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Restaurant tech startup iCHEF to double headcount as COVID-19 drives demand


iCHEF, a Taiwanese company that provides an iPad-based point of sale (POS) system for restaurants, plans to double its headcount to meet a growing demand for its services.

The system is currently used by more than 7,000 small and medium-sized restaurants located in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. The company charges $100 per iPad for monthly subscription and $25 for every additional device.

With one single POS, restaurants can take all kinds of orders -- take-out, delivery, or dine-in -- and process payments in real time, delivering seamless customer experience and streamlining daily operations.

In the pandemic, an increasing number of customers are ordering meals online, and restaurants are quick to adopt such technology to handle a more complicated set of orders. iCHEF’s system integrates both Uber Eats and Foodpanda, the two most widely-used food delivery apps in Taiwan.

In response to a boom in business, iCHEF says it is looking to hire for technical roles, including iOS developers and quality engineers, “to build a solid foundation for the company’s future as a world-class software development company.”

These roles will make up more than 30% of the workforce after the company fills all the new vacancies.

As the system is used by a large number of restaurants around the world, engineers are constantly challenged to ensure it handles a heavy load and to fine-tune the software in real time, according to a press release.

“As a tech company, the work culture of iCHEF has its roots in Silicon Valley,” says CTO Matt Chang, who returned to Taiwan to join iCHEF after a stint at Salesforce. “By learning and working with each other, we hope our engineers are able to gain the experience that lays the groundwork for their future career.”

In addition to recruiting tech talent, iCHEF says it also plans to build a larger sales team to build stronger connections with restaurants and to scale internationally.

The recruitment plan came at a time when companies around the world are cutting their workforce and putting employees on furlough.

While meeting a growing demand during COVID-19, Ken Chen, co-founder of iCHEF, says the company is doubling its team in order to “improve its service quality and capacity.”

Previously, the company has rolled out several measures to help restaurant owners mitigate the decline in revenue caused by the pandemic, including waiving the monthly fee for all its clients.


Bryan Chou

Bryan Chou is a Taiwan-based and born journalist who writes about innovation and entrepreneurship for Business Next and Meet. Over the past five years, he has written for a student press, translated numerous magazine pieces, and worked as an intern in two startups. He believes what shapes him into who he is today is not only these experiences but the people he has interacted with and the stories he has learned from them.

He has a BA in Foreign languages and literatures from NTU. After graduation, he spent a year in Prague, traveling extensively around Europe to learn about the history and culture of the region from local people. Currently based in Taipei, he hopes to present the best of Taiwan to the world.