Ever been to a restaurant where you had to wait 10 minutes just for the bill? Yeah. It sucks. It's time we changed that with some 2018 technology. Part of our inspiration comes from the clunkiness of traditional checks and bills.
In this new age, restaurants are trying to modernize. As a result, many apps try to introduce digital transactions. These apps have the side effect of increasing user load by forcing them to take out their phone to open an app, scroll through countless options, scan QR codes, etc. We believe the customer should focus on the food, people, and environment, rather than their technology.
Additionally, these solutions are usually limited to fast foods or chain restaurants, and higher end restaurants are often reluctant to adopt mobile ordering or delivery. These restaurants are not only selling food, they are selling an experience and an environment. Our platform allows higher end restaurants to adopt digital commerce.
Finally, our technology allows users to better engage with the restaurant experience while streamlining the process. The user doesn't have to take our their phone AT ALL when going to a restaurant. This is the walk in, eat, walk out philosophy.
What it does
An Android client for the T-Mobile Hacksgiving 2018 Hackathon. Check.io is an end-to-end business-to-customer platform for streamlining the restaurant experience by getting rid of bills and checks at restaurants with location services and automatic billing all while reducing the customer's focus on the technology. We strive to improve the restaurant experience using technology that reduces load on the customer.
After the onboarding process, the user's device will send location information to our servers. Our backend processes the location data, and the restaurants will receive information about who is in their proximity. The restaurant can check users in with just their name. After the customers eat, the restaurant bills the customer's card automatically, and the customer leaves. The customer didn't need to touch their phone at all during this digital payment process.
How we built it
There is a consumer-facing frontend (Android), restaurant-facing frontend (React web app), and a backend server.
The backend is built with Node.js + Express.js framework with Socket.io, Mongoose, and MongoDB. Our backend integrates with the Stripe API (for future reference the Stripe API is a royal pain in the ass)
The web app frontend is built with React and Bootstrap. The Android frontend is built with Android Studio and Java.
Challenges we ran into
- We spent 4 hours trying to make an animation work and we eventually ditched it
- We have 2 designers and 1 developer (true startup composition right here)
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Figuring out how to use the diabolical Stripe API for storing card information and making transactions
- Creating our very own design system in the span of this hackathon
What we learned
- Sleeping is good!
- Setting a loud enough alarm is also good!
What's next for Check.io
The data collected from our application could be used for a variety of uses for big data. For instance, customer data can be used to extrapolate patterns of customer behavior. This can create an individualized experience for each customer no matter where they go.
The B2C model better connects the customers and restaurants. For instance, we have planned a "Dietary Restrictions" feature so the restaurant automatically knows if someone is vegetarian or allergic to peanuts.