Having grown up with a restaurateur father, business administration senior David Bartolomucci and older brother Raymond Bartolomucci know the restaurant industry like the back of their spatulas.
The brothers recognized the demand for a digitized marketplace that makes repairs easy for restaurants, so, with the help of the SLO HotHouse, they co-founded Roopairs.
Roopairs, a play on kangaroos and the word ‘repair’, is a fully responsive web platform that helps restaurants manage their equipment. The platform is accessible from any device with the capability of connecting restaurant managers with service providers.
David said the problem within the restaurant industry is that restaurant owners spend an excessive amount of time and money on managing their equipment. Additionally, he said the way restaurants hire service providers is outdated and inefficient.
“We realized we needed to improve the way the workflow happens between the two parties,” David said. “We solved that by having software which connects them seamlessly.”
Once a restaurant starts using Roopairs, their onboarding specialists log all of the equipment in a restaurant with its appropriate manufacturer, model number and serial number.
David said this is more efficient for restaurant managers and the service providers when something breaks down.
Through the online platform, users can record which equipment needs to be repaired, the service provider, and describe the problem. The software then sends an automatic email, text, and phone call to their chosen service providers and someone is sent to repair the equipment.
“The best part about our business model is that it’s free for restaurants,” Raymond said. “We knew we wanted to develop a product that brings value, saves restaurants money and is also free.”
Raymond said a big problem with service providers is getting their payment, as it usually takes 30 to 90 days due to excessive invoicing and paperwork.
Roopairs is focusing on building software that guarantees payment to service providers in as soon as three business days.
“We offer service providers the full life cycle of how to run their business,” Raymond said. “We get them the job, we enable them to schedule and dispatch the job, and because we are also a payment processor, we then enable them to invoice their job and get paid quicker.”
The startup is leveraging Cal Poly students by having an entire graphic communications class with 40 students design their marketing website this quarter, three public relations students working on an outreach campaign, and one marketing intern.
Currently, the startup is still in closed beta, a testing phase, with eight restaurants using their software in the community, including Novo, Luna Red, Mint + Craft, The Galley, Dolphin Bay Resort, Old San Luis Barbecue Company, Blue Sky Bistro, and Bliss Cafe.
Roopairs has partnered with Cal Coast Refrigeration and 15 other service companies in the community. The brothers said feedback has been positive so far.
“Cal Coast Refrigeration has already expressed they want to bring on all 300 of their customers,” Raymond said. “Aqua Systems, who has a restaurant client base statewide, has expressed [that] they look forward to partnering with Roopairs.”
David said they will likely be in closed beta for the next two to three months and will then transition into open beta until summer. They are hoping to launch by Sept. 2019.
“Ideally, our next big milestone will be to enter into Santa Barbara into a distribution channel with another restaurant software company,” Raymond said.