UK’s Contactless Ordering Startup Leslie Makes US Debut
U.K.-based on-table ordering startup Leslie has brought its tech to food service and hospitality services in the U.S., just 12 weeks after its initial launch, according to a press release Wednesday (Jan. 19).
The company offers a simplified and more efficient way for customers to order, pay and tip using their mobile phones, utilizing a QR code with no app downloads required.
Leslie was founded during the pandemic by owners Joey Barnett and Dovi David. Some of the company’s multimillion dollar investors included KKR co-founder Henry Kravis, Zip founder Larry Diamond and Middleby Corporation.
In the release, Barnett said there was a new demand for QR-based contactless payments.
“We believe the market for scan-and-pay technology is in infancy stages, and this will drastically and rapidly grow in 2022 and beyond,” Barnett said.
Additionally, Middleby Corporation European President Chris Jones said there was a need for more innovation in hospitality.
“Between the challenges of working face-to-face in a pandemic and the ongoing Great Resignation, the hospitality industry is primed for innovation,” said Jones. “On the heels of the traction we are already seeing in the U.K. from our exclusive partnership between Middleby and Leslie, I’m excited to see this flourish in the U.S. market as well.
“We believe technology like Leslie is the key to increasing safety and efficiency while creating an all-around excellent customer experience.”
Contactless payments have gained popularity since the start of the pandemic, and PYMNTS’ Next-Gen Debit Tracker, done in collaboration with PULSE, found that 36% of respondents prefer contactless payment options.
More than three-quarters of merchants reported offering contactless options, with mobile wallets being the most popular offering at 66%. Additionally, 44% of merchants said they offer touchless card payments, while 25% said they offer QR codes.