‘Dark bars, A-list investors’: McKinsey, Virgin, Contiki, now me&u – how Australia’s top tech female leader Katrina Barry is chasing $250bn in global consumer spend, crunching bar and pub business models with more tech, less humans and much happier, higher-spending customers

Mi3 Audio Edition

Mar 6 2023 • 51 mins

Katrina Barry is Deloitte Tech's Fast 50 female leadership winner for 2022 and CEO of the globally ambitious Australian restaurant and pubs ordering app me&u, backed by a Hollywood style list of Australian names including Merrivale’s Justin Hemmes, Rockpool's Neil Perry, Uber Australia co-founder Mike Abbott and former Google ANZ and current Domain boss Jason Pellegrino.  She's about a year into the role – me&u already controls about 70 per cent of large format hospitality venues in Australia and is now going global. Barry argues the little round device on bar and food tables is actually about business transformation, customer experience and, for venues, at least 30 per cent more orders if patrons don't have to wait for a negroni or a kale infused pheasant at the counter - or for a host. Hence, many venues are now creating dark bars as one tactic to improve customer experience and sales. Here’s why a little bit of tech in a pub or restaurant is transforming the economics of the hospitality sector - and customer happiness.

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