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With hospitality venues gradually (and cautiously) reopening in the UK, guests have a newfound but acute awareness of their surroundings. A server passing you a hard copy menu, or sitting in close proximity to a stranger will ring alarm bells in a way it never has before.
Fetch has developed a solution that allows the hospitality industry to adapt and thrive in a new landscape. With market-leading proprietary location technology, and AR technology in the pipeline, Fetch allows users to order from one centralised app in any partner location, both on or off premise. The app uses Trade Secret algorithms to enable location accuracy as close as 10cm, meaning staff can efficiently carry out remote orders, providing guests with the best and safest possible service.
While the lockdown has had lasting impact on a number of industries, it’s fostered an environment ripe for disruption by innovative startups, and that’s exactly what Fetch is doing. CEO and founder, Jason Jefferys gave us the full scoop.
How did Fetch start?
I’ve always been passionate about hospitality and technology and am convinced that tech solutions have the power to significantly improve service provided to customers globally. I introduced mobile ordering to hotels back in 2008, but every hotel required a huge amount of customisation and the missing piece was always a mechanism to actually pinpoint the guest’s exact location.
After exiting this business three years ago I started thinking about how we could make mobile ordering more frictionless. When carrying out industry research, hospitality providers advised us that the problem of determining a guest’s location still existed. They needed an affordable and accurate solution for this in order to be able to carry out mobile ordering effectively, and at scale.
Working alongside my co-founder Julian Dabbs and our CIO Ben Tally, I’m proud to say we have solved both these challenges. We created Fetch to become the most renowned, household brand providing in-venue mobile ordering and payments. Fetch allows a guest to pre-order and order on-premise for collection or delivery to their precise location.
Why is it an important tool to have right now, given the post-crisis landscape?
The crisis has been a difficult time for many businesses, and Fetch is a unique tool that supports the hospitality industry to remain in operation, while acting as custodians for its guests’ health and wellbeing.
People don’t want to be sharing menus, or coming into close contact with others right now. Fetch allows them to order from their socially distanced location, while remaining on premise. It also allows them to pay via their own device and avoid unnecessary contact with cash or a payment terminal.
Now (and going forward) there is of course the added benefit that with reduced capacity on premise due to distancing, you no longer need to leave your table (and lose it) to re-order. The part of our solution devised for staff safety ensures they maintain distance and are always truly mobile.
What does the competitive landscape look like and how does Fetch differentiate?
There are several competitor apps but none of them have the benefit of the best location technology in the industry. Our greatest achievement has been developing our proprietary location technology that is equipped to revolutionise the hospitality industry. Now guests can order from absolutely anywhere on premise, inside or outside.
We’ve built a platform that caters to the needs of both customers and staff, simply and conveniently. Our competitors offer primarily whitelabel solutions that are branded for each restaurant, meaning users have to navigate to an entirely different app or visit another website every time they go somewhere new. Fetch hosts everything in one place, so users are familiar with the UX and can avoid the hassle of excessive (and time-consuming) downloading.
Furthermore our Fetch Pro staff app allows staff to be truly mobile and pick up orders on the go. Our competitors offer more limited solutions that require staff to return to the Point of Sale terminal or tablet in order to pick up the next order.
Where do you see the most growth potential in the near future within your industry?
We see huge growth in providing solutions for smaller chains and independents who don’t generally have the budget to allocate to developing their own app or paying expensive set up costs or ongoing SaaS fees.
We also see huge potential in licensing our technology to large hotel chains and are already in discussion with a number of them. While none of us knows what the future holds, as no one saw Covid-19 coming, there will always be demand for tech in hospitality. That tech will need to meet the needs and address the challenges of a changing environment. Understanding the needs of the food and drink industry is paramount and will be key to our success. We’ve worked hard to build a strong and varied Advisory Board which has enabled us to quickly and efficiently capitalise on gaps in the market.
What exciting developments or partnerships do you have in the pipeline?
We have a number of initiatives upcoming. Next year, we will be launching our Augmented Reality technology. This works in tandem with our location technology and will allow staff to wear AR glasses, allowing them to visualise the location of a guest, as well as many other data points that will allow them to provide high quality and safe service.
We have also just come to an agreement on an exciting partnership with events and social network company Heard and SUBTV a company that provides music videos in every student union bar in the UK. This will allow us to maximise our exposure and reach even more venues in need of innovative solutions.
What are you doing when you’re not working?
I love sailing – I’ve sailed the Atlantic four times now. My kids ensure I keep my feet on the ground and I love relaxing in a beer garden when I can find a few minutes.
What are you most looking forward to post-lockdown?
Meeting my friends and colleagues in person rather than on Video Calls!
What gets you up in the morning?
A strong espresso and all the ideas buzzing in my mind!
To find out more about Fetch, and the investment opportunity, visit the pitch.