Restaurant Business- GoTab raises $18M to fuel pragmatic approach to growth
GoTab, a company specializing in contactless ordering and payment systems, has raised $18 million in a Series A funding round.
CEO Tim McLaughlin founded GoTab in 2016 and until now has funded it largely with his own capital. He has focused on pragmatic and profitable growth and plans to do more of the same with this latest investment from Truist Ventures.
“Our money is being used practically, on the same stuff it’s always been used on, which is product and sales,” McLaughlin said in an interview.
Specifically, that will entail rolling out new hardware for GoTab’s POS and kitchen display systems as well as a new “Pocket POS” that runs on a smartphone. It’s also adding new languages and continuing to expand its integration abilities.
“Nothing big or crazy,” McLaughlin said, adding that the investment is also expected to make the company cash-flow positive.
Arlington, Va.-based GoTab has carved out a unique niche in the restaurant tech ecosystem. Its products, which include QR-code-based ordering and payment and RFID technology, are designed for food businesses with unusual or multi-vendor formats, such as breweries and food halls, McLaughlin said.
For instance, its EasyTab product allows customers to order a drink at the bar and open a running tab on their phone, where they can order more drinks without having to get back in line.
GoTab targets high-volume businesses, reasoning that they are the most in need of this kind of technology. “Anything that creates surge-y business volumes, it’s really hard to staff and it’s also really hard to maximize your sales,” McLaughlin said.
It currently has about 1,500 locations using its tech. This year, it expects to grow total revenue by 100% to 200% year over year, McLaughlin said.
The bulk of that revenue comes from processing fees, which restaurants can choose to either pay themselves or pass to the customer. For transactions where a physical card is not used, like mobile orders, the standard fee is 1% of the total plus 25 cents.
“We basically give the guest the option. If the guest wants to go pay at the counter, they avoid the fee,” McLaughlin said. “It turns out when given the choice, they say, ‘I’m fine with that.’”
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Situated “in the heart of it all, yet tranquil enough to make you feel away from it all too,” The Limelight Hotel Snowmass offers 99 hotel rooms and 11 residences, as well as footsteps-to-gondola access in winter and summer — right in the middle of Snowmass Base Village.
Especially over the last few years, the Limelight Hotels IT team had witnessed a significant shift to contactless technology in the hospitality industry. After evaluating friction points in the guest journey, aligning with modern technology platforms in their restaurant was determined to be an effective way to offer elevated contactless dining experiences to their guests while also evolving their technology platforms to continue to support long-term company goals. Limelight Hotel partnered with GoTab to provide an enhanced on-demand dining experience on par with the brand’s reputation for exceptional guest service.
Reducing Staff Touch Points Without Sacrificing Guest Experience
Guests are now able to begin a tab from their room or the property’s restaurant by scanning a QR code, texting a link to friends or family members on the ski slope to add in their orders, then meeting up together at the patio or lodge to enjoy their meal and après ski festivities without interruption. By streamlining tasks like inputting orders and processing payments, this eliminates friction for hotel staff and allows them to focus on delivering renowned guest service for a memorable experience. Since partnering with GoTab, Limelight Snowmass has consistently seen higher check averages and sales.
“We found the Point of Sale platforms we were looking at offered the guest and staff limited opportunities to further reduce touch points or improve the traditional restaurant experience. The GoTab platform enabled the guest to take an active role over the flow of their experience while simultaneously reducing touch points and further streamlining restaurant operations.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group
According to the Limelight Hotels team, some of the other platforms that were evaluated were either missing some of the pieces they were looking for, had weak customer support models, or had little willingness to develop integrations to existing hotel platforms already in place. To that end, GoTab integrated with cloud-based platform, Infor. Together, GoTab and Infor are providing dynamic solutions to support central, efficient service across hotel amenities and deliver exceptional guest experiences.
“Previously, guests would call down to the restaurant to begin an order from their room or while they were out enjoying the ski slopes. Using GoTab, guests can now place orders from anywhere on the resort, giving them the on-demand service they want without interrupting their day. GoTab empowers us to give control to the guest, reducing touch points and streamlining overall restaurant operations, making Limelight Hotel the resort of choice for Snowmass.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group
Since introducing GoTab, The Limelight Hotel has seen a consistent level of upsells and items sold per check resulting in additional revenue capture. They have been able to maintain service levels in their restaurants during periods when there was reduced staffing available without significantly diminishing the guest experience.
Eliminate Phone Orders – Take Orders from the Slopes. Guests can start a tab from their room or on the mountain without interrupting the flow of their day.
Future-Proofed Technologies – Delivering elevated contactless ordering via integration with the Infor hotel management platform.