Moving Boundaries

A Ladle… Time Saving

The industry is constantly being moved by new trends – we track them down. In our series 'A Ladle…' we regularly present projects and personalities from the food and gastronomy scene. Waitrr offers contactless ordering and payment at restaurants. We talked to CEO Tim Wekezer about the exciting tool – not only in Corona times.

a ladle
What benefits does Waitrr offer its users?
 
Waitrr is a B2B solution that enables contactless ordering and payment in restaurants and hotels. With transactions (order & payment) taking place through Waitrr online, restaurant staff have more time to spend on delivering a better dining experience especially during peak hours.
 
More specifically, Waitrr creates a seamless ordering experience where guests don’t need to wait to give their order. The same goes for when guests are ready to pay; Normally, it takes a moment to get the waiters attention to ask for the bill, and then to wait for the change or the credit card machine, while with Waitrr the payment is done when the order is being placed, as a result guests are able to leave as soon as they are finished with their meal. Which leads to higher efficiency.
 
For the restaurant owner that means that with the minutes saved they are able to clear the table quicker and, during peak times like lunch or dinner new guests can sit down faster thereby increasing table turn over, resulting in higher revenues.
 
How did you get the idea?
 
The motivation to fix the service part of a restaurant came to me during a dining experience where a lot of things went wrong; we were served the wrong dishes, the bill had items on it that were not ordered and when we picked something from the menu to order, the waiter only then informed us that the dishes were not available anymore. At that point, I knew that technology could act as a problem-solver.
 
It was not the waiter’s fault- the restaurant was fully packed and he was alone serving the entire restaurant. A few days later I went back to the restaurant and spoke to the owner, he told me that it was impossible for him to find and retain staff. He’d love to hire more people but can’t find them. After speaking to additional restaurants I realised that this was a recurring pattern.
 
I’ve always been very passionate about the F&B industry; my parents own restaurants and I grew up in the industry. In this respect, it was very natural for me to go back to my roots and create a company for an industry that I love so much.
What experience have you gained in the past months?
 
We’ve seen that the problems restaurant owners are facing are very similar globally. The number one problem for restaurant owners is finding, recruiting, training and retaining staff, whether that’s in London, Berlin, Dubai or Singapore. More and more restaurants have started to adopt the use of technology to mitigate the problem and Covid accelerated this movement.
 
We’ve also learned that restaurants are fed up with third party delivery platforms that charge very high commissions and that restaurants increasingly look for B2B SAAS platforms like Waitrr that allow them to own their ordering experience and data.
 
Where is the journey going - what comes next?
 
In the past few months, we have launched our solution in 6 countries, as a next step, we are working to reinforce the support in each of those countries. At the same time, demand for our services are increasing in many more regions of the world, so we are working very hard to make Waitrr available in those markets.
Aside from that, we are continuously innovating new features to make the ordering experience smoother for the guest, but also adding functions that help the restaurant owner.
 
For example, we are developing our feedback feature even further;  it asks every guest how their dining experience was. This feedback is collected and provided for internal purposes only. It’s there to help the restaurant owners identify areas for improvement.
 
We are currently building a dashboard that will help restaurant owners follow up on negative feedback and carry out service recovery, for example being able to send a voucher to the guest as compensation, ultimately, we hope this helps  maintain the number of returning customers.
 
Key figures of the app
 
Founded in 2015, we now have hundreds of clients around the world, including global brands such as PAUL, Pizza Express, 4 Points by Sheraton, and Singapore Airport. We specialise in dine-in / table service ordering by the use of a QR code. The guest scans the QR code with their phone, whereby Waitrr opens in the phone browser so they can see the menu, order and pay. There is no need to download an app, that is what ensures a higher adaption rate. The guest can then order and pay directly via our platform.

Technology also has the benefit that it’s consistent. For example, Waitrr never forgets to ask “Do you want fries with that?”, meaning Waitrr automatically upsells and as a result increases the order sizes up to 25%.

About the Founders

Tim Wekezer is originally from Hamburg, Germany. He studied hospitality management at the Hotel school The Hague in The Netherlands, he later spent a few years in corporate finance and did an MBA at Insead before finding his true calling in Waitrr.
The co-founder Tim Davies is from Australia and comes from big corporates such as Unilever and ANZ. He did his MBA at Babson College in the US and worked for multiple startups before joining Waitrr in 2017.

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