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One startup is bringing on a cashless and queue-free future. Just how it ought to be


If there are two things that I can’t stand they would be waiting in line and carrying cash. I’m not so fond of cheques either.

In my version of the future, all transaction will happen with plastic. Even better would be putting NFC technology in every store. Paper money is so… 19th century.

Beat the Q is a venture-backed Australian tech startup that helping to alleviate the cash problem (why do we really need to carry notes around anyway?), and work to eliminate waiting in the queue.

Cashless transactions getting traction

The startup was founded by entrepreneur Adam Theobald who came up with the idea while queuing up for food in a long queue at a Jack Johnson concert. When he got to the front, he ordered 25 chicken burgers and sold them at a premium to the people waiting in the back. While it was a bit of fun, it worked, and Adam realised there was a way to scale this around Australia and the world. Nice, entrepreneurship and chicken burgers.

Beat the Q lets people order and pay en-route to their cafe or take-away joint using an iPhone or Android app, saving precious time for both the customer and the business. Unlike at the Jack Johnson concert though, customers do not pay more using Beat the Q than they would in-store. There’s no added mark-up to the good purchased through Beat the Q.

What’s more, Beat the Q is fast approaching half a million orders.

Customers just key in what they want, then stop in, grab their goods, and go – no cash and no queuing required.

Beat the Q is already being used in some 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.

How does it work?

Theobald has worked on providing benefits for both sides of the queue, so to speak:

Benefits on the customer’s side:

  • No additional costs: Beat the Q is completely free to use for the customer.
  • Versatile: Beat the Q works on computers, tablets and smartphones.
  • Order anything via Beat the Q as long as the cafe has included the items on their menu.
  • Group ordering system: multiple customers can still order and pay individually in one collective order.
  • Benefits from the business side:

  • Flexible: no Contracts.
  • Fully customisable menu.
  • Quick and easy setup: Up and running in 10 minutes
  • Paypal integration
  • Ahead of the queue…

    If you’ve even queued up for a concert, you know just how lousy it can be. It’s nice that you can grab a cup of Joe and go, but what could this type of business model do for bigger things, like sporting events and concerts?

    It’d be nice to see more venues embrace cashless and queue-free approaches to getting customers in and out in a hurry.

    Think about the possibilities!