An Interview with Matt Reid, Founder of Revolutionary New Food App 'KIN'
KIN is the brand new food delivery service offering a solution to the financial and environmental problems posed by the pre-existing apps we all know and love. Founder Matt Reid has a passion for top-quality food and the authenticity of its origin. After witnessing first-hand the impact of the delivery industry, Matt found an opportunity to create a platform that brings together the very best quality food and responsibly sourced ingredients with efficient and entirely sustainable delivery methods.
What makes KIN APP a revolutionary platform?
KIN is the first omni-channel food app where you can eat everything that you watch. It offers a content-driven approach to food ordering that offers more variety, great access to brands, faster delivery and better quality in more sustainable ways. KIN is a platform that celebrates well-known chefs as well as emerging culinary creators from across the APAC region. KIN is a solution-driven app that solves many of the pain points experienced by restaurants and food delivery companies, on financial and environmental fronts.
What inspired you to start KIN APP?
I really didn’t like the idea of getting food that had just been on the back of a mo-ped, with not a lot of information about where the ingredients were coming from. As a restaurant operator myself, I saw first-hand that the food industry is in crisis and believe that we need to create systemic change to drive real meaningful impact. Our mission is to create technologies to implement solutions to the food and climate crisis. KIN enables whole districts to have access to exciting food from food innovators, made with regenerative agriculture, seamlessly available, digitally-led with carbon-free delivery. This is the first integrated food solution that learns what a building wants to eat. We have built KIN to be highly scalable and plan to expand into every urban vertical community.
How have you adapted in the F&B sector during COVID?
Due to our Maximal restaurants, we have had a pretty global viewpoint on the impacts of COVID. We decided quite early on to focus our classical fine dining restaurant experiences to remain like that and strive to bring better in-person experiences every day. We have opened two Aubrey restaurants during the pandemic in Hong Kong and London, all pushing to create unique dining and drinking experiences.
KIN is our innovation response. The current delivery platforms are a necessary evil that offer marginal financial impact and zero emotional connection of our product with the customer. We had no interest in being on a delivery platform before COVID. We saw a huge jump in consumer behaviour in ordering food via an app. KIN addresses the flaws we see in the existing food delivery model; enabling a profitable relationship for all parties without an impact on the environment. KIN also offers the ability to connect with the customer.
While KIN had been in the making pre-COVID, COVID actually really bolstered our confidence in what we are creating and the need for KIN and solutions like it. Just in Hong Kong alone we experienced first-hand the impact of food shortages, which is an issue that KIN tackles through our ingredient charter, that applies to all of our restaurant partners as well: we source ingredients locally as much as possible, and regionally only if absolutely necessary – all of our ingredients are from regenerative or responsibly managed farms.
What are the issues with traditional delivery platforms?
Traditional delivery platforms are built on a model where there are no winners on any front, not restaurants, not drivers, and definitely not the environment. Restaurants are charged crippling commissions from traditional platforms making them unsustainable long term, KIN has solved this by flipping around a traditional franchise model and franchising individual dishes from restaurants that are then prepared inside a KIN kitchen.
Delivery platforms are very limited with the hiring of delivery drivers because the pool can only include those who own a scooter and a scooter operating license, KIN removes this barrier to employment by keeping a small delivery radius that allows deliveries to be made by walkers.
Food delivery platforms are often hard on the environment, through the carbon emissions used to deliver individual orders, the use of lower-cost ingredients in dishes (sometimes in response to the high commissions charged by traditional delivery) and wasteful packaging. The small footprint of KIN allows us to aim for complete circular packaging by 2025. In the meantime, our packaging will be as low-impact as possible for the environment. Additionally, all dishes in the KIN kitchens will use ingredients that follow our strict ingredient charter.
For consumers, delivery platforms are cluttered digital areas that offer little information about the dishes on offer and they can spend too much time scrolling to find what they want. In addition to rich digital content that tells the story behind each dish, KIN’s proprietary algorithm creates food playlists, and allows consumers to build their own food playlists. The more you order from KIN, the more KIN knows you and you can spend less time scrolling and more time enjoying. Additionally, when something goes wrong with traditional delivery, the person ordering faces a lot of frustration trying to remedy it and has little recourse from customer service agents that can offer few answers and are not often available during peak times – because KIN manages every aspect of the food preparation in addition to deliveries, we are always ready with answers and solutions if any issues arise.
How does KIN APP use technology to support sustainability and efficiency?
We’ve built our systems from the perspective of a restaurant owner. There are many different systems out there that address various needs, but they don’t always integrate with each other. Our integrated ERP system flow is dependent on our app capturing data and being able to automatically convert that data into effective decisions which means our culinary teams can focus on putting out great food. The ERP system is able to capture data from transactions made via the app, that is channeled through to our procurement and inventory systems. That data is used to forecast inventory levels in real-time, which allows our teams to make better ordering decisions that lead to minimal over-ordering and reducing food waste.
What is the future of the F&B industry post-COVID, in your opinion?
We see a post-war boom in dining and luxury travel. We have been starved from experiences and the built up demand is clear to see. We have seen fireworks in certain markets at various moments through this pandemic, for example, London is super vibrant at the moment. I think dining will become more theatrical and experience-led as we want the opposite of the rustic home dining we have all been forced to consume. Combined with this boom in dining, food for convenience is going to continue to grow from strength to strength. We see short-form video and online food ordering colliding with the KIN app leading that development.
What can we look forward to with the launch of KIN APP? Do you have any exciting collaborations coming up?
The exciting thing about KIN is that we offer discovery of undiscovered culinary talents across Asia, in addition to big-name chefs such as Matt Abergel (Yardbird), Richard Ekkebus (Amber), and Peggy Chan (Grassroots Initiatives), who are offering their well-known dishes, in addition to some KIN exclusives. We are finalising one of my favourites restaurants out of Bangkok at the moment and a huge brand out of the US.