We all know about UberEats and Deliveroo, but what if you want to eat in a restaurant but order and book ahead?

That's the idea behind time2dine. We caught up with the team to ask a few questions.

In one sentence what is your product/service?

time2dine is a restaurant booking app and POS software solution; providing convenience to the app user, and increased revenue to restaurants. 

What problem(s) does it solve?

User: time2dine provides a restaurant experience with the convenience of takeaway. The app cuts wait time by allowing users to book, pre-order and pre-pay for a dine in meal. Bringing a new approach to dining in, time2dine will be particularly useful for business lunches, pre-theatre/event diners, families with young children, and other customers who want to enjoy food fast...but not fast food.

Restaurants: Many restaurants have dated POS software and are reluctant to change. We work with restaurants to tailor our software to their biggest pain points; staff issues, food wastage, marketing, slow service, and many more issues can all be massively improved with our software tools.

Costs: Current booking solutions and marketing platforms really eat into the profits of restaurants, with many signed up to multiple services. We offer an easy to use, price effective all-in-one solution, with full training, support and upgrades all included in our packages.

time2dine app

What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or growing your team?

What seemed a fairly basic concept has proven very challenging. For example, the kitchen is informed if the customer is running late by "pinging" their location regularly, but what if they are right outside but can't find a car park space? Our solution was to also offer the user the option to begin cooking once they "check-in" at the venue, or accept the responsibility to be on time themselves. The key to making this a fantastic service which synchronizes seamlessly with restaurants has been to think of every possible scenario and make sure we have it covered!

As a startup it will always be a struggle to grow, we are a husband and wife team and have worked hard to learn as much as possible, with every day holding different challenges. Now we have two full time developers which has allowed us to progress from initial concept to launch within a year, a feat we are very proud of. The next step is expanding our sales team and we are enlisting a consultant with many years of sales expertise to ensure we get this process right. There has to be the right balance between developing your own skills, and knowing when to outsource to experts in particular areas.

time2dine app

How will the company make money?

Our business model is to charge a monthly subscription of £60 per month, with a 2.6% commission on any sales made via the time2dine app and website. We aim to provide an affordable option which even the smallest of restaurants can cope with, and prove we can help them operate more efficiently. The app will be free to users.

Who is in your team?

  • Florin Mandache: Director, lead developer  and former IT manager skilled in leading IT teams with varying skill levels. Advanced programming skills.
  • Carolyn Mandache: Director, marketing and HR. Enjoys graphic design and building up the brand
  • Fabio Rosa: Programmer, senior dev. with 8+ years experience on WebApps and big data admin
  • Gheorge Bobescu: Programmer skilled in Java and Android
  • Tina Caan: Admin manager
  • Ryan Caan: System consultant and sales

Where do you want to be in one, three and five years time?

One year: time2dine available in 1200+ restaurants around the UK (independents), also available for takeaway businesses.

Three years: Available nationwide in UK with a number of chains signed up. Well established in Spain (pipeline in place) and other European countries.

Five years: Expanded to US with sales teams in multiple locations.

Apart from your own, what are your favourite websites/apps/tools?

Hootsuite for scheduling social media, Shutterstock for helping produce engaging content, Xero which hugely cuts time for book-keeping, online banking instead of having to constantly go in person.

Linkedin for making useful contacts and improving knowledge. Zoom for video calls.

Related reading:

Ben Davis

Published 25 October, 2017 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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