Checkmate, a tech platform that funnels delivery orders directly into restaurants’ POS systems, has secured $3 million in funding from Tiger Global, a New York City investment firm that regularly backs ambitious startups, according to TechCrunch. Checkmate founder and CEO Vishal Agarwal will use this funding to hire more developers and increase partner platforms.
The U.S.-Indian company works with more than 1,000 U.S. restaurant locations, including Five Guys, Bareburger, Dig Inn, and Pieology, per Checkmate’s website. Its technology integrates with all the major delivery players, including Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats and Caviar.
“Online orders are still treated as a stepchild that’s alien to the business,” Agarwal told TechCrunch. “With our solution, we inject online orders into the true heart and center of these businesses.”
Checkmate solves the pervasive problem of integration — or lack thereof — for restaurants that have decided having a presence on platforms like Grubhub, UberEats and DoorDash outweighs the headaches endured by their staff and operations.
Most third-party delivery platforms require restaurants to install a separate tablet to accept and confirm orders, resulting in a crowded countertop. Frazzled front-of-house staff must take note when orders arrive and then manually enter them into the POS system, which can lead to mistakes and missed orders.
In its early days, for instance, Grubhub faxed orders to restaurants and then called them through an automated system to confirm. Only in 2011 did Grubhub, which has since gobbled up Seamless and Yelp’s Eat24, equip clients with OrderHub tablets programmed to easily manage and confirm orders. Checkmate cuts through this digital clutter by funneling orders from different third-party delivery companies directly into a restaurant's ordering system, and also pushes the sales through the restaurant's management system.
But Checkmate isn’t the only company offering integration solutions that allow restaurants to partner with multiple platforms while keeping staff sane and quality high. Chowly integrates with all the big delivery players, too, and sends orders to most POS systems, including Micros, Toast, Revel, Lavu and Lightspeed.
In March Uber acquired orderTalk, a 20-year-old Dallas company that focuses on POS integration and allowed restaurants to build their an ordering page directly on their websites. Grubhub already integrates with several leading POS platforms, such as NCR, Breadcrumb and Oracle, as does Caviar.
It’s possible that third-party integration systems like Checkmate will eventually join forces with a powerful delivery platform looking to stay relevant. For now, Checkmate fills a void, finding clients in small chains like Honeygrow and independent spots like Ivan Ramen and Milk Bar. Plus, Checkmate eliminated its setup fee and doesn’t charge per platform or per order. Monthly rates start at $85 for two delivery platforms per location and jump to $100 for unlimited.
As the delivery game heats up and major chains choose exclusive partners, restaurants feel increasingly compelled to be present on several platforms, which can increase brand awareness and attract new customers. But while sales might jump, these services charge fees to the customer and the restaurant, cutting into profit. With some restaurants only breaking even on delivery orders, companies should carefully weigh the cost and benefits of these partnerships.