FreedomPay teams with GRUBBRR to accelerate kiosk ordering

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Florida startup GRUBBRR, whose software enables restaurants to add touchscreen ordering and payment, has teamed with payment platform provider FreedomPay to speed the rollout of its services.

Since its launch in 2017 in Boca Raton with a few restaurants and a handful of employees, GRUBBRR was hampered by the challenge of adapting to each merchant’s different payment processing system, said founder and CEO Bhavin Asher.

FreedomPay, based in Radnor, Pa., offers a quicker path to integration through its cloud-based commerce platform that links to most major payment processors, Bhavin said.

For GRUBBRR, which got its start targeting small and midsize quick-service restaurants looking to add self-service alongside traditional checkout, the move with FreedomPay also expands its potential audience to include larger venues such as multi-vendor operations like stadiums and food courts, according to Bhavin.

“Where we’re seeing the strongest demand is established restaurants that want to retain the usual in-person ordering process but they want to add self-service for crunch times to speed up order throughput,” Bhavin said.

GRUBBRR has begun working with larger merchants, including two large national fast-food chains currently using its system in a pilot.

Several “micromarkets” and food halls where individual chefs sell food at a single venue also plan to use GRUBBRR’s self-service ordering technology, including operations opening soon in Miami and another in Albany, N.Y. that will have 15 restaurants sharing one kiosk ordering system, Bhavin said.

“The food hall is a great use case, because the restaurants are very small and it’s a real hassle to stop cooking to accept orders and payments, but our system can cover all the operations through a kiosk system that lets the chefs keep cooking while orders come in,” he said.

GRUBBRR has built its business on a card-acceptance model but it’s beginning plans to accept cash.

“The world may go cashless in my lifetime, but presently about 15% of the population operate without cards, so we need to continue accommodating them,” he said.

Similarly, many restaurants will continue supporting both traditional and self-service order and checkout for the foreseeable future, Bhavin predicts.

“One of the biggest problems we had when we started a few years ago was that many consumers were unfamiliar with kiosk ordering, but right about the same time McDonald’s started rolling out its kiosk approach, which validated the concept with consumers. That’s helped the whole thing catch on,” he said.

Restaurants may use either an iPad or a customized kiosk to support GRUBBRR’s self-service ordering. GRUBBRR has a partnership with Square, which provides custom kiosks and hardware, he said.

FreedomPay also introduced PCI-validated P2PE to GRUBBRR’s customers, which is becoming a more important feature as more small businesses fall prey to cyber-attacks leveraging unprotected data in transit, according to Bhavin.

“Everyone talks about protecting data, and a lot of businesses said it was easier just to pay a fine than worry about P2PE, but that mindset is changing now as more businesses take data breaches more seriously,” Bhavin said.

GRUBBRR remains privately held.

“We bootstrapped the company right down to paying only $20 for the domain name, which is how we ended up with GRUBBRR because it was the only name left that suggested food, our main focus,” Bhavin said.

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