Changing How People Eat At Work

As FELFEL’s first in-house mobile app developer.

Andrej brings a lot of creativity to every project that he works on. He always provides the highest quality work that often surpasses expectations, while putting forth a good amount of effort. If you need someone to do anything from small one-off tasks to complex large-scale development efforts, Andrej is the right man for the job.
Fah Yik
Former Tech Lead @ Felfel
Andrej was the first mobile developer to join the team when we were still a small startup. He really helped us build our technology and scale the business. We loved having him around.
Founder, Felfel

Most of times, brands (and the people behind them) succeed by throwing all obsolete processes away to start from scratch. What could seem scary becomes essential in order to conquer, and this was the case when I collaborated with FELFEL.

Get to know the client

It’s always been said that a family who eats together, stays together – and when you take that concept into the workplace, it works pretty much alike. When the personnel of any company reunite for lunch time, they’re also becoming united, as it’s a space to share ideas, opinions & solutions.

With this moment in mind, FELFEL was created to help fostering a culture of friendship and understanding between coworkers through food, by building, packing, and placing a self-service fridge (their POS) inside companies’ offices, which gets restocked with new products 3 or 4 times a week.

However, it does more than just preserving & displaying meals, as all operations function through software.

Felfel image

The magic’s behind-the-scenes

FELFEL’s intelligent fridges act like a supermarket’s self-service check-out: It stores cooked meals & snacks inside, so people can just go to the fridge and open it with their badges. Once they’ve chosen and taken the products out, it’s only a matter of scanning them and pressing the “buy” button.

In the present, the POS runs on a customized board with Android software, and it integrates an external NFC reader, barcode scanner, magnetic lock, and temperature sensor. Being an app, it works under a kiosk mode and it operates 24/7, so clients can buy food at any time by using their NFC badge. As an extra tool, the app includes an inventory/stock management, useful for logistical operations.

However, before I joined the company’s team, the perspective was different…

See the situation

In the beginning, FELFEL used to outsource the management of their software with a development agency, but results were far from pleasing: The app was filled with bugs (system errors, awkward functioning), it ran slow, it was unstable within all stages of use and it lacked user experience; someone had to manually reboot the fridge when the system crashed.

Besides, the worst-case scenario happened often: If the fridge lost internet connection, it became unusable, and that would replicate as well on the app made for logistics.

So, the brand took a decision: Add a mobile developer onto their team, to design and develop in-house software for the point-of-sale. And that was me.

Felfel image

The mission begins

I joined FELFEL in 2016 as their first in-house app developer, which was a one-of-a-kind move for the company and a fascinating challenge for me as well.

In a few words, I was needed to build the company’s POS software and its system from the beginning, while making sure the app would have:

  • Stability (no crashes)
  • Automatic restoration by itself, in case something goes wrong
  • Offline compatibility by 100%: Clients are able to buy even if the fridge loses network connection
  • User experience at its best – fast, responsive & modern
  • No hardware issues, which used to be the cause of “black screen” problems on the fridge
  • Detailed activity logs about every event that would take place in the POS (transactions, quantities, connection loss…), to keep track in case help was needed
  • Besides these goals, it was important to remake the FELFEL app for drivers who restock the fridges, as the old model was a logistic torment.

    From sketch to launch

    Back in the day, FELFEL was an early-stage startup, so I took position as the only mobile developer and became responsible for all the area’s management (this means I needed to create everything myself).

    I rebuilt the complete system, for the point-of-sale app as well as for the logistics/inventory one, as I designed, architected its structure and developed it. By doing this from the root, I solved all the issues FELFEL was presenting with the previous software company, besides achieving the brand’s sought-after objectives.

    One of the biggest highlights was full offline-compatibility mode, so now the fridge can handle 100% connection loss without risking the service flow, and the remote control feature (so it can be monitored through a device). The company still maintains the app model I developed, so the POS and logistics are managed just as described above: Customized Android board, NFC reader, barcode scanner and so on.

    Following the “moon landing”

    What happened after the apps started to run? Here you have the numbers:

  • 99.8% Up-time by the new system’s deployment (more clients were truly satisfied with the change)
  • 300+ brands & companies are using FELFEL’s fridges, and there’s 100% offline compatibility in all of them.
  • 50%+ reduction of time which was needed to track & sort 20.000 food items per day, following the application of the new logistics software (easier to run = easier to finish, which led to a productivity increase).
  • 8 months after this change, FELFEL received the Swiss Economic Forum award, on the Startup of the Year category.
  • Success beyond numbers

    It gives me fulfillment to know I contributed into FELFEL’s success, but more than the awards and recognitions, the best part is to know that the new implementations are actively used, from thousands of clients across Switzerland. And of course, the fact this helped the brand to grow on a way beyond measures.


    • Java
    • Android
    • RxJava
    • Realm
    • NFC
    • BlueTooth
    • Barcode Scanner
    • Firebase
    • Crashlytics
    • Zebra Printers
    • MVP Architecture

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