COVID-19 shutdowns have been hard on us all, but pubs and bars have felt the effects more acutely than others. This has hit our family particularly hard, with our brother having to shut down his venues during the lock down. Thankfully, restrictions are starting to ease and reopening is on the horizon, but food and beverage businesses must adapt to this new environment.
Given the current restrictions, there is a renewed push for businesses to move towards separated table service, with minimal interactions with staff and other patrons. For the foreseeable future, walking up to a busy bar to order a drink may be a thing of the past.
Fetcha enables food and beverage businesses to easily transition into this new world, offering a simple, easy and seamless way to offer table service to patrons.
What it does
Fetcha is the easiest way for food and beverage stores to offer safe table service to their customers. Once linked with the merchants square account, Fetcha builds a digital menu using all of the items already stored in their Square point of sales system. Merchants can then issue QR codes for all the tables in their venue, allowing customers to simply order from their seat. This provides huge value to small businesses, helping them grow and adapt.
QR Code and Digital Menu
Customers can easily scan QR codes that have embedded locations and table numbers, which are sent along with customer orders. The menu itself is built using the items that the merchant already has stored in their Square Point of Sales system.
Online check-out is quick and simple, using Apple Pay, Google Pay or Square's credit card payment form.
Merchant Dashboard and OAuth Flow
The merchant dashboard allows venues to generate QR codes for tables at any of their locations. They can also toggle on or off the contact tracing feature.
COVID Contact Tracing
Many jurisdictions (including our own state of Victoria in Australia) are mandating that venues keep a list of all patrons who attend. Our contact tracing feature ensures that these details are kept securely by the merchant, and accessed only by request of health authorities.
How we built it
We have taken advantage of many of the APIs Square has to offer, including:
- Catalogue API
- Orders API
- Payments API
- Locations API
- Merchant API
- OAuth Flow
We have also implemented our own account and authentication system using Firebase.
Our front end code is built using Typescript, React and Grommet UI. Our back end code is built using Typescript, node.js, Firebase Realtime Database and Firebase Functions.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into several challenges around how to make this as easy and seamless for the customer as possible. We are really happy with the QR code mechanism and the simplicity of checkout.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are really proud about the seamless UX and the design that we have implemented in this application. We have also taken advantage of many of the APIs Square has to offer, and have a road map (se below) of all the other features and APIs we want to build out!
What we learned
We have learnt a lot about Square APIs, secure OAuth flows, Firebase Functions and how to use QR codes effectively.
What's next for Fetcha - Just sit, we'll fetch!
We are excited to announce a partnership with Chei Wen Wine Bar and Fly Lie Bar in Melbourne! We are planning to launch with these venues as they re-open from COVID-19 lockdown. Both of these venues currently do not offer table service, and would be difficult / unfeasible for them to operate without the use of Fetcha. We also have a long backlog of features we are developing to incorporate into the app including
- Menu builder - offer merchants and even easier process to build their items online, including stock photos and suggested descriptions.
- Customer accounts - integrate with Square's customer APIs to enable card on file payments and a more personalised experience
- Rewards & Loyalty - take advantage of Square's Loyalty API to offer rewards to customers
- Merchant branding - Give merchants the ability to theme and brand Fetcha with their own fonts, colours and logos
- Printer - integrate with a docket printer so orders are automatically printed
- User experience - further iterate on the user experience to provide a seamless ordering and checkout experience ...and heaps more!
See it all at https://www.fetcha.app
See our code repo at https://bitbucket.org/kylemantesso/fetcha/
How to test
Landing page: https://fetcha.app/
Scan this QR code to pre-populate location and table: http://fetcha.app/assets/docs/qr-example.png