me&u is a leading hospitality technology company that has a digital menu that is personalized to the ordering experience for both the customer and the venue. To learn more about the company, Pulse 2.0 interviewed me&u USA president Brian Duncan.
Brian Duncan’s Background
Duncan has been working in the hospitality industry for over two decades.
“I started off in my teens bussing tables, washing dishes, and delivering pizzas. I worked in commodities and raw materials purchasing as a consultant for food manufacturers for about 5 years before starting Chowly, a US-based tech company that has grown into a staple for many restaurant operators,” said Duncan.
Formation Of me&u
me&u was created by founder Stevan Premutico. Growing up in a family who ran their own restaurant, a love of hospitality runs deep in his roots. Duncan noted that Premutico believed that dining out should be centered around enjoying good food and good conversation with friends and family and not disrupted by long wait times or awkward financial conversations with restaurant staff. So me&u was created to put the focus back on enjoying the hospitality experience.
Challenges Faced Building The Company
What were some of the challenges Duncan faced in building the company?
“The challenges we face with the current market come with being a true disruptor. The restaurant industry in the US is steeped in tradition and me&u is introducing a new way to operate a time-tested business,” Duncan pointed out. “Challenging the status quo and helping restaurant operators see the future is the strength of a true disruptor.”
What are me&u’s core products and features? me&u enables restaurant operators to do more with less.
“Our core features increase revenues for companies by capitalizing on multiple upsell opportunities. Customers can order items from the security of their own smart device independently of the server due to our direct integrations with over 30 POS systems. We also turn tables faster by allowing multiple opportunities for the guest to close their check without waiting for a server to visit their table,” Duncan explained.
Evolution Of me&u’s Technology
How has me&u’s technology evolved over time? me&u’s technology was originally created for speed of service focusing on the transaction.
“However, our solution has evolved to fit into the casual dining experience with the creation of our new product Flex which focuses on the server-guest relationship allowing the casual diner to engage with their server marrying great technology with amazing servers,” Duncan noted.
What have been some of me&u’s most significant milestones? Duncan cited the following:
— Growing to 1,000 venues in Australia
— Expanding to the UK and US markets
— Launching our new Flex product focused on the server and guest interaction
Customer Success Story
When I asked Duncan about any customer success stories that could be shared, he said that one customer in Austin, TX was operating at 70% staff and was having a hard time finding the employees to reach a fully staffed team.
“They implemented me&u and since then they have increased sales by over 40% and are able to operate at 70% staff while maintaining above a 98% customer happiness rating,” Duncan revealed.
When I asked Duncan about the growth of me&u, these were the metrics that were provided: me&u is on pace to process over 1.5 billion transactions annually and will process close to 4 billion transactions by the end of 2024.
Total Addressable Market
What is the total addressable market (TAM) size is me&u pursuing? “The total addressable market is close to over 600,000 in the USA currently including bars, casual dining, and quick casual establishments” Duncan replied.
Differentiation From The Competition
What differentiates me&u from the competition? “Our biggest differentiator is our post-sales team which handles everything from the menu build, placing beacons on the table, and customer support for the life of the partnership. In my decades of experience in the tech industry I have never been a part of a team, or seen a company that goes above and beyond after the sale has been made to ensure the customer is happy and successful,” Duncan answered.
Future Company Goals
What are some of me&u’s future company goals? “To continue to expand in the US by excelling in technology and the customer support needed. The US is a major focus of our international leaders and we want to ensure all restaurant verticals have the opportunities to create magical experiences with the help of me&u,” Duncan concluded.
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