Dimmi founder launches ‘smart menu’

For some, sorting through a restaurant menu is half the fun of a trip out to eat. For others, especially those of us with specific dietary requirements, seeing all of the dishes we can’t eat is an aggravation equalled only by the headache of having to send a meal back or trying to split the tab several ways. Stevan Premutico’s new app, me&u, is here to help with a “smart menu.” Premutico took a year off after he sold restaurant booking app Dimmi (now TheFork). In that time, he came up with me&u, which allows diners to streamline their restaurant experience through their smartphones. 

Patrons can have the restaurant’s menu sent to the app, filtered by their dietary preferences and allergies, so dishes they can’t eat or don’t want are removed. As it gets to know your tastes, me&u will even make recommendations such as a wine pairing or signature dishes to enhance the dining experience. Whenever you’re ready, you can pay your bill in the app, even splitting the tab with friends easily. 

“At Dimmi we disrupted the way we book our favourite restaurants. Now we will disrupt the way we order and pay,” Premutico said in a statement. “It’s clear Aussies love to eat in restaurants, but the way we order and pay is terribly clunky and antiquated, whether that be trying to catch the waiter’s attention to order, waiting for the bill at the end of the night, or the awkwardness of splitting the bill. It simply shouldn’t take five minutes to pay a bill! We will fix that.”

Whilst this would seemingly lessen the need for wait staff, Premutico believes it will enable waiters to provide better service and be more valuable.

“Labour costs are so high in Australia that inevitably we end up with one or two fewer waiters on the floor than we really need,” he said. “Waiters run around tirelessly all night, service lessens, the customer experience drops, and upselling doesn’t happen. We want to free up the waiters, improve the customer experience and improve industry profitability. That’s our ambitious goal, more profitable industry.”

More than 500 restaurants have signed on with me&u, and Premutico has brought much of the Dimmi team with him to put a more efficient and convivial experience on the menu.

“Hospitality is one of the great industries of our time, but it is under threat from a rapidly changing world, and a rapidly changing customer,” Premutico said. “We need to evolve if we want to survive and thrive. There has never been a time more important than now to help move this great industry forward.”