Elevator Pitch: Beat The Q

Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Adam Theobald, co-founder of Beat The Q.

In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.

Beat the Q is an Australian tech startup that is laying the foundation for the cashless economy and helping its users skip tiresome queues. Beat the Q lets people order and pay en-route to their cafe using an iPhone or Android app, saving time for both the business and customers - who simply swing past and grab their coffee or breakfast bagel.

Co-founders Scott Player and myself came up with the idea after queueing for 45 minutes for food at a Jack Johnson concert. When we reached the front of the line we bought 25 chicken burgers and sold them at a premium to the people behind us. Unlike the concert goers, Beat the Q users don't pay any extra for the service.

What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?

Having PayPal integration has added strategic value to the Beat the Q app. Partnering with the very best point-of-sale systems to offer a seamless integrated mobile ordering system as well as key industry participants (coffee roasters, other suppliers, key opinion leaders) to offer great reference sites has also boosted the Beat the Q profile.

What's the biggest challenge facing your business?

As a startup that's rapidly growing, there's never enough hours in a day! We've got so many great things planned ahead and the biggest challenge is getting these projects over the line with the resources we have to work with.

How do your differentiate your business from your competitors?

It's true there are a few others offering order ahead in the cafe and quick service space. Beat the Q differentiates itself by including payment on all orders; offering the most flexible payment options including PayPal placing all participating outlets into the PayPal app for increased exposure; and providing a continual focus on customer service - we believe we offer the best solutions for the quick service restaurant and cafe market.

Others in the space also focus on selling custom apps with upfront costs. Whilst this often seems like a great solution, and we have done this in certain circumstances where we think it makes sense for customers and outlets, generally we avoid it as it is not right for the outlet (increased cost, less discovery and less take-up) OR the customer (another app to download and only use in one purchasing environment).

In just over a year, Beat the Q has processed over half a million orders for coffee. Having well known and busy cafes like George Gregan (GG) Espresso, Circa Espresso, Pablo & Rusty's, Campos Coffee, Tobys Estate, Mecca Espresso, Sonoma and Presse Cafe sign up to use Beat the Q is proof that Beat the Q is servicing a demand well.

What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?

I can't hone in on one particular favourite as there are so many practical and useful apps out there. My top 3 right now are

  • GoCatch, because it's a super handy app that reduces the frustration in trying to find a cab.
  • Evernote, which is an absolute essential for me as I use it in meetings, brainstorming sessions and general note taking. It's just so versatile!
  • ParkPatrol is an app that I'm really glad exists as it has saved me from getting parking fines quite a few times.

What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?

As fun as it looks, being an entrepreneur is tough. You will be knocked down by those who don't 'see it your way' 10 times a day. The skill is in getting up and moving forward with both realism and positivity.

Want to see your startup featured in Elevator Pitch? Get in touch using our contact form.


    Great application, use it almost everyday!

    Any chance of adding loyalty schemes? I received a free coffee after the first 10 coffees and I know I can get them for referring a friend, but it's the only thing that makes me think about physically paying for my coffees again.

    Not sure if this is vendor specific?

    But great work!

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