Check please: new startup simplifies restaurant payment

Ken Watts and Brian Edwards make a good team.

The pair, co-founders of Memphis start-up Well Done Systems, brings two different skill sets to the company. Watts has a background in software development and coding while Edwards comes from the restaurant – and more specifically the restaurant payment – world.

“I’ve got the business side and he has the nerd side,” Edwards said with a laugh.

Well Done has created a restaurant point-of-sale system and currently is in the beta testing phase of its tablet-based concept. Whaley’s Pizza in Collierville and Belle in Downtown Memphis are the two sites currently using Well Done software.

The tablet-based system allows servers to take orders and process payments tableside. Its cloud-based hosting allows for easy installation and customization.

Edwards said the testing has gone well, and the company is gathering feedback and adding functionality based on that feedback. 
Well Done is a graduate of Start Co., and Edwards said the accelerator program was a great partner for the business.

“(Start Co. is) doing a lot of really cool things for the city,” he said. “They’re trying to bring a lot of innovation here and encouraging people to do business here.”

Memphis is a good place for start-ups for multiple reasons, he said.

“The regulatory climate is good here, generally speaking, so it doesn’t cost a lot of money to own and operate a business from a cost of living standpoint or a regulations standpoint,” Edwards said. “Talent and labor in Memphis costs less as well, so that’s definitely a positive.”

Edward plans for Well Done to emerge from its beta phase in about six months, with its POS system up and running in about 10 locations. He also hopes to have distribution partners as well as re-seller partners in place before emerging from beta.
So far, Well Done has raised $50,000 in seed funding and is working to close another $50,000 funding round by the end of February.

Edwards knows the restaurant industry from the top down. He’s worked as a server, bartender, waiter and trainer. He also spent several years in sales before delving full-time into the restaurant payment industry.

 “I’ve split tens of thousands of checks at Ruby Tuesday’s over the years,” Edwards said.

Edwards admits that Well Done’s current system is not built for those large-scale restaurant operations. At least not yet. The company’s target market is restaurants with one to 10 locations and less than 200 seats.

“A couple of years from now, we’ll be able to compete much better in the larger space,” he said. “Because we’re a start-up, we don’t have all the bells and whistles that larger and multi-site providers need to operate at that level.

“As time goes on and we add more features and functionality to the platform, as our capabilities to serve those larger customers come into play, they’ll fall into our target market at that point.”
 

Read more articles by Jane A. Donahoe.

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