No need to queue as business graduate says 'cheers' to new Guzzl drinks sticker
A LONG night queuing at the bar may soon become a thing of the past thanks to a new phone-based ordering service designed by innovative Newtownards entrepreneur Bryan Greig.
The business graduate from Westminster College in Pennsylvania, USA, has just launched 'Guzzl' into the first Belfast establishment – Love and Death – and feedback has been so good he is expecting to expand into other popular haunts in the new year.
Guzzl, a sticker-cum-table stand with a special microchip inside, works by allowing customers to order their drinks without ever having to move from their seat. Customers simply take a picture of it on their mobile phone's Snapchat, or else tap an NFC-enabled phone against it.
"The key selling point is you don't need an app or download to use it," said Bryan, winner of the David Edwards Business Plan Scholarship while in the US and among the top 100 of 50,000 university students in the Global Business Strategy Simulation programme.
"Guzzl uses revolutionary contactless technology (NFC) to allow you to order drinks directly from your table. A menu is sent directly to your phone screen and then it is a simple step to order and pay for drinks with your bank card details.
"Bar staff are notified of your order on a tablet device and when the drinks are ready, you will either be sent a text to come and collect them or they will be delivered to your table.
"Either way, you get to skip the line and spend the night chatting and relaxing rather than in a crush at the bar, waving a tenner at the bartender to get his or her attention."
A relatively simple idea in theory, Bryan – who works as an indoor skydiving instructor at 'We are Vertigo' when not coming up with business ideas – still spent "several sleepless nights" working out the finer details of the technical 'sticker'.
"There was some investment needed in terms of hardware and we had a few long hours and sleepless nights before we came up with a rough prototype which recently went on trial in Horatio Todd's bar and restaurant in Ballyhackamore, east Belfast," Bryan added.
"My best friend from school, Jordan Carroll, has been heavily involved in the project and we are delighted with the feedback so far.
"The customer has a better experience, including being able to pay securely using a debit or credit card – all transactions are encrypted to ensure complete protection and privacy – and bar owners gain from increased sales and efficiency."
The idea evolved one night while out with friends at a busy Belfast beer garden "when no-one wanted to get up from the comfort of the heated lamps" to make their way through the crowds to the bar.
"We just couldn't be bothered," Bryan said. "We were comfortable and we didn't want to risk others taking our our seats if we got up. You can waste a lot of your evening at the bar, getting ignored."
Next stop, he says, is giving the Guzzl treatment to food orders as well as drinks, with the "end goal" to partner with stadiums for major concerts and sporting events.