Someone approached me in Instagram a few days ago asking me to review their new restaurant app, Jacc.
I am always keen to try new apps/technology related to food, so I asked them a few questions and jumped into testing Jaac.
What is Jaac?
Jaac is (my definition) a virtual waiter. It is a webpage that let you order, asking for ketchup a coke or the bill from your phone while seating at the Restaurant.
How does it work?
I used a demo restaurant for the testing, and this is how it works:
- You visit a restaurant and scan a QR code with your phone. I guess there is a sign on the table, or at the entrance.
- A website loads
- You can order items from the menu
- You can also do other things like order more food, drinks or simply call the waiter
- You request the bill when you are ready
- Your session finishes
Obvious, but worth mention that the staff is receiving the interactions from the guests in the POS or phones.
As a guest, what do I get from Jaac?
- Assuming the staff is responsive, you wait less time to get your order or top-ups.
- You can read info about the food, good if you want to read in detail the allergenic restrictions.
- You can see the pictures. 1 Image worth 1000 words.
- You can get the bill whenever you want, and believe me; the bill thing is a point of friction for many people. This is because most restaurants put much effort during the meal service, but they tend to think that after that the service is over. Then you get pissed customers waiting 20 minutes for their bill because the staff is focusing on serving food to other tables. (I might write about this phenomenon in detail)
What restaurants get from Jaac?
- Efficiency: The waiter does not need to spend time at the table taking the order, for example.
- Higher ticket value: This is a guess, but good pictures are catchy, and you know that we tend to eat with the eyes.
- Upselling: If I do not need to wait to order that extra coke or a beer, I might be more inclined to order.
What are the downsides?
The human touch. Something I love from a restaurant is a knowledgeable recommendation.
What things would I like Jaac to do?
- Jaac should allow me to pay the bill from the app. I am guessing this creates a bit of discomfort on the restaurant side as they might see people leaving and unless they check they won’t be sure if they have paid or not.
- Jaac should let me rate the service. It seems to be already enabled, but it is a bit confusing. I was not sure if the rating in the screen below is for the service or the app.
- In the context of taking away, I would like Jaac to let me order in advance, for that I would like to see a list of restaurants without necessarily scanning the QR code.
- Estimated time for my food to arrive or at least the number of orders in the queue.
Interview with one of Jaac founders, Tony Andris
Who is behind Jaac?
We are 3 founders with a track record in entrepreneurship, IT, E-Commerce, Finance, and Marketing.
What is your business model?
First off, guests use Jaac for free! Restaurants can sign up for a monthly fee, so we offer a subscription based model which is absolutely for free for up to 15 tables. From 16 to 50 tables, restaurants pay just $14.95 per month, and restaurants with more than 50 tables pay $29.95 per month. In order to get started, restaurants simply sign up and provide their menu.
Restaurants guests use the service for free.
How big is your restaurant and user database?
Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to disclose any exact numbers but when launching in Dubai we had a dozen restaurants signed-up within the first 48 hours. Honestly, we were overwhelmed with the positive feedback and have continued to bring more restaurants only each week. As guests don’t need to sign up, we don’t have a user database and our mission is to enable as many restaurants and guests to use Jaac.
In which countries are you present?
We have launched in Dubai, UAE. There are currently restaurants contacting us from other countries, but we are currently focusing on the UAE as a core market.
How is my data processed?
Any other valuable information you might have
Yes, while we are looking to improve the guest experience in restaurants and offering an E-waiter solution, it is not our objective to replace waiters or human interactions in Restaurant. We want to give guests the option to order through the app or call a waiter quickly if they prefer human interaction. On top of that, we aim at reducing pressure from staff during peak hours.
Think of it like Uber (in the right way). Uber has brought more flexibility and supply of taxis all around the world. For customers, they can still choose between an Uber ride or hailing a regular cab – whatever suits them best. For taxi companies, it has brought an additional source of business and not just more competition. If you are travelling Asia or countries where Uber is available, you notice that even regular taxis have registered with Uber and benefit from Uber’s massive user base. We have a similar vision for Jaac, and everyone should benefit.
Final thoughts about Jaac
I am keen to try Jaac, and I am planning to update this post if I do at some point soon. I am curious to see if I get a better experience and the Restaurant is more efficient than with traditional systems.
Their intention is not to replace a waiter, and I see it could be the right choice for large restaurants, food courts or events such concerts where you could order in advance.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I haven’t partnered with the Jacc team, and I receive nothing from them.
However, I reached the app founders to seek some answers.