Gastro start-up LaKart: Never wait for the waiter again
The umlaut start-up LaKart will be managing contactless ordering and payment in the gastronomy industry in future. This will reduce stress, for example, at the dinner table – and serve as a model for further start-ups.
There’s never been a lack of entrepreneurial spirit: Many umlaut subsidiaries came about through projects or collaborations – and some even stem from an obsession. But even our automotive, aerospace and telecommunication experts have not yet ventured into the commercial kitchen. Enter: Moamen El-Tahwagi and LaKart.
Moamen is now not only Head of Software Development at umlaut solutions, but also the CEO of his own start-up. A mediocre restaurant visit and nine months of iteration resulted in the creation of a hardware and software package which reduces guests’ waiting times and secures greater turnover for restauranteurs.
Hardware and software out-of-the-box
LaKart makes it possible to order and pay for food in restaurants (and soon on-the-go too) contactless via a smartphone app. It works like this: Scan the QR code at the table, make a selection from the virtual menu, enter the payment method and don’t forget the tip. The order will automatically be transmitted to a tablet and a ticket printer in the kitchen. Regardless of how many customers place their order at one time – and no matter how unstable the wifi connection is.
Because a suitable printer didn’t yet exist, the engineers built one themselves. Or rather, they modified one. Even in the test version on the kitchen table, a micro-controller successfully connected to the standard ticket printer. In the end product, the computing unit is mounted to the printer housing in the 3D-printed add-on module. This gives the device the necessary capacity to communicate with the back-end in the cloud and never forget an order again.
The result: Customers never need wait for a waiter again when things get hectic at lunchtime. Or – as in the case of Moamen’s start-up lightbulb moment – beg for a beer with a colleague who’s running late, while their pizza is already getting cold next to them.
A win-win for restaurant guests and owners
This makes customers happy – and increases restaurant turnover because it saves time and means that a waving hand is never overlooked. The costs for the restauranteur are proportionate to turnover and are only slightly above the usual transaction fees for credit card payments. Aside from this, the host only needs wifi and a plug – the printer and tablet are also available on loan.
This is a win-win for restaurant guests and owners. And it’s a win for umlaut too. We support LaKart not just financially, but also with our expertise. This comprises tech support and UX know-how for hardware and software, market data and sales planning, legal advice and coaching for the management team. And a bit of “tough love” – because not every digital use case really makes life easier.
But this one does: Up till now, LaKart has been tested in several restaurants. In the next step, it will be rolled out in selected major cities. There are currently still special favourable conditions for restauranteurs who are interested. If you want to know where LaKart has already digitalised the order process today, simply download the app in the App Store or Play Store. Don’t worry: Your pizza isn’t going digital.