Physical menus have become a relic of the past as countless restaurants have upgraded to digital solutions throughout the course of the pandemic. Nowadays, when a customer can use their smartphone to scan a QR code and browse a menu, it makes sense for them to use that same technology to pay their bill. Luckily, hospitality payment app sunday makes this possible and is expanding its tech worldwide following a large Series A funding round.
Sunday announced on this week it raised a $100 million Series A round led by Coatue. Sunday’s platform works to simplify the restaurant payments process for customers by giving them a QR code to pay their bill. Its tech allows a process that averages 12 minutes to be completed in about 10 seconds, according to sunday. The web-based app allows users to pay with services like Google Pay and Apple Pay or directly input their credit card information.
Sunday was co-founded by restaurateurs Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux, owners of the European restaurant group Big Mamma, alongside Christine de Wendel. Sunday is based in Paris and has a United States headquarters in Atlanta.
Atlanta native de Wendel previously worked in Paris for e-commerce startups like fashion company Zalando and home improvement platform ManoMano before coming back to her hometown where she now works as sunday’s U.S. CEO. Sunday launched in the U.S. earlier this year following a $24 million seed round.
“All of us have been in that situation where you’re sitting with your arm raised, you’re waiting to get your check, the check comes, you have to give your card, it goes away, you don’t know who’s looking at your card, and then it comes back. You’re not in control of what’s happening,” de Wendel told Built In. “The idea [behind sunday] was to say: ‘Let’s eliminate that entire painful process. Let’s make it possible to scan a QR code that’s sitting on your table, and you get to see your bill right then and there. You can split the bill, add your gratuity and go.’”
The idea was quickly and widely received. Since the time of its launch back in March of 2021, sunday has seen rapid growth. More than 1.1 million users have paid with the web-based app. It’s also been adopted by more than 1,500 restaurants around the world. More than 2,000 servers have received payments through sunday and have noted a 40 percent increase in tips from customers who paid through the app. Restaurant managers are also able to turn tables around 10 percent faster than they could before adopting sunday, according to the company.
Looking beyond the hospitality industry, this kind of technology can be applied across a variety of areas.
“If you think of the innovation possible in this industry, there’s an opportunity to change the way people pay in all physical retail,” de Wendel said. “Think about waiting in line for the pharmacy [or] to get your parking ticket, all of these things can be revolutionized by letting you pay with your phone without waiting.”
Sunday is planning to invest its sizable Series A funding into several places, one of which includes adding a range of new features to its tech stack including tools for things like ordering and customer loyalty programs.
“We’re a tech company built by restaurant owners for restaurants,” de Wendel said. “We understand the DNA of a restaurant owner and their needs from a product perspective, and that means that we’re able to put not only the restaurant operator first, but also the end consumer.”
Sunday’s foremost plan for the funding is expanding its geographical footprint. The platform is currently live in the U.S., United Kingdom, Spain, France and Canada, and sunday has plans to accelerate its North American presence. The company is also expanding its 170-person team with a focus on sales, operations and engineering positions. As it anticipates growing its headcount to over 300 within the next year, sunday aims to hire up to 40 new roles at its Atlanta headquarters. In the meantime, sunday is actively hiring in Atlanta with several remote positions available.