Lunchpool app helps coworkers connect and network for lunch

Alexander Abell came up with a novel idea for Startup Weekend in Tampa that propelled him and his associates into the startup ecosystem.

The app is called lunchpool and the goal is to “take back the lunch break” and make users more productive and connected through a healthier, happier, and more fun work environment.

The concept is simple: take out the lunchpool app and search for a coworker who has common interests and make a plan to have lunch with them.

Users will mark themselves as DTL (Down to Lunch) to show they are available for lunch. Interests can range from food preferences, dietary restrictions, television or movie preferences…to name a few.

Now you can finally find that coworker that watches Game of Thrones and talk all about it at lunch without someone staring at you lost and clueless.

Once you connect with someone you can become “lunch buddies” and put them in your network or shortlist for repeat lunch plans. The app also allows you to setup meeting insurance and require a deposit before lunch. If the person does not show up, the money will be donated to a mental health charity.

Some goals for corporations and HR departments that lunchpool seeks to solve include:

  • breaking silos and fostering inclusion and diversity
  • improving on-boarding speed and efficiency
  • supporting internal innovation by connecting workers
  • increasing employee happiness to boost productivity
  • increasing retention and lowering turnover-rates

Lunchpool will integrate with Google Calendar, Apple iCloud, and Microsoft Outlook to ensure your plans are communicated well.

The app will first focus on corporate networking and offer branded networks in a Business-to-Business (B2B) focus. Abell says the eventual goal of the app is to connect the public for lunch in a later stage of development.

What options will be available to diners? Lunchpool will recommend restaurants nearby to eat at with a focus on quality restaurants that can handle lunch crowds first.

Abell envisions lunchpool offering a special priority line in the future for users and discounts for repeat and loyal customers. The possibilities to integrate into the food industry are numerous.

Lunchpool has not had its first seed funding round yet, but plans to seek funding once the app has been introduced into corporations and begins to see user adoption. Currently the app is in beta and accepting requests for testing.

The potential to change the way people interact is there. Abell noted that today’s working population is more reclusive largely due to smartphones and the internet and tends to have a more difficult time conversing with people they may not know. This is especially true for millennials and younger generations. Lunchpool can change that.

Most people recognize that networking is the key to success in your career and business and lunchpool has the opportunity to help break down a wall and help people connect and be successful.

Here are some statistics about networking from HubSpot:

  • 85% of available positions are filled through networking
  • 1 out of every 4 people fail to network at all
  • 9 out of 10 people say small meetings are a preferred method of communication
  • 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships

Clearly there is a big need for an app like lunchpool. Plus – who wants to dine alone?

For more information about lunchpool visit them online at www.letslunchpool.com

Find lunchpool on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/letslunchpool/

Follow lunchpool on Instagram at: http://www.instagram.com/letslunchpool/

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Cut restaurant wait time down with TorchFi interface

Tired of downloading apps for businesses you frequent to your smartphone? I cannot count how many different apps I have downloaded to my phone for businesses that I never open.

Local start-up company, TorchFi, aims to end the push for restaurants to make their own app and gives restaurants the ability to connect with their customer via a Wi-Fi connection.

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Customers can access restaurant menus through the TorchFi connection and order their food and pay online – avoiding getting caught in line during busy lunch or dinner rush times. They can simply walk into a restaurant and sit at a table and order their food when they connect to the available Wi-Fi. The wireless interface can also help customers call a waiter to help them.

On the business side, the restaurant will receive data about overall customer buying habits/trends and make life easier for their customers – repeat customers can easily order their regular orders with a smart interface that remembers past orders by a customer. All without forcing a customer to download their individual app.

TorchFi is currently targeting fast-casual businesses with busy lunch and dinner rushes. Tampa is a perfect target with plenty of concepts having their beginning here or expanding in the area including Burger 21, PDQ, 4Rivers Smokehouse, Mission BBQ…to name a few.

TorchFi is starting locally with The Attic and Moxie’s Cafe. Downtown Tampa, South Tampa, Brandon, and Carrollwood all have busy lunch rush crowds that could be alleviated using this interface. The interface can also be used for malls and food courts, retail brands, salons, and spas.

For more information, visit TorchFi online at http://www.torchfi.com/