now you can invest in it.
The app also helps to build brand loyalty. Aficionados of a particular coffee shop or sandwich bar can help the establishment to survive. The Credibles app allows customers to exchange money for food. If someone wants to invest in a local deli, instead of receiving shares they can take their dividend in the form of freshly prepared food.
In a recent expansion of the technology, Credibles allows prepaid tabs to be given to others in the form of gift cards.
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