WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The restaurant industry went from thriving to shutting its doors and laying off millions of workers when COVID-19 prevention measures disallowed in-restaurant dining.
Before the pandemic, several restaurants had been slow to adopt newer ordering technologies. Due to this, when carry-out orders became restaurants’ primary means of survival, taking orders over the phone became an overbearing task.
With restaurant phone lines in constant busy mode, SWIPEBY, Winston-Salem, NC, is a new app that allows customers to browse menus, order food, pay for it, and have items delivered curbside.
This prevents customers from having to touch restaurant door handles, open car doors, exchange money or have credit cards touched by cashiers. In addition, the security risk of providing credit card information over the phone is eliminated.
Village Tavern is hopeful utilization of the SWIPEBY app will help cope with the closure of their dine-in option.
"You just drive up to the restaurant we come out curbside and put it right in your car and you leave, so there’s no exchanging of credit cards or anything else so it’s very simple very quick," said Tony Santarelli, CEO of Village Tavern Restaurants.
Santarelli said Village Tavern is hoping to go live with the app on Friday or Saturday.
"On SWIPEBY, you order on the app and you pay no extra fees. For delivery on the other competitors, you pay high delivery fees," said SWIPEBY Founder Carl Turner.
Turner said the app also charges businesses a low fee, typically under three percent.
Turner said with the current situation closing businesses and putting a strain on finances due to the coronavirus, SWIPEBY is waiving sign up fees.
Turner said the app also has geofence technology.
Customers can order from a wide range of single location eateries, as well as popular national chains such as Village Tavern, Firehouse Subs, Jersey Mike’s, Famous Toastery and more. In the future, services, where you need to drop off or pick up items, will come online, including dry cleaners, grocery stores, beauty spas and more.
“There’s nothing like our model in the market,” said SWIPEBY Founder, Carl Turner. “Delivery services charge between $5 to $8 to the customer and 25 percent or more to the business. SWIPEBY costs nothing to the customer; and business fees are typically under 3 percent.”
Prior to coronavirus, SWIPEBY grew at a rate of 30 percent month-over-month. Now the company is growing 100 percent or more daily!
“As a North Carolina-based company, we started with our favorite restaurants in our backyard,” said Turner. “But COVID-19 changed everyone’s world overnight. Luckily, our technology was ready to help restaurants of any size and in any location. We also responded quickly to how the pandemic has affected small businesses by slashing fees, charging nothing to onboard, and working overtime to get restaurants on the app.”