Tasty Fresh Food Co.

Australian food company uses custom app to save $500k in annual operating costs


  • A custom app built on the FileMaker Platform allows this Australian food delivery service to deliver on their "on time" promise.


  • Food/Beverage


  • The custom app optimizes detailed driver delivery routes, manages inventory, and forecasts food production needs.


  • The app allows Tasty Trucks Food Co. to save on the cost of hiring additional relief drivers to manage unfamiliar routes. It has also increased customer satisfaction. Real-time insights into driver routes and food truck inventory means support personnel can answer customer complains in minutes instead of hours.

Pit crews can change a race car’s tires in two seconds flat. That’s only a little faster than the rapid lunch delivery stops made by Australian food company Tasty Fresh Food Co.

Every day, Tasty Fresh Food Co. delivers 28,000 lunches to workers at office parks and industrial zones across the major cities on the East and West coast of Australia. Their business model requires the precision often found in competitive driving.

“The first [few] days on the job almost break people,” said Doug Newnham, Tasty Fresh Food Co. IT Manager. “You don’t just have to learn the job - you have to learn to drive for it.”

Having the app is like a guarantee that we can get to every customer every day.

— Darren Lloyd, a Tasty Fresh Food Co. National Operations Manager

The "On time" promise

The company, established in 1979, currently boasts a fleet of 145 food trucks and 380+ employees. On a regular day, drivers visit a combined 7400+ locations.

“Our employees visit a new location every five minutes,” said Newnham.

The demanding schedule leaves little room for navigation guesswork or getting lost. For that reason, employees tend to work the same routes every day.

In the past, a sick driver or one who requested vacation could cause costly delivery headaches. Sometimes, maps were outdated or wrong.

“Our motto is, 'Fresh, on time,’" Newnham said. “But if you spend one minute in each location looking for where you need to be, that adds up to an hour after 60 stops.”

Tasty Fresh Food Co. 3

Cost savings with a custom app

In 2015, determined to solve for inefficiencies, the company hired an external vendor to code a custom app from scratch. However, while the app was in development, Newnham learned about the FileMaker Platform from an Apple employee he’d recently met.

“He looked at our business and immediately suggested the Filemaker Platform as a means to get information mobile quickly,” Newnham said. “I did some research and liked what I saw.”

Newnham decided to see if he could create his own app.

“I learned the basics on Friday,” he said. “By Saturday I’d integrated the beta version with Google Maps and Apple Maps. By Sunday I’d written a better version of the app than the one we’d invested $30,000 in.”

Tasty Fresh Food Co., stopped payment on development of the other app and gained back approximately $20,000 in additional one-time development costs.

The week after Newnham built his custom app, it was put to the test. Several employees called in sick, and the operations manager gave substitute drivers iPhone devices loaded with the new app. Employees hoped it would work, and it did — drivers hit their stops flawlessly and completed the routes on time.

“The app is amazing for relief drivers,” said Jason Hare, the Tasty Fresh Food Co., Newcastle Warehouse Manager. “It’s made the stress of doing a blind run so much easier to cope with.”

Today, the app has been fully integrated into driver routes, ensuring on-time delivery and resulting in significant cost savings. Without the app, the company would need to hire at least 10 additional relief drivers, Newnham noted. At a $50,000 annual salary per driver, the company saves $500,000 annually.

“Our app has allowed us to maintain low support ratios, while expanding the business rapidly,” Newnham said.

A better way to work

Today, the app is also used to store critical information about food storage temperature and freshness, to regularly update maps and even run their rapidly growing Franchise fleet.

Customer satisfaction has been improved, too.

Previously, the company sometimes took days to respond to customer complaints. Now, thanks to real time insights into driver routes and food truck inventory, response times average minutes — an 80 to 90% improvement, Newnham said.

The app also generates reports and dashboards that allow van operators to monitor their sales performances and manage their food levels.

“These reports are based on what people have purchased in the past,” said Newnham. “People are creatures of habit. If they buy a Gangster Pizza Pie because it’s their favorite, they’ll probably order that item most days.”

At the end of each work day, team members use the app on iPad devices to collect and log the cash collected by drivers. In total, the custom app is used across 62 mobile devices, including 40 iPhone devices, 15 iPad Mini devices and 7 iPad Pro devices.

“Having the app is like a guarantee that we can get to every customer every day,” said Darren Lloyd, the Tasty Fresh Food Co. National Operations Manager. “Being able to change as our business changes has been a key factor to our current and ongoing success. I can’t imagine life in our business without the app and our amazing IT department.”

Newnham said he appreciates the responsiveness and ease creating custom apps with the FileMaker Platform.

“Two years ago we retained an external development team,” he said. “Now, we can do everything they used to do so much faster and in-house.”

Newnham said he looks forward to licensing the company’s app to several other businesses, including a large bakery wholesaler and a company that delivers wholesale meat.

“Quite simply, our app has cemented our reputation for arriving “Fresh and On time” every single day,” Newnham said. “Precise routing for relief drivers was a problem since the business began in 1979 and Filemaker, Inc., has helped solve it.”

To learn more about the FileMaker Platform, download your free trial. To learn how to build your first custom app, visit the Custom App Academy to watch a series of free educational video tutorials.


Tasty Fresh Food Co.