Paying the bill when dining out with friends can be an ordeal. If the venue doesn’t allow split bills, someone has to hand over their credit card and then wait a week for friends to remember to pay them back. On the other hand, if a bill can be split it takes about half an hour for everyone to get their portion paid, annoying diners and waiters a like.
To help fix this process is Sydney startup Groupee, which has created an app allowing users to quickly pay their portion of a bill, whether they’ve dined with one other person or 20.
The idea came to founder Jarred Baker during a career break. Having founded clothing brand Saveus and worked with the likes of Groupon, Investible, and the NSW Government, a stint in hospitality got Baker thinking about a new business.
“I realised through my work that split bills universally sucked. Restaurants couldn’t stand offering it to their customers; it created errors, it kept customers that had stopped spending money in the restaurant and they almost always lost the tip they’d worked hours for,” Baker said.
“For customers, they hated it just as much. It was always a dampener on a meal, this cringe worthy moment at the end of a lunch took the shine off even the loveliest of events. As I walked around a table of 10 people, swiping cards over and over, listening to people squabble about their bill, knowing very well that I wasn’t getting any kickback, I knew there had to be a way to fix it.”
With this experience in his pocket, Baker said the process of developing Groupee was relatively simple in that the product didn’t need to evolve too much from the initial idea.
“We were so heavily validating the problem in the context of a restaurant so early on. Being an ex-waiter instead of a coder gave me an awesome perspective on how to make life easier, not just for end users of Groupee but also for merchants. It was critical to make it loveable for restaurants, as they will champion the product if it helps them,” he said.
For venues the app works by registering online to accept Groupee. From there they can activate it and become searchable within the app. Customers can then ‘host’ a payment by selecting the merchant, entering the bill total, determining the group size and offering the bill code to other diners to ‘join’ their payment.
This article was published by StartUp Daily. Click HERE to read it in full.