The human touch is the difference between the next big thing and a flop, and this is something SmartBite founder Gabriele Fadda is very much aware of. [NSTP/OWEE AH CHUN]

KUALA LUMPUR: The human touch is the difference between the next big thing and a flop, and this is something SmartBite founder Gabriele Fadda is very much aware of.

SmartBite is yet another food delivery start-up that is keen on capitalising on the ever growing food delivery business, but Fadda is quick to dispute his company similarities to the likes of foodpanda, GrabFood and even centralised kitchen food delivery, DahMakan.

“I don't consider them as our competitors given that they deliver everywhere, where else we only deliver to offices on business days. This ensure that we keep our cost low and we don’t waste resources to cater to a small group of orders to residentials on the weekends,” he said in an interview with NST Business.

Fadda said for now, he was only concentrating in the cities with established central business districts as these are where the proliferation of businesses and towers are.

As of right now, the company is already active within the Kuala Lumpur Golden Triangle, Bangsar, Ampang, KL Sentral and Petaling Jaya, with plans to go into both Cyberjaya and Putrajaya in the first half of next year.

“A building must first be activated, we activate a building by gaining a certain number of orders first. It does not makes sense, cost wise, to send a rider out to a building for single order. It makes more sense to send a rider for 10 different orders or more to a building,” he said.

SmartBite currently has some 500 buildings activated and it is looking to increase that number to over 1,000 by June 2019. It also has some 100 restaurants as its partners, and is looking for more.

Though it is a tech company, SmartBite keeps its “old school” when it comes to marketing for its service.

“We would set a booth and give out flyers with a first order discount code at a tower that we want to activate. We also use the referral system in order to spread the word. Nothing is better than a recommendation from a friend as well as good reviews on social media and that is something that we are aiming for,” said Fadda.

Fadda has also been known to meet up with customers over a cup of coffee.

“It is important that as a founder of SmartBite, I keep myself as approachable as possible. Customers will most likely stay loyal if they feel that they have a connection with the brand,” he said.

“I am not just the founder of SmartBite, but I am also the face of its brand and it is important that they know that this brand value their input and take their concerns seriously.”

SmartBite has raised some US$300,000 in funding from two series of funding. It expects to begin its next funding series soon.