Whether you were sharing a five course meal at the Four Seasons or a fruit plate at Whole Foods, we’ve all experienced the awkward glance around when the restaurant bill arrives.
Thanks to New York startup Cover, you no longer have to worry about splitting the bill and can walk out of the restaurant without even taking out your wallet.
In fact, it’s so easy that all you have to do is select paying with Cover on your smart phone (a notification will pop up when you enter a partner restaurant) and you’re good to go – Phones and wallets safely tucked away for the night.
From a consumer’s standpoint the company is too good to be true, however the most interesting aspect of Cover is how co-founders Andrew Cove and Mark Egerman are growing the business.
Their answer to startups most challenging question of how to avoid Fueled’s DSD – Download Smile Delete – syndrome for apps is to make them sticky.
Proof of the sticky ingredient is individuals’ deep pang when they can’t use the service lending to the cultivation of a habit forming app. So if you’ve spent the last month dining at Momofuku Ko, Public, and Resto (You’ve got it good!), the first time you can’t simply walk out of a restaurant after your last bite of dessert is the most significant way you’ll recognize Cover’s convenient solution.
Not only should your app be sticky, users shouldn’t have to think about using it which is why Cover works in the background.
Although operating in a competitive field, Egerman’s advice to startup founders is to forget about the competition and build a business instead.
Rather than assuming what restaurants needed, Cove and Egerman worked alongside them to develop a product that would fit into the existing infrastructure making Cover increasingly simple to adopt.
By identifying the restaurants pain points Cove and Egerman came out on top, simply because they provide seamless integration for everyone involved.
The team’s heads down approach is responsible for $7 million in funding which the founders share they raised by answering difficult questions about the business and being honest about Cover’s shortcomings. While it may seem averse to highlight your startup’s weaknesses in investor meetings, the founders emphasize that the latter makes it appear that you don’t see any. Remember that investors want to work with a team who’s ready to tackle the entire problem, not just a single piece.
To learn more about how Andrew and Mark have scaled Cover to the 103 restaurants in New York and 30 in San Francisco tune into today’s episode of 33founders where they discuss hiring, investing and expansion.