Ordee launches physical-distancing app for Irish hospitality businesses

21 May 2020

Anthony Cronin, co-founder of Ordee. Image: Ordee

Ordee’s app aims to give hospitality businesses a way to monitor physical distancing on their premises.

Waterford start-up Ordee has launched physical-distancing app that aims to help leisure and hospitality businesses comply with the restrictions put in place by the Government to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Founded by Anthony Cronin and Criostóir O’Codlatáin Lachtna, the start-up has developed a cloud-based GPS app that gives hospitality businesses such as pubs, restaurants and gyms a way to monitor how many people are on their premises. Meanwhile, users are given a real-time view of which businesses they may be able to visit while maintaining a physical distance from other customers.

The app was developed based on a product called Wowit, which was released in 2016 to help users find things to do in their immediate vicinity. The team at Ordee said they used the core infrastructure of Wowit to quickly bring the new app to market.

App bookings

Businesses can sign up and become listed as a venue on the Ordee app, inputting details of online bookings and space for walk-ins. Users who download the app can see a list of which venues have available space. They can then book based on availability and join a queue.

Once the user arrives at the location, they receive a notification to confirm they are there and how many people are in their party, and the app can update the venue’s status accordingly. If a patron doesn’t have the app, the venue can ‘clock’ people in or out manually. The app can also be used to order and pay for drinks and food.

Within the first week of Ordee’s launch, 200 businesses signed up to arrange a demo of the software, according to the founders.

Under the Government’s phased Covid-19 plans, cafes and restaurants in Ireland are set to reopen on 29 June and pubs on 10 August.

Increased costs

Cronin said that publicans and restaurateurs are eager to return to work but are “struggling to see how they can maintain compliance standards and still operate their business, while keeping costs down”.

“With Ordee, we have basically taken these key obstacles that businesses are facing, developed solutions to address them, and centralised the solutions in one easy-to-use app.”

Cronin added that because the app is deemed as an e-commerce solution, businesses that are interested in using it may be able to avail of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Trading Online Voucher, as long as they meet the criteria.

“Cashflow is tight, to say the least, for most businesses at the moment and compliance with Covid-19 protocols is going to incur additional costs,” he added. “To offset these, the Government have put in place supports – one of which is the Local Enterprise Trading Online grant.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic