Rosie Nalder has always wanted to work in food. After a brief stint on MasterChef, the QUT Business graduate is now taking the menu into her own hands, helping the hospitality industry take back control from food delivery giants like Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
In Australia, some food delivery apps charge restaurants a 35% commission on every order. At a time when food service options are limited, this current model is crippling to a struggling industry.
“Because of their large customer base, many food delivery apps have a great deal of power over the hospitality industry,” says Rosie.
“Unfortunately, their commission models have never been sustainable.”
It is an issue that has received particular attention as restaurants have been forced to operate on a takeaway-only basis under government restrictions.
“I think it’s becoming clear that we need a better solution; one that helps our restaurant industry to thrive,” says Rosie.
A foodie at heart, it’s an industry that Rosie has long been passionate about.
“I applied for MasterChef Season 4 and found myself on the first episode in the top 75 contestants. It was a very short stint!” laughs Rosie. But it was a stint that motivated her to move out of her career in advertising, so as to pursue her true passion.
She eventually came up with the idea for TableTime.
Launched last August, TableTime is an industry-focused fintech offering a unique order and pay solution that puts restaurants first. Unlike food delivery apps, TableTime takes a partnership approach with restaurants, enabling them to significantly reduce overhead costs.
“We don’t charge restaurants – there’s no commission, no monthly fees, no transaction fees,” explains Rosie.
“One of the costs that tends to add up for businesses is bank merchant fees – for restaurants with an average spend of $40 of more, this can add up to upwards of $50,000 per year.”
Instead, the model asks the customer to absorb a small fee of 2.95%. For a $20 order, that’s just 59 cents.
“By putting more transactions through TableTime, there is an opportunity for businesses to add a significant amount back to their bottom line,” says Rosie.
Professor Gary Mortimer from the QUT Business School adds, “More competition in the market is always a good thing, and generally creates downward pressure on prices.
“Last month Deliveroo dropped temporarily it’s ‘Pick-up’ fee to 5%, whereas Uber Eats slashed its ‘Pick-up’ fee’ to 8% until July 31, before it goes to the long-term rate of 16%.
“For a struggling restaurant or bistro, TableTime represents a viable alternative.”
Restaurants can use TableTime to take orders which they then deliver themselves, or the customer picks up directly.
The system also facilitates dine-in ordering – so when you’re seated at a restaurant, you can scan a QR code, browse the menu, and order and pay from your device.
As coronavirus restrictions continue to ease and businesses reopen, restaurants have an opportunity to use new technologies like TableTime to help them re-boot and come back stronger. Contactless ordering and payment will also be top of mind, potentially paving the way for a more permanent change to the way we dine-out.
Not only will hospitality venues need to reconsider customs like the handling of physical menus and queuing patrons, but also ways to reduce costs.
“TableTime wraps up the cost of bank merchant fees with technology in one solution, which can be a significant cost saving to businesses,” says Rosie.
TableTime is currently available in several different outlets in Queensland and New South Wales, with plans to expand to further locations. Find out more here.