SmartBite co-founder Alessandro Voltolini
Culture Spotlight

Why startup SmartBite is bullish about its future despite the bleak business atmosphere

The corporate catering outfit is confident they could convince more local offices to feed their workforce with pre-designed meal plans 
ANCX Staff | Sep 18 2020

These aren’t exactly the best of times for a business to be dreaming big but for SmartBite, the food catering marketplace with origins in Malaysia and which recently made inroads into the Philippines, what’s the point in being discouraged? Besides, they have a plan to back their dream up. 

The dream is to become the top-of-mind corporate catering company in Southeast Asia, and the plan is to organize and mobilize caterers in the country, interested restaurants included, to serve the food needs of the IT-BPM (information technology-business process management) sector. 

Donatello Montrone is the GM for SmartBite in the Philippines

“Currently, there are more than 1.35 million employees working under the IT-BPM industry,” Alessandro Voltolini, SmartBite Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder, told Business Mirror recently. “By 2022, this number is expected to reach 1.85 million.”

SmartBite is aware of the present realities: the dining industry had to take a major step back. So what the startup aims to do is encourage and help companies develop  smart and budget-friendly meal plans for their workforce, and encourage these

companies to order these pre-designed meals regularly and in large quantities—whether their employees are required to be in the office or allowed to accomplish their tasks from home. This would make it easier for workers to focus more on productivity and save their time for breaks and other equally important stuff. 

As of the moment, SmartBite lists Public Bank, agoda, and the country’s top online shopping platforms—Shopee, Zalora, Lazada, in their “Companies we feed” list. A testimony on their official website quotes a Zalora rep thus, “Ordering from SmartBite has saved me so much time. It means I can actually focus on doing my job of making this company a great place to work. The platform itself is user friendly and helps me to choose vendors with one click. A real lifesaver!”

At the SmartBite HQ: (from left) Tom Fernandez, Sales Manager, Donatello Montrone, GM, Davide Pasqualini, vendor manager

Voltolini told theedgemarkets.com in July that his wish for SmartBite is to get even a small chunk —maybe between 5% and 10%—of the yearly US$10 to US$12 billion earnings from the catering business in Southeast Asia. That would be a start. And would already represent a pretty good revenue for the company. 

Speaking to the same website, Voltolini divulged more of his company’s dreams. “Looking beyond five years, while I am very bullish about this bulk corporate catering niche that we’re making for ourselves, I would also like for us to capture the social catering market,” said the CEO. “I think there is huge potential to bring our business and delivery model to event management companies, event spaces, and convention centres.”