Sesame is an early stage NYC-based restaurant marketplace designed to fix a broken system where third party delivery providers make all the money, restaurants operate at a loss, and consumers are charged ridiculous fees.
As a part of Beta Acid Ventures, we worked with Sesame from the very beginning, helping define the product, collaborating with design, creating the technical architecture, and building a multi-stakeholder application for consumers, restaurants, and administrators.
Sesame was created from the belief that restaurant owners and their guests should have transparent engagement with each other, free from exorbitant fees.
To make Sesame work, we would have to ingest menu, pricing, and photography information from each restaurant, process payments for guests, transmit orders back to the restaurant, and dispatch delivery drivers.
This would mean normalizing data from a variety of sources, presenting it in a unified way to guests, and then integrating with third parties to take care of payment and delivery services. All while providing the user experience that restaurant guests have come to expect.
Our team collaborated with a variety of other experts to design a seamless, simple, functional, and beautiful experience for browsing local restaurants and their menus.
But restaurant guests are not the only users of this platform. We also had to make it easy for restauranteurs to onboard to the platform, make changes to their menus and photography, as well as view and track sales information.
Our design review process is an iterative approach where we work closely with the product owners to continuously refine how users interact with the product, as well as how those decisions impact the technology that powers the platform.
Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) we designed and built a relatively simple solution to a complex problem. Although scale and security are always top priorities, it's important to not overengineer anything too soon for early stage startups.
We used a static React.js app hosted behind Cloudfront that talked to a series of GraphQL APIs. These GraphQL APIs were served up via Lambdas behind API Gateways. On the back end we designed a normalized, relational database model on top of an RDS-based Postgres data storage.
We also built a webhook-based model for consuming data updates from our menu partners in real-time.
We built Sesame using React.js and connected it to the back end's GraphQL APIs using Apollo. We plugged into Stripe to handle payment processing and Google's Firebase platform to perform authentication.
We also linked the marketing page and other platform related content to Contentful's CMS platform to allow the team to update copy, featured content, and more on the fly.
All of this was deployed via a CI/CD pipeline to an AWS Cloudfront CDN to maximize delivery latency.
Business owners and restaurant operators need an analytical view into performance. We designed and built a web-based transaction and data visualization portal just for this reason.
Restaurant staff can view sales transaction data in real-time, as well as aggregated across various time frames.
"They’re invested in our project, and they act like owners. More importantly, they’ll run through brick walls to make things happen."
Josh Morgan, CEO & Founder
We worked very closely with the Sesame team to design, architect, and build a world class experience and data platform to power their business from early stage through growth.
Beta Acid Ventures allowed Sesame to launch their platform in a short time and within a reasonable budget. We are proud to be investors in Sesame.
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