Tasty Startups: Settle
The Craving it Satisfies
Eliminate service waits by both pre-ordering and paying for meals.
Why it Has a Winning Recipe
People want to dine quickly these days. Startup Settle looks to end multiple restaurant waits with one mobile app – no more waiting for your table to be ready, no more waiting to order your food, and no more delays when you’re trying to pay the bill.
With Settle, you make your menu selections in advance and effectively book your table by choosing to dine in (as opposed to pick-up.) The app also lets you pay for your meal ahead of time via your bank account (not to worry, the app doesn’t store any banking info.) Participating restaurants track billing and customer activity on a tablet.
So, you show up at the restaurant, give the server your name, and your food should appear pronto. After your last bite, you’re free to get up and go. Is this the ultra-efficient and convenient dining style of the future?
I dunno. Is waiting at a restaurant really such a terrible thing? I get that at certain times we’re more pressed to rush eating than others. In particular, lunch time is crunch time. But I’m still not onboard the pursuit for faster and faster dining.
Why not go to a cafeteria, order in, try out one of the growing number of subscription services instead of expecting a restaurant to streamline service so dramatically? What happened to restaurant dining being about spending time at a table, appreciating rather than scarfing down food, or, gasp, talking to someone for a few minutes before and after eating?
All of which is to say nothing against Settle. My questions are cultural rather than technical. If speed is your need, then pre-ordering and booking and paying up front will thrill both your rumbling gut and tight schedule.
I do think that restaurants will need to commit fully to this type of dining in order to deliver on open tables and food arriving at such precise times. People arrive late, people linger – diners tend to have great concern for their experience conforming to their schedules but to not give a rip about seeing that others enjoy the same efficiency. Not to mention, does anyone realize the anxiety it causes a chef to prepare a dish without absolute certainty that diners will be ready to eat at the preordained time?
We’ll learn the answers to all these questions soon, I suppose. After starting out in Kiev and Moscow, and raising $1.5 million last August, Settle is now on the move to take over the San Francisco scene. Find out more and download the app at settleorder.com.
Have your food ready and paid for when you arrive at a restaurant @settleorder #pre-order for dining