Student startup makes safe dining easier for restaurants, universities during COVID-19

An idea developed before the pandemic has turned into software to help restaurants and universities succeed in the COVID age.

UW-Madison sophomores Abhijeet Manohar and Sourish Kundu have co-founded a secure menu and ordering platform as well as an indoor capacity tracker.

Their business, Dine In LLC started as an idea in September 2019. Manohar was frustrated with a long wait at a sit-down restaurant when he had homework to do that day. The duo, both triple majoring in computer science, data science and economics, decided to streamline the ordering process for medium-tier restaurants.

The secure, QR coded menus and order placing technology eliminates physical menu cards and the time for waitstaff to repeatedly visit the table prior to ordering. The QR stickers look like business cards on each end of the table. A customer would scan the code with their smartphone and order from the digital menu.

“The idea was basically to eliminate physical menu cards because it seemed like the 1900s to have a physical menu card and place an order,” Manohar said. It took up to four months for the team to have the technology ready. By then, COVID-19 had come to the U.S.

“I think this whole COVID situation happened and we were like, ‘Oh my god, this is the right product for this particular situation’’” he said, adding that interested restaurants wanted to try the product because it offered a health aspect — limited contact.

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