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December 19, 2019

Worcester entrepreneur to pilot restaurant app at Legal Seafoods

Photo | Courtesy of paerpay Derek Canton, founder of paerpay

Worcester entrepreneur Derek Canton’s smartphone app changing how diners see and pay their bills, has secured its first restaurant client, Boston-based Legal Sea Foods.

Dubbed paerpay, the technology allows customers to pay their restaurant bills through the app, without having to wait for the server to bring it.

“I was intrigued by the app’s technology when I met with the founder three years ago,” Roger Berkowitz, president and CEO of Legal Sea Foods, told WBJ.

“Today, more than ever, particularly younger guests, when they’re done eating, they want to leave, and sometimes there’s a lag time getting the check to the table,” Berkowitz said. “Honestly, I feel the same way, regardless of which restaurant I’m at, and this technology allows that.”

A Worcester native, Canton founded paerpay shortly after graduating from Worcester State University in 2015. He beat out 400 other developers to win the international Money 20/20 hack-a-thon and later was accepted into the MassChallenge Boston startup accelerator program. The company is now a member at the DCU Fintech Innovation Center, which a Boston program focusing on technology startups in the financial sector. 

Worcester businessmen Michael Covino, president of restaurant owner Niche Hospitality Group, and David Crouch president of tech firm ten24 Digital Solutions, are advisers to the company. Paerpay did a test run to validate its viability at Niche-owned restaurants, including a test with live customers at Bocado Tapas Wine Bar in Worcester.

How paerpay works: Scan the paerpay code at the table to create a new bill, or join an existing one and at any point in your dining experience, use the app to split, tip, and manage your bill.

Starting in late January, the app will be piloted at five Legal Sea Foods locations in Greater Boston: the Test Kitchens at Logan Airport Terminal A,  Logan Airport Terminal C, Chestnut Hill, and the Seaport District, and the Legal on the Mystic at Assembly Row in Somerville.

“We’ll try it out and listen to the guest feedback, and if it works we’ll make it permanent,” Berkowitz said. “It’s really a smart application. In theory, it can increase table turns and give guests exactly what they want.”

Canton said he’s raised $385,000 from investors in past two years.

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