Written By Kaitlyn Rosenburg Folks / Restaurants / Victoria Aug 18, 2015 Freewaiter: The Uber of restaurants SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestIf you’ve attended a music festival recently, you know the pain of waiting in line to order food and drinks. (Beer garden, anyone?) Festival organizers have finally started introducing some solutions, including wristbands loaded with the magic of a credit card. Locally, Rock the Shores and Rifflandia have offered festival goers the option to prepay for beverages with a one-time transaction. A slick six-digit customer code presents to the bartender, who then pulls up the drink order on an iPad. The result? Faster lines and less congestion.It seems so simple. Ordering food on a phone, tablet, or computer, yet very few restaurants—takeout or dine-in— offer the service. Freewaiter wants to change that. After testing their product at Rifflandia (the six-digit codes, that was them), they secured a contract with Switzerland House at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. These onetime applications proved that businesses and consumers both wanted an easier way to place and pay for an order.“We give you the ability to serve yourself. Servers may say ‘They’re going to take my job away’, but that’s not what Freewaiter means at all. It gives you the freedom to be a server,” says Alex Cook, the North American representative for Freewaiter.Since Sochi, Freewaiter has focused on integrating their technology (it’s not an app) at restaurants, golf courses, and hotels. Based in Victoria, with the development team in Russia, Freewaiter already has a number of local businesses onboard, including Azuma Sushi, Phonomenal, and Sookjai Thai.“There are a number of companies that are doing this, quite a few if you start searching around. We do a lot of things differently. We haven’t purposely gone and shouted out ‘Here we are, we are Free Waiter and we are looking for your business!’ It has been very B2B (business to business),” adds Cook.Freewaiter creates a custom URL for a restaurant, populating the program with menu items, photos, and prices. There are options for delivery, takeout or dine in. Restaurants can add and update wait times for orders. Payments in cash or credit are accepted.So far, delivery and takeout have seen the most interest. Cook credits that to the grab-‘n-go trend where food is constantly available. “I always use Starbucks and Noodle Box as my examples. They are excellent at making people wait for food.”Freewaiter also gives customers the option to share their order on Twitter and Facebook, a built-in promotion for the restaurant. “We charge a monthly fee for Freewaiter, no contract. We do ask for six months for customers to get accustomed to the service. Just by adding our service, one restaurant increased their mobile ordering sales by 800%,” says Cook.He wonders how many orders a restaurant loses when the option to order online isn’t available. While the ease and efficiency is hard to deny, I wonder if collectively, we all order more food when deciding from behind a screen?Moving forward, Freewaiter looks to expand beyond Victoria. Already, they’re working with a hotel chain in Finland. Find them online at freewaiter.com SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Kaitlyn Rosenburg Kaitlyn Rosenburg holds a BFA in creative writing with a minor in journalism and publishing from the University of Victoria. Her work has appeared in local publications such as The Martlet, as well as national publications like ... Read More You may also like Causes / Events March 28, 2017 10 Questions for Food Activist Arlene Stein Arlene Stein is a Canadian food activist and the executive director and founder of Canada’s largest food symposium, Terroir, which takes place ... Read More Reporter / Victoria December 19, 2016 Fernwood Lights Recap November 27, 201 4-6:30 pm It was a magical evening in the Fernwood village for the recently held first annual Fernwood Lights. The Fernwood NRG ... Read More Food People / Interesting Locals December 15, 2016 An Insider’s View of the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook “You Always Eat What You Shoot” The first time I met Theresa Carle-Sanders, we sat at a small table in the back of Stage in Fernwood, and ... Read More Restaurants November 30, 2016 Good-For-You Grocery Finds + Giveaway Welcome to EAT’s new “Good-For-You Grocery Finds” page! As the magazine’s Good-for-you columnist I will reveal some of my favorite, ... Read More Awards / Causes November 13, 2016 Gold Medal Plates BC To Take Place Nov. 17 in Victoria GOLD MEDAL PLATES B.C’s COMPETING CHEFS FOR 2016! Victoria – 2016 is an Olympic year and B.C.’s Gold Medal Plates will be celebrating ... Read More Reporter September 7, 2016 The Cowichan Valley • Nanaimo • Gulf Islands • Comox Buzz | Sept & Oct 2016 If you haven’t been to the new marina at Mill Bay, now’s the time to take in a weekend of fun at Barge On In as it kicks off The Savour ... Read More Comments are closed.