Can i(Pod) get you anything else?

Two entrepreneurial students from UB have built a business through iOS app development to make a job students often do easier - waiting on tables.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

A graduate from the University at Buffalo, New York has turned entrepreneur through one of the jobs many students turn to in funding their studies -- waiting on tables.

Ansar Khan, who graduated in 2011, co-founded the company Refulgent Software with James O'Leary, a former UB student, in an attempt to make the job students often love to hate a little easier. The firm, based at the university's Technology Incubator, now sells a restaurant management system that uses Apple technology to remove the need for paper tickets when serving.

The Ambur application is 'designed for people who actually work in restaurants' -- making the often high-pressure job a little easier for many a waiter.


'Ambur' is an iPod, iPhone and iPad compatible app which serves as a 'point of service' system. The app was piloted while the creators both worked in Khan's family restaurant.

"I didn't like carrying around a notepad, and to have to constantly read what I scrawled," Khan said. "Sometimes, I had to go back to the customer and ask what they had ordered because I wasn't sure what I had written."

By using the app, waiters are able to take an order through an iPod device and route them instantly to an iPad, which in turn transfers the information directly to a kitchen printer. By directing orders in this way, the waiting staff are able to save time as they do not have to visit a computer in order to log table orders.

The application is also able to split checks and process credit cards. Sales reports can be exported from the iPad in a variety of formats which can be read by accounting programs such as Quickbooks.

There is no monthly fee to use the Ambur app, and it costs $999 to purchase. So far, the reviews have been positive.

"People often say that starting a successful business at our age is impressive, but to us, it's surprising how easy it was," said O'Leary, who, like his business partner, is in his early 20s. "As long as you have an idea that fills a need for a group of people, and you execute that idea and get feedback on it, anyone can do it. We hope other students will see our example and try it themselves."

Image credit: Refulgent Software


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