QR codes: they’ve been around since 1994, and the novelty of being able to access content about an art installation by scanning one with your phone wore off sometime around 2010. So who could have anticipated that those pixely little squares would make a massive comeback in 2020?
Mark Calabro and Shannon Hautot, the Melbourne-based co-founders of hospitality POS system OrderMate, made use of QR codes when developing their new contactless table ordering system, HungryHungry, which launched in early 2019. The system was designed to allow diners to simply scan a QR code, order, pay and enjoy from their phones – no app needed (an enormous help with government regulation compliance and ensuring the safety of patrons and staff).
While building the technology the founders decided to shape the interface to allow restaurants to have their own branded platform to facilitate online ordering for pick up, drive up and delivery. And when Covid hit the local industry like a tonne of bricks, Calabro and Hautot were suddenly overwhelmed with new clients, many of whom had never offered takeaway or delivery before. Their team worked around the clock to reduce the onboarding time from two weeks to two hours, and within six weeks they onboarded more than 1,000 new restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars.
With table ordering and digital menu becoming the new hospo norm, a part of the appeal of HungryHungry is that it offers venues better control over their customer experience without biting huge chunks out of their profits. Fees are tiny compared to the well-known delivery services and aggregators. Industry leaders in Melbourne such as Jessi Singh of Daughter In Law and Mr Brownie, Anthony Hammond of the Victoria Hotel, Sean Kierce of Ladro, Joseph Vargetto of Mister Bianco, Dani Zeini of Royal Stacks, and Kate Reid of Lune Croissanterie have all signed on and sing the praises of the platform.
As restrictions ease and restaurants begin to reopen, HungryHungry will continue to offer both in-venue contactless table ordering menus as well as online solutions to enable pick up, drive up and delivery, supporting as many restaurants, pubs and bars around Australia as possible during these challenging times.