There is an old Jewish proverb that says ‘in a restaurant choose a table near a waiter.’ Madrid startup Camare.ro have devised a service that renders this choice unnecessary. With Camare.ro, the company logo explains, ‘the waiter is your phone.’
Camare.ro allows users to order and pay for food and drinks in restaurants and bars directly through their mobile device. Where Camare.ro operates, information on each table informs the customer that their order can be placed via a mobile device using the number of the table.
Downloading the mobile app is not required as the order can be made directly through their mobile website. After the selection is made, an alert is sent from the phone to a tablet at the venue, informing staff to bring the order to the table the customer has indicated.
A second function of Camare.ro is to improve the way menus are presented to customers, utilizing mobile technology to makes menus more visual, social and interactive.
The company was founded last year in Madrid by Matthieu Heusch and Jorge Bodas Iobato. The idea evolved from the founders’ frustration over poor service and unattractive menus in restaurants.
“We were always frustrated that waiters took so long to take orders, serve and even bring the bill”, explains Heusch. “At night we were tired of having to look at menus as if they were books, complicated to understand.”
They identified their target audience as urban people in a hurry. Spain, with its 250,000 restaurants and bars, presented the perfect location to develop their concept.
With support from the Area 31 incubator in Madrid and the intense practical training received after being named one of the 12 startup projects for the Madrid 2020 startup initiative, the company developed the Camare.ro app, available for free on Android, iOS and HTML5 devices.
Features offered by Camare.ro include geo-location technology to find local restaurants, promotional offers, discounts with every order made, and restaurant reviews, comments and recommendations. The company name, camare.ro, plays on the Spanish word for waiter combined with the domain suffix for Romania to formulate both memorable domain and brand names.
The service was launched in Madrid in September 2013 and has since been named ‘Best app for 2014’ in the Eating & Drinking category by AppCircus and ‘Best Startup of 2013 in Spain’ by SeedRocket. Current clients include the Madrid restaurant MasQMenos.
The service is free to use for customers, with the business model based on a commission charged for each order.
Benefits for restaurants include CRM (Customer Relations Management) to improve customer loyalty, greater visibility, faster rotation of service and easier management of orders. Camare.ro claims that restaurants using their service obtain average increases of 5% in monthly billing, 10% in service efficiency and 20% in their social network presence.
The goal of Camare.ro is to improve the experience of both the customers and of the waiters. The waiters remain essential to the business with Camare.ro simply helping them to provide better customer service. Waiters need not be afraid.
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