New Birmingham food app Swoope could change the way you eat lunch
A new food app is being launched by a Birmingham inventor which could revolutionise the way you buy your lunch.
Swoope lets you jump the queues at your local coffee shop or restaurant by allowing you to choose what you want to eat before you leave the office.
You can earn loyalty points – and those who sign up now get a £3 voucher for their first order.
It has just been set up, focusing on independent eateries around Cathedral Square and Colmore Row in Birmingham city centre, such as Damascena and Urban Coffee, but is set to rapidly expand.
Around 35 per cent of the time it takes to order your lunch is ‘dead time’, taken up by choosing what you want and paying for it.
With Swoope, you use the app on your phone to see what’s on the menu at local restaurants, pre-order and pay.
Then you collect it yourself at a special collection point within the shop, beating all the queues.
You show your digital receipt, plus you upload a selfie when you register so the staff will know what you look like.
You can also open the app within a restaurant to order from their table and pay, without having to wait around for waiting staff.
So you can, for example, order a £7.50 martini from The Gin Vaults without having to queue at the bar.
Who is behind Swoope?
Swoope is the brainchild of Lee Nazari from Wolverhampton, who has worked in the hospitality industry since he was 12.
His father moved from Iran in the 1970s without speaking any English but worked his way up from a potwasher to running Caspian Pizza restaurants.
Lee, 34, followed in his footsteps, working up from barman to area manager in restaurants in London. He’s also worked in the credit card department of Morgan Stanley and as a consultant for Groupon before returning to the Midlands.
He’s received nearly half a million investment from private investors and received help from NatWest’s Entrepreneurial Spark for start-up businesses.
He says: “The lunchtime rush in Birmingham is frantic, and if a place has long queues, office workers will just walk past.
“Many local independents don’t have much of an online presence but we want to bring people’s attention to high quality food outlets within walking distance, and drastically cut down the time it takes to get a coffee or meals.
“Two years ago, people didn’t want to use their mobile phones to pay for things but now it happens all the time – it’s much more secure and people are demanding more services from their phones.”
The current venues signed up include Damascena in Temple Row West, Urban Coffee in Church Street, Jake’s Coffee Box in Colmore Row, Char Wallah in Cannon Street, Zen Metro in Cornwall Street and Second Cup Coffee in New Street.
Slightly further afield are Brekkie & Burger Co in Deritend, Hungry Hut in Holloway Head, The Gin Vault in Broad Street, 24 Carat Bistro in Warstone Lane and The Warehouse Cafe in Digbeth.
The first 500 people who sign up to Swoope – downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play – with the code BMAIL17 will get £3 off their bill.
For the latest food & drink offers.