Sunday, launched by Zalando’s Christine de Wendel and Big Mamma restaurant group founders Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux, allows diners to scan a QR code, split the bill between friends with one click and tip staff without having to flag for attention.
The team raised €24 million (£17 million) in seed funding in April to fuel a rollout as venues across Europe reopened from lockdown. Now valued at over £100 million, the app is operational across the UK, France, Spain and in parts of the US, with London subscibers including Corbin & King and JKS.
Currently even Michelin-starred venues in the capital are closing lunchtime services due to lack of staff. Lugger told the Standard he believes Sunday is flying because hospitality bosses are facing an unprecedented need to make every staff member’s time go further.
Waiters usually have to spend around 35% of their shift time sorting bills and Sunday eliminates that need, he said, adding: “I know great restaurants that cannot reopen, or that are only open at one third of capacity, because they don’t have the staff.
“Everyone is looking for options that will help with the staff shortage - [options] that will give customers a better experience, and massively enhance the quality of work of the existing staff.
“One restaurateur just told me that after two weeks of using Sunday she had saved 17% of staff time, and staff got 40% more tips.
“It’s a tool for hospitality, by hospitality. I think that contributes to making it work.”
Corbin & King founder, Jeremy King, said he is finding Sunday to be “a win win”, saying staff “have more time to serve and your customers can more easily show their appreciation”.
Up until now, many restaurants and pub chains have implemented their own apps, but the market is fragmented. Sunday, which charges businesses around half the commission of credit card companies per transaction, wants to be the one app diners can download and then use across venues.
Sunday has gone from a headcount of four to 110 within months. Now Lugger and his team are on a mission to take the app across the hospitality and leisure sectors.
“We want to save 15 minutes of time for hundreds of millions of people across the world, whether that is in a restaurant or tomorrow in a hotel when you check out,” he said.
Further fundraising rounds are likely to follow to help fuel the expansion. Existing investors include New Wave, the VC firm backed by French telecoms billionaire, Xavier Niel.