Last night at the Bauer Kitchen in downtown Waterloo may have been one of the first times that Bitcoin has been combined with the dining out experience.
That’s because Hyperdrive and Waterloo-based startup Tacit Innovations launched its end-to-end dining experience app for both restaurants and customers, called Maegan. It’s a mobile-enabled platform that lets restaurant-goers browse menus, manage their orders and pay for their meals from their smartphones. Possibly the coolest aspect of the app is that users can pay for their bills via Bitcoin.
It also integrates with current in-restaurant systems and technologies, making it easy for restaurants to adopt the services.
As the company explained in an email, 64 percent of consumers have used a restaurant-focused mobile app, while over 82 percent of diners would be likely to use a mobile app to view a menu, place an order, or pay for a meal at a casual dining restaurant. On top of that, 78 percent of those using mobile apps at a restaurant were satisfied with the experience.
Tacit Innovations clearly sees a market with Maegan, the app now available on iOS and Android.
One of the more innovations aspects of the app is that customers can actually pay by Bitcoin (along with Visa, Mastercard and Amex).
Like many startups, the motivation for the idea arose out of frustration on the part of CEO Chris Jucan. At a restaurant, the entrepreneur grew frustrated at an empty drink and a server nowhere to be found. “Wouldn’t it be cool to do this on my phone? I could order the drink I have been waiting for right now,” he wondered.
Thus, the Maegan app. Restaurant-goers get to discover restaurants, browse digital menus, control the pace of the dining experience, share experiences through social media, manage their orders and pay for their meals. Meanwhile, restaurateurs can “differentiate their dining experiences, upsell more, better utilize their wait staff, and turn tables faster.” The app integrates with almost every leading Point of Sale (POS) system, making it easy for managers to create end-to-end mobile experiences.
The startup compared itself to OpenTable, another mobile-based dining experience app that only lets customers book tables in advance. With Maegan it looks like there’s a lot more to offer restaurants.