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Created on 30.07.2019

“A business idea by itself is not really much good”

Paying in restaurants without having to wait for the bill? “Tastier” lets you do just that. The app lets users access the bill directly on their mobile phones, they can split the bill and all pay for it by mobile phone as well. On the Swiss version of Dragon’s Den, Michael Zoller, CEO and founder of the start-up, was able to win over entrepreneurs Roland Brack, Bettina Hein and Anja Graf. “Tastier” also won the Smart Start Package provided by PostFinance and the Institut für Jungunternehmen (IFJ). We speak to Michael Zoller about entrepreneurship and his tips for future company founders.

Where did the business idea for “Tastier” come from?

It had always been my dream to be an entrepreneur. When I was employed, I ate out a lot, and would often get annoyed about having to wait for the bill. In bigger groups, it can take a good 20 to 30 minutes to pay. I was certain that there must be a way of making paying in restaurants simpler. Why don’t we just pay by phone, I thought, considering we do practically everything these days on our mobiles? After carrying out a market analysis, I ultimately founded “The link will open in a new window Tastier”.

What successes have you had since founding your start-up?

Since founding the company in 2016, we put a lot of work into developing the app, and ever since 2017, we have been testing the app across a number of pilot projects and tweaking it. We officially went live in 2018. We won prizes and came high in the rankings in competitions. We were also able to win various partners over to our “Tastier” idea. It is now possible to use our iPhone app to pay bills in a handful of restaurants in German-speaking Switzerland, and there will be more restaurants to come, plus the Android app will be going live. 

Successes go hand in hand with challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome since founding the company?

Essentially everything was a challenge. I had been in employment, so everything was new to me. I had absolutely no experience in anything I did. I did have a basic understanding of certain areas, but it was my very first time doing things like preparing financial and business plans or clarifying legal aspects in this way. And I feel this is what the main challenge facing a start-up is: the fact it’s your first time doing almost everything, and with very little support. The tools, consultations and courses provided by the The link will open in a new window Institut für Jungunternehmen (IFJ) can prove helpful at this stage. I completed introductory courses in company founding and accounting tools, and learnt a lot by reading the IFJ’s blogs.

Where do you see “Tastier” in five years’ time?

Over the next five years, we hope “Tastier” will be the leading provider of payment services in the food and drink sector across many European countries, and possibly even all over the world.

Is there anything you would have liked to know before founding the company?

How hard it is to work with partners, especially for anything technical. Part of our business model revolves around connecting “Tastier” with the systems of other companies through interfaces (APIs). This requires a solid understanding of how the other system in question works, sector-specific expertise, really good programmers and the willpower to deliver unfailing high quality. That said, you do learn how to overcome these challenges over time.

The Smart Start Package from PostFinance and the Institut für Jungunternehmen (IFJ).

“Tastier” won one of two Smart Start Packages worth CHF 10,000 on the Swiss version of Dragons’ Den. The Smart Start Package includes start-up coaching, publicity with PostFinance and the IFJ, a photo shoot and the opportunity to present yourself at a start-up event held in the PostFinance innovation lab. 

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