Tom Lapham, his wife and their two young daughters went out to eat at their local restaurant. The place was packed and they had to wait 15 minutes for a server to greet them. When he did, he asked, “Are you ready to get started with some drinks?” With two small children already squirming and hungry and the knowledge that there might be another half hour of waiting before their first course arrived, Tom has his eureka moment.
Wouldn’t it be easier if guests had more control over their dining experience using technology they already had in their pockets? And so CHEQ was born.
Tom enlisted two partners, Jason and Jonathan, to help develop the first-ever socially conscious dining app. Together, they knew they wanted to design a different kind of app: one that wouldn’t charge restaurants or their guests exorbitant fees and would empower their restaurant partners to maintain their own branding across the experience, connecting these establishments with their guests directly.
But in order to fully realize this dream, the company knew they had to walk the walk. Which is how they created their unique CHEQuity program, the first of its kind, where Restaurant Partners can claim a stake in CHEQ’s pre-IPO equity to augment the health of their own businesses, creating an instant community of support and mutual value.
Today, this idea is more important than ever. In 2019, the F&B industry had a banner year with $900 billion in sales in the US alone. However, due to escalating commercial rents, minimum wage pressures and high levels of turnover, it became increasingly difficult to turn a profit.
CHEQ is a new way forward, constructed to help lift our industry out of this unsustainable model that hasn’t changed in decades. We furnish restaurants a simple, cost-neutral, and effective way to land back on their feet and begin flourishing.
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Tom is a serial entrepreneur with a record of founding businesses, building them, and creating liquidity events for his partners and investors. Geothermal business sold to Shell New Energy; Solar business sold to EDF.
Jonathan is an investor in and advisor to several early-stage technology businesses. He formerly ran the UK’s largest independent insurance brokerage and has experience fund raising for and building the executive team of the UK’s most successful mobile ordering platform for the hospitality industry.
Jim served as Director of Engineering at Open Table, the world’s leading digital reservations platform for 13 years. Jim is an expert in leading technical teams to deliver web applications, mobile applications, and APIs for the food service industry.
Iris is VP, Head of Strategy, Media, & Audiences for Red Bull Inc. She has led the marketing and strategy function for several multi-billion dollar businesses in both the private and public sector in the consumer, beverage, tech, gaming, and retail industry. Iris currently sits on the Boards of several leading global companies and nonprofits.