After a 12-month sabbatical following the sale of restaurant booking app Dimmi, Stevan Premutico (pictured) is back with another piece of hospitality-tech sure to make waves in the industry.
Called 'me&u', the app allows restaurant-goers to order and pay for food seamlessly at the restaurant.
Customers simply need to tap their phone onto an NFC (near field communications) beacon provided by the restaurant which sends a menu instantly to the me&u app, allowing customers to place an order right away.
The app also allows for those with allergies and dietary requirements to filter out inappropriate choices.
At the end of the meal customers can pay via the app and even split the bill, removing the need for awkward conversations and piles of miscounted cash.
The me&u app in action (provided)
Me&u marks a new era for founder Premutico, who took 12 months off from the world of startups after the sale of restaurant booking startup Dimmi to TripAdvisor in 2015.
Premutico spent thirty days walking the famed Camino San Tiago in Spain, during which he says he came up with the idea to create me&u.
The new startup has received investment from some Australian business juggernauts, including Cliff Rosenberg (a current non-executive director (NED) at Afterpay, and formerly NED at Dimmi and managing director (MD) at LinkedIn APAC), Will Easton (MD Facebook Australia, ex NED Dimmi), Jason Pellegrino (ex MD Google Aus, Domain CEO), Mike Abbott (co-founder Uber Australia), Tim Reed (CEO MYOB), Neil Perry, and John Szangolies (founder of Urban Purveyor Group).
Premutico says the new app will be disruptive in hospitality by combining the beauty of Instagram with the convenience of Uber.
"At Dimmi we disrupted the way we book our favourite restaurants. Now we will disrupt the way we order and pay," says Premutico.
"It's clear Aussies love to eat in restaurants, but the way we order and pay is terribly clunky and antiquated whether that be trying to catch the waiter's attention to order, waiting for the bill at the end of the night or the awkwardness of splitting the bill. It simply shouldn't take five minutes to pay a bill! We will fix that."
In addition to improving the ordering and payment process in restaurants, Premutico says me&u will give floor staff more time to improve customer service and allow them to focus on what matters.
"Labour costs are so high in Australia that inevitably we end up with one or two fewer waiters on the floor than we really need," says Premutico.
"Waiters run around tirelessly all night, service lessens, the customer experience drops, and upselling doesn't happen. We want to free up the waiters, improve the customer experience and improve industry profitability. That's our ambitious goal, more profitable industry."
At launch over 500 restaurants have already signed up to use me&u, including Rockpool Dinging Group, Boathouse Group, Chat Thai, Watsons Bay Hotel, Sonoma and Pablo.
"Hospitality is one of the great industries of our time, but it is under threat from a rapidly changing world, and a rapidly changing customer," says Premutico.
"We need to evolve if we want to survive and thrive. There has never been a time more important than now to help move this great industry forward."
Business News Australia