Meet our founder of the week: OneOrder founder and CEO Tamer Amer
OUR FOUNDER OF THE WEEK- Tamer Amer, founder and CEO of OneOrder (LinkedIn).
My name is Tamer Amer. I'm a restaurateur and the founder of OneOrder. I have been in the restaurant industry for 24 years but originally I was a water polo player for the Egyptian national team and played in the 1997 world cup. During my college years in America I started working for my uncle’s restaurant in Dallas, Texas and I fell in love with the job. I liked the diversity of the daily challenges and the instant gratification you get when you get good feedback from your customers. After I graduated, I moved to LA and continued working in the industry with my uncle until I launched my own brand — Spark Woodfire Grill. I sold it in 2008 and moved back to Egypt, where I started a sushi bar called Fuego.
I didn’t think I was going to last that long in Egypt but after the 2011 revolution, the restaurant industry really started booming. I think the whole culture of going out and enjoying life has transformed the community into appreciating the good things in life including going out to eat and trying different restaurants, so it was a great time for the restaurant industry. Fuego was going really well; we opened up four more branches and in 2019 I launched Longhorn Texas BBQ.
As an operator who has been in the industry for so long, I started to ask myself: Why are restaurants suffering? And one of the issues that jumped out at me is the tremendous cost of the supply chain. Restaurants should not be spending so much on warehouses, their own supply chain team, or their own trucks.
This is where OneOrder came into play. Restaurants have been spending 6-7% of their total revenues on stabilizing their supply chains, putting them at a disadvantage. In particular, newer restaurants that are just starting out don’t have the stamina to spend that much just to have products on their shelves. As a restaurant operator, I was waiting for someone to start a company like OneOrder but it never happened.
OneOrder is a one-stop shop for restaurants to source all their produce and equipment. It offers its users next-day delivery, enabling restaurants to have 360° visibility of their entire company starting from ownership to operators and chefs to cost controllers and accounting. We buy in bulk so the restaurants that work with us are capitalizing on our economies of scale and bulk buying, as well as reducing the cost of going through the hassle of ordering from hundreds of suppliers on a daily basis.
Within five months of launching, OneOrder grew tenfold: We started out with five restaurants in March and currently we serve almost 100 restaurants.
We will continue to beef up our technology and interface. Our homemade warehouse management system is sophisticated and allows us to move orders of over 150 items in less than 12 minutes.
The AI component is quite significant in our operations. It projects the needs of the resturants moving forward as we compile their data. In about 6-7 months our system will start projecting orders for restaurants using data and analytics, making it accurate to a great percentage.
From day one it was evident to me that the problem in Egypt was going to be the supply chain process and by the time you get the hang of it, you’ll have already lost a lot of money up front. The losses that come from not understanding the market is why a lot of restaurants in Egypt shut down early on.
I am a man of this industry and I am on a mission to help because I was so fed up with the industry — with the supply cycle, which took advantage of restaurant owners and operators and nobody was there to help.
We closed our first round of financing back in February, raising USD 1 mn from A15.
We expect to expand outside of Egypt within the next year. We are in the process of fundraising in efforts to fund our local and regional expansion. We see OneOrder as a global player.
The last great book I read was Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. He is a master of economics, and a Nobel prize laureate. He teaches his readers how to balance between fast intuition and slow thinking and how to utilize both to their advantage.
Inspiration is everywhere you look and the people around you and the hard working people that never give up no matter how fortunate or unfortunate they are financially. It’s not about the financial gain, it's about hammering away at the passion and the hard work you do and eventually things fall into place.
My entire family is very proud of what I do. I like to spend any spare time I get with my two 13-year-old boys. I don't see much of them during the day so I always look forward to squeezing that 15-minute conversation with us laying on the couch.