Just about every restaurant that you come across, either online or in person, has an online presence these days, but that does not necessarily mean that customers can order dishes over the internet. Finnish startup Culinar has unveiled a platform that it hopes will enable restaurants to boost their sales among customers who have busy lives and little time to wait.
Culinar takes on the concept is to connect customers directly with the restaurant’s own website, which they promote as a way of increasing traffic. And then, by allowing customers to order through their own website, restaurants have access to data on consumer habits.
In terms of the actual platform, users are able to select from various dishes and to then set a pick-up time. They can also pay online, which allows them to simply show up at the restaurant, grab the order, and go. On the restaurant side, the system makes a noise when an order comes in, which the staff can choose to accept. If they indicate that they have received it, the customer receives a notification indicating that the preparation process is in motion.
For the time being, Culinar charges customers a flat 99 Euro fee each month, but they are planning to unveil lower and higher-priced packages in the near future.
The startup soft-launched in Finland last autumn, but now announces their official international launch. Although they declined to reveal the number of restaurants with whom they are partnering, CEO Reetu Kainulainen told me that they have processed thousands of orders and now operate in 9 cities in Finland, while also recently moving into the Canadian and American markets. Kainulainen also added that they have “many” upcoming partnership announcements and that they intend to move towards a self-service model, through which an API can be used by partners operating in the restaurant industry.