Chope gobbles up F&B startup to save diners queue time

The Singapore-based restaurant booking site acquires another local startup, Appic Technologies, adding a queue-monitoring app to its service.

Singapore's restaurant booking site, Chope, has acquired a local startup that will boost its own service with a queue-monitoring app. 

Appic Technologies' Ticktok queueing service runs on Apple iOS mobile devices and allows diners to receive notifications when their table is ready. It also enables restaurant hosts to check for available seating via a tablet and send an SMS alert to the next customer informing them of an available table. 

Chope CEO and Co-Founder Arrif Ziaudeen said the Ticktok app has clear synergies with his company's restaurant reservation service, both offering restaurants higher F&B (food & beverage) productivity. "We found in Appic a team who hate queuing as much as us. We help get around that by making reservations easy and 24 by 7, but now we're going even further — even if you have to queue, you should be free to wander and relax."

The initial phase of integration both systems has been completed, enabling restaurants to manage queues and reservations via one iPad device. 

Ziaudeen told ZDNet there are also further plans to provide more seamless mobile queueing services that will allow consumers to identify restaurants within their vicinity and find one with the shortest queue. They can then send their details via the mobile app to get a queue number, and continue shopping until they receive an SMS notifying them that their table will be available in the next 10 minutes. 

He said this feature has been built, but the company has yet to decide when to make it publicly available.

Elaborating on the acquisition, Ziaudeen said Appic's founders were paid in Chope shares, a move he said ensured all their interests were aligned. The merger also pushes Chope's total headcount to 32 in Asia, up by five from Appic. The latter currently has 50 clients, including its first customer in Hong Kong signed last week. The majority of Ticktok customers are based in Singapore and includes Tung Lok, Wild Honey, Brussels Sprouts, and Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant.

The app processes more than 100,000 diners every month and is expected to serve more than 1.2 million diners by 2015, according to Appic.

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