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Bondy tests app-etite for Tukka

The days of queueing to pay for your dinner could be over, thanks to a new app being trialled at a popular Gold Coast surf club.

Bond University commerce student Shane Thomas began work on the Tukka app a year ago, working with the university’s Transformer entrepreneurship program to bring his vision of a hassle-free dining experience to life.

When installed on a cellphone, Tukka searches for and allows customers to connect directly with restaurants also using the platform, to place orders for food and drinks. The app allows wait staff to bring orders direct to the table, but also notifies customers for takeaway meals.

“You can lie on the beach, feel like fish n’ chips, place your order, lay in the sun, then when it’s ready you go up, show them, and get your meal. No waiting, no crowds,” Thomas said.

Using the app, customers can also note any dietary requirements in their order, split the bill and pay for it, and are still able to call over a waiter if they have questions.

The app is being trialled at the Burleigh Heads Surf Lifesaving Club, using Thomas’s family and friends, who’ve been given access to an early version of Tukka. While the trial is being carried out, Tukka is taking registrations on its website, so interested venues are able to keep updated on the app’s progress.

Thomas, who plans to roll out the first public version of the app by early 2020, said Tukka had been designed locally to complement the Gold Coast lifestyle.

“Living on the Coast, you don’t really have the one place you go, we love the dining out experience, you’re here, you’re there, you’re everywhere.”

He said while plenty of restaurants allowed people to order using tablets, they still had to queue to pay at the end, with the tablets essentially only stopping wait staff from returning to take orders.

Describing his business model as “like UberEats but not as greedy”, Thomas said Tukka was designed to both make life easier for customers and free up hospitality staff for other tasks.

“Statistically this sort of technology has been proven to increase sales by more than 11 per cent, and I’m only taking a fraction, leaving more in business owners’ pockets - and they’ll be able to have their wait staff walking around and ensuring things are running smoothly.”

Thomas said Tukka was designed to take advantage of the prevalence of cellphones in modern life.

“Everyone is so glued to their phones and used to making transactions, especially millennials, they love their phone, they’re always on it, so transactions on there are nothing.”

Burleigh Heads Surf Lifesaving Club manager Nick Owens said Tukka was already making a huge difference to his business.

“We’re busy and sometimes the queues are quite long so it can put people off a bit, we want to ease the service for them and really move with the times.

“It’s been so easy, it’s just made life a lot easier, especially with the fact they (customers) pay as well.

 “I honestly don’t think it’s a way to reduce your staff, it’s a way to do things better, it’s just a way of improving your service. I can imagine it’s just going to be second nature.”

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