In a hospitality industry where demand for convenient, contactless transactions has never been higher, mobile ordering and payment platform me&u has secured a breakthrough with one of the nation's largest licensed venue operators.
The company, launched by Stevan Premutico in 2019, is already a leader in its field servicing hundreds of venues around Australia - including the expanding Merivale Group, Rockpool Dining Group, Solotel and Howard Smith Wharves - but today's partnership with Australian Leisure & Hospitality (ALH) takes the business to a whole new level.
"This is a true game-changer for me&u and a testament to the team who have worked tirelessly to create the smartest menu on the planet," says Premutico, who previously founded and sold restaurant booking app Dimmi.
"We're passionate about blending great tech with customer service to elevate the guest experience & transform operations.
"ALH looked extensively at every platform on the market, so this is an extremely proud moment for us to partner with Australia's largest hospitality group."
As part of Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW) subsidiary Endeavour Group, ALH has more than 330 licensed venues around the country, which are all expected to be using the me&u app by mid-year.
ALH's Cheeky Squire in Frankston, Victoria went live with the platform four weeks ago, and has already seen "some phenomenal results" according to me&u.
Iconic venues such as Young and Jackson's (Melbourne), The Queens (Perth), Ramsgate Hotel (Adelaide), Crows Nest Hotel (Sydney), and the Breakfast Creek Hotel (Brisbane) will all launch me&u shortly.
"We're committed to improving our guest experience by combining our team with the best technology, so we're excited to work with the me&u team," says Bruce Mathieson of ALH Hotels.
"We looked at every platform on the market, and no brand is more passionate about facilitating social experiences and good times around the table."
me&u, which received backing from hospitality entrepreneur Justin Hemmes and ASX-listed Tyro Payments (ASX: TYR) in an $8 million Series B funding round in late 2019, also harness data to add more than just ordering and payment functions.
The idea is to create a tailored ordering experience that is personalised for the guest. Venues can select a single product from their menu and promote it as the first thing that a customer will see when they view the menu.
The platform also includes what are known as 'quick sells' - recommendations of food items to accompany drink orders, while also encouraging group rounds.
The company claims on average customers spend 27.5 per cent more when using the me&u at-table ordering app, and staff pocket more tips thanks to a new tipping function.
"The hospitality industry has been brought to its knees over the past year, and whilst we are certainly on the road to recovery, there is still a long way to go," says Premutico.
"Technology must be used to support and strengthen the industry, not take away from it, and I'm energised by the role it can play in business recovery."
Premutico caters to a market niche that is gaining traction at the moment. Mr Yum, another startup in the space that utilises QR codes for ordering, delivery and pick-up, raised $11 million in a post-seed investment round backed by Brisbane-based TEN13 and Sydney-based AirTree Ventures.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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