Flipdish plans to bring self-service kiosks to more Irish restaurants

12 Dec 2019

Conor and James McCarthy at a new Flipdish kiosk. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Flipdish says that many Irish restaurants could benefit from the introduction of self-service kiosks, particularly during busy trading hours.

Around this time last year, Irish start-up Flipdish announced that it raised €4.8m in Series A funding.

The business, which helps individual restaurants and takeaways compete with larger food aggregator platforms such as Deliveroo and Just Eat, raised a total of €7.5m last year. At the time, the company planned to invest in building out its product line and delivering better service to its expanding global customer base.

Flipdish enables restaurants and takeaways to create their own branded food ordering website for free, in just a few minutes. The company makes money from orders and card payment fees. As well as offering a free service, Flipdish also offers managed and enterprise-grade services, which restaurants can pay extra for.

Founded by brothers James and Conor McCarthy in 2015, Flipdish is used by Irish restaurants such as Mao at Home, Romayo’s, Chopped and Bombay Pantry. It currently partners with more than 1,500 brands across Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US.

The company says it is now on track to process €60m in payments for restaurants and takeaways in 2019.

Two men stand in blue 'Flipdish' T-shirts in front of a brick wall.

From left: Conor and James McCarthy. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Flipdish launches self-service kiosks

Today (12 December), the company announced that it plans to bring self-service kiosks to the market in Ireland to serve some of the customers mentioned above.

Flipdish said that installing kiosks in quick-service restaurants (QSRs) can deliver “increased sales, better efficiencies, a reduction in queues and wait times, and greater customer and employee satisfaction”.

The start-up estimates that there are about 3,000 QSRs in Ireland that could benefit from the introduction of its new kiosks, particularly when businesses struggle to manage the workload during rush-hour trade.

‘It gives independent kitchens an option to trade directly with their consumers using white label technology as their own digital shop’

Conor McCarthy, co-founder and CEO, said: “Kiosk technology is the smart solution for busy restaurants and as revolutionary as the old-school dumbwaiter. Self-service kiosks deliver an extra pair of highly skilled hands that will help independent Irish food businesses prosper, driving growth and, therefore, further employment.

“The kiosk will never call in sick, speaks several languages, is never rude to a customer, never makes a mistake with change and offers customers quick service when in a hurry.”

James McCarthy added: “Flipdish represents the interest of the independent Irish restaurant and takeaway. In the face of expensive, data-hoarding aggregators, it gives independent kitchens an option to trade directly with their consumers using white label technology as their own digital shop.

“Adding self-service kiosks to our offering gives them another tool to enable growth and a better customer experience.”

While self-service technology has now become a staple in Irish supermarkets, uptake has been somewhat slower in Irish restaurants.

A number of multinational fast food chains, such as McDonalds and KFC, have introduced self-service kiosks to Irish branches of their restaurants. While the kiosks have benefits for businesses and customers, they also come with their own set of problems, such as technical issues and the possibility that they may replace staff.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic