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A pizza restaurant in Spain has restarted operations with a virtual waiter app

Customers at Funky Pizza, in Palafrugell on the Costa Brava popular with tourists, can browse the menu, order and pay via the “Funky Pay” app on their phones.

An employee uses the “Funky Pay” app as he receives all the incoming orders of clients at Funky Pizza restaurant, in Palafrugell, near Girona, Costa Brava, Spain. (Picture credit: Reuters)

A restaurant on Spain’s north-eastern Mediterranean coast is pioneering a dining experience that allows customers to avoid most face-to-face contact with staff and minimise the risk of coronavirus contagion.

Customers at Funky Pizza, in Palafrugell on the Costa Brava popular with tourists, can browse the menu, order and pay via the “Funky Pay” app on their phones – the first time a purpose-designed app has been integrated into a restaurant’s ordering system in Spain.

A waiter does bring the order to the table.

An employee carries pizzas for clients, who ordered them through the “Funky Pay” app, at Funky Pizza restaurant, in Palafrugell, near Girona, Costa Brava, Spain. (Picture credit: Reuters)

“Through this system, we have tried to keep physical distance with our clients, which is what people are looking for during COVID,” said restaurant owner Carlos Manich.

Staff manages the orders from screens behind the bar.

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Employees pick up the pizzas near an IPad with the “Funky Pay” app, which helps to track orders of clients and where, with a system of colours, clients can see when it is in the kitchen or when it will be arriving. (Picture credit: Reuters)

The restaurant has had to adapt to social distancing rules by becoming table service only and reminding customers on the entry they must wear face masks at all times when not at their tables.

“The application is very user-friendly … and you can also track your order and see when it is in the kitchen or when it will be arriving,” said Claudia Medina, 26, eating at the restaurant.

A client using his mobile phone scans the QR code to place an order of a pizza with its ingredients through of the “Funky Pay” app. (Picture credit: Reuters)

But some customers disagreed. “I think we lose the feeling with the waiter, for example when you order you can’t ask about different preferences or quantities,” said customer Javier Comas, 26.

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