With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic making the most simple aspects of everyday life aggravatingly difficult, one company is turning to technology to help usher in a newfound sense of safety and practicality into one of the most missed aspects of pre-COVID life: dining out.
The best way to prevent COVID exposure is by maintaining strict social distancing measures, which includes avoiding direct contact whenever possible. In the context of a dining experience, Sticky Menus can go a long way towards reducing contact to nearly zero when ordering by utilizing a customer’s smartphone, according to company CEO Sean Heilweil.
“Sticky Menus is a contactless QR code menu that helps restaurants safely manage their operations through COVID and beyond,” he said. “Traditional menus are normally touched and handled by multiple patrons and staff, increasing the risk of COVID transmission and other illnesses. Contactless menus are a safer experience for everyone, as contactless menus can be viewed right through your mobile device.”
Based out of their Hicksville office, Sticky Menus, which officially launched three months ago, normally offers their solutions to restaurants for a 14 day free trial period and then a monthly subscription. But, during these trying times, they are opening up their free trial period to a full year for Long Island-based businesses.
“We want to help, we’re proud to offer this product for free, and help business owners,” Heilweil said. “At the end of the day, we built Sticky Menus to save jobs and help revive our economy.”
Heilweil, who considers himself a “serial entrepreneur,” has been building, advising, and investing in startup companies with his business partner, Jarrett Lusso, for the past eight years under their venture studio, Cache Ventures. Having taught himself programming at the young age of 13, Heilweil boasts a vast amount of knowledge and has developed software for numerous Fortune 500 brands over the years.
“When COVID hit last year and everything was locked down, I started thinking about how the pandemic was going to accelerate and change different industries,” he said. “I became fixated on the food and beverage and hospitality industries and became obsessed with finding an idea that could help shape the way restaurants adapt, improve, and ultimately survive. That’s where the idea for Sticky Menus came from.”
Using Sticky Menus is simple. There’s no app that a customer needs to download; the software is solely on the merchant’s end, and simply opening the camera on any smartphone allows a customer to scan a QR code provided by the restaurant. From there, the customer is brought to a website where they can browse the restaurant’s menu.
However, there’s far more to Sticky Menus than merely allowing customers a simple and high tech way to order food. There are a plethora of benefits for business owners that go hand-in-hand with this unique service.
Sticky Menus are dynamic, designed with ease of use in mind, and can be scheduled to display specific menus at specific times of the day. For example, a breakfast menu could change automatically to a lunch menu at 12 p.m., and then to a dinner menu at 5 p.m., all using only one QR code.
In addition, Heilweil said, Sticky Menus can be changed on the fly, and without any additional expense, to accommodate new designs and menu items at any time.
“With physical menus, business owners can’t change items or their branding without having to redesign and print new menus, have them laminated, delivered, and so on,” he said. “But with Sticky Menus, you can update your menu like you would update your Facebook or Instagram page, so if your chef wants to try a new dish, they can take a picture, write a description, and upload it instantly.”
But that’s not the end of Sticky Menus’ value to a business. The service also allows tracking customer data and collecting metrics, helping restaurant owners gain a better understanding of how often their customers dine with them, which items are popular, and much more. In addition, this data collection helps restaurants perform contact tracing in compliance with ongoing government COVID regulations, as well as provides the ability to send special offers and notifications to customers.
Ultimately, Sticky Menus is a way to help the struggling restaurant industry, which has been hit especially hard by the ongoing pandemic. The team’s main priority is to help businesses get back on their feet.
“Long Island business owners can use this tool not only to comply with health guidelines but also to collect data that can be used in the future to effectively market their business, during COVID and beyond. It’s our mission to try to and make a difference and help other entrepreneurs. This is something that’s needed,” Heilweil said.
To find out more about Sticky Menus, please visit their website at stickymenus.com/long-island.