2015 might be the year dining out in San Francisco reaches peak convenience.
Settle, a Ukrainian startup that raised $1.5 million in funding in August, will launch its restaurant payments app in San Francisco in January, and it wants to take out one more hassle of dining: waiting for your food.
Settle is a hybrid between a restaurant booking app and a food pre-ordering app for eateries. Participating restaurants get tablets with the merchant app, showing customer billing and activity information. Restaurant customers can download the Settle smartphone app, which connects to their bank accounts, and use it to book a table, pre-order from the menu, and pay for their meals both for dining in and for take-out. Moreover, the customer app doesn’t store any banking information. In Eastern Europe, Settle is partnered with some of the major banks so the app is directly linked to customer banking accounts. In the U.S., Settle is using Stripe, which also means the app isn’t touching any banking info, as a Settle spokesperson told VentureBeat via email. Settle then takes a 10 percent cut of each bill paid through its system.
Now, Settle is far from the first startup to make wallets a thing of the past for restaurant-goers. Cover, TabbedOut, LevelUp, Resy, and Reserve are just a few of the startups already doing this. And San Francisco in particular is already getting pretty spoiled, with Cover rolling out in May and Reserve launching its all-in-one booking and payments experience earlier this month, among others. You could say that Settle has its work cut out.
But in a place where convenience and efficiency are king, Settle’s approach might give it an edge. People reserve tables at restaurants for the explicit purpose of not having to wait, and they call in their pick-up orders ahead of time for the same reason. Settle wants to cut out pretty much any waiting time there is, from waiting for a table to waiting for the food, and even waiting for the check.
“Our main focus is on mobile pre-orders and [the] dine-in option at restaurant,” Settle’s spokesperson said.
Settle will arrive in San Francisco in late January, although the company doesn’t yet have an exact date to share as it’s still working out its first restaurant partnerships. It’s already available in Kiev, Ukraine, as well as Moscow, Russia.
The company, founded in 2014 by Stas Matviyenko and Anna Polishchuk, is based in Kiev. Moscow-based venture capital firm Life.Sreda provided the funding for its funding round in August 2014.
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