Interview With Željko Bošnjak
Describe your product or service:
“Our automation platform helps restaurants of all sizes to scale their delivery with improved operational efficiency.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“We want to be perceived as a tech disruptor in the HORECA [Hotel, Restaurant, Cafe] industry. Someone who is innovating in an industry which is operating delivery in the same manner for years, with a change that is long due.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“We had a pre-seed round from ICT Hub Venture and [a] grant from Europe Innovation fund.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Right now we have six people in our team divided by roles: Marko Rak (customer support), Vladimir Nešković (onboarding and operations), Srđan Košutić (product), developers Marko Vulović and Đorđe and Željko who is responsible for marketing and sales.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“[The] wish was not always that clear but even when I was [working] at a corporation like Philip Morris I realized that I wanted to build something on my own because I was hooked to solve problems especially in traditional industries like tobacco and today with Bitebell HORECA.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“We as a team already had a proven track record working with big food chains like KFC and Kafeterija (biggest coffee chain in Southeastern Europe).
Building our knowledge and experience [we] soon realized that there is a lot of space for improvements in [the] delivery food business but also generally in delivery and that's how we came up with Bitebell.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“We left [this task to] professionals. Basically, we picked [a] design agency in Belgrade April Studio, and we had a really good preparation and brief with them so they can come up with the best possible solution which will describe us in the best possible way.”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“Finding the right people ... and of course finding necessary investment in order to scale. Everything else you can find on the Internet.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“Single location restaurants, ghost kitchens, multi-location restaurants, and larger chains. We are also entering a quick commerce segment (delivery up to 45 minutes), so we are also targeting groceries and pharmacies.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“Basically we see marketing strategy in two pillars: education and credibility.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Referral, inbound, and direct sales (field sales).”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Number of transactions that we are processing, number of clients, and number of locations per client.
Also, we are tracking the lifetime value of customers and [the] churn rate as a very important metric.”
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“Most of them are locally produced in Serbia. ‘Business Wars’ is a podcast I really like.”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“That you can organize your time.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“Sometimes it can be difficult. I have support from my wife, which is essential, but you need to give yourself some [boundaries] in order to not affect your family life”.
How do you stay motivated?
“Simple, I see light at the end of the tunnel and I am believing in what I am doing. The first thing keeps me optimistic, and [the] second keeps me motivated.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Focus, [on] the most important thing. The Pareto rule is something that I tend to follow. This is so important for [a] startup when you actually need to deal with a lot of things.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“How flexible we can be, or … how much [we have ventured from our] comfort zone. The world is a better place and keeps me on my toes, which I'm very grateful for.”
More on Bitebell
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Željko Bošnjak of Bitebell that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.
We asked Željko Bošnjak, founder of Bitebell, to share the most impactful ways to support their startup, and this is what they had to say.