“This is an amazing experience!”

A Conversation With Lunchio Founder and CMO Deniz Caglayan

Lunchio is Germany’s first online waiter, a digital restaurant guide for going to lunch and on board with the Techstars METRO Accelerator. The startup frees the ordering process from the restaurant, both in terms of time and space. It works like this: before the lunch break, Lunchio users can pre-order meals at a registered restaurant and pay right away. When they get to the restaurant, their table is already reserved and their food arrives immediately without waiting. Since the bill has been paid in advance, users don’t have to wait for it, but can just leave the restaurant. This way, Lunchio users get more out of their lunch break. We talked to founder and CMO Deniz Caglayan.

Deniz, why should people use your service?

Lunchio enables workers to pre-order their meal at the restaurant of their choice and pay by PayPal, credit card or SOFORT Überweisung. There is no waiting time anymore and our users can still have delicious food in a nice and relaxed atmosphere. Our service is free for our users, the restaurants pay a small fee. We are including more and more restaurants in our system on a daily basis.

And how did you come up with the idea?

We all met at Witten-Herdecke University. When we went to seminars on weekends, we always had the problem that our cafeteria was closed and so had to get our lunch from a restaurant in the neighbourhood. Since we only had a half-hour break, we would always come back to the seminar late and stressed-out. We wanted to solve this problem at all costs, and so came up with the idea for Lunchio. We started developing the technology in June 2015, and we’ve been online since August.

Where do you see yourselves in a year from now?

We would like to have a presence in all the big cities around Germany. At the moment we’re focusing on Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart. We are already strong in Düsseldorf and our university town Witten. We now want to grow and develop our services. And we have tons of ideas!

What are your expectations of the Techstars METRO Accelerator?

The best thing about it is the mix of totally different core competences of the three partners, Techstars, METRO and R/GA: Techstars helps us with their expertise in building our network. METRO offers best contacts to restaurants and can help us with our distribution processes, and R/GA takes care of the user experience, user interface, branding and marketing. During the three months on the program, we want to achieve as much as we would do in a year. Being between the ages 23 and 31,we can get a lot out of it, network, establish structures and meet amazing people. There is also a productive exchange with other international startups here. In a nutshell: This is an amazing experience!

What headline do you want to read about Lunchio within the next year?

“Lunchio becomes new jersey sponsor of 1. FC Köln”, our favourite soccer club. (laughs) – No, jokes aside: “Lunchio digitalizes lunch” in TechCrunch would be perfect!

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