Everyone likes a nice day at the beach. Right until the moment the hunger or the thirst hits — and one has to figure out a way to solve that problem.
Of course, there is always the option of bringing one’s own food and drink to the beach, but there are limitations.
Starting with the fact that beach picnic food — no matter how well and tightly one attempts to wrap it up — has an unfortunate tendency to absorb more and more of the beach as the day goes by. By the end of the afternoon, sandwiches tend to be quite sandy.
Guests of tony hotels and resorts have it better in theory, since they can flag down a waiter or waitress to bring their cocktails and snacks directly to their lounge chair. But there are limits there. First of all, local beach-goers are probably not committed enough to beachside service to purchase a hotel room for the privilege. And, notes EazyO Founder and CEO Brett Benza in an interview, even if one is a guest at the resort and the feature is actually open to them, actually finding a server is not always easy.
“I think like most entrepreneurs I’m solving my own problems — and man, have I been to a ton of beach resorts where flagging down a server was a huge challenge. There are only so many days one can spend hot and thirsty on the beach before you conclude there must be a better way to do this.”
And Benza, bringing almost three decades of experience in financial services with him, decided he was going to be the person to design that solution, which today is known as EazyO.
How It Works
EasyO is an app that will bring beach-goers what they need — whether they are shoreside or poolside, via an app-based order. Users download the app and add a payment method, at which point the app uses geolocation to identify the closest partner resort to the user.
Once the app knows where the customer is — and which establishments are serving that iced tea he/she desires — it then provides the menu, photos, prices, descriptions and average wait time for an order.
After that, it’s pretty much like every takeout order on a mobile device in history: the user picks their food or their cocktail and order. The apps geolocation then pinpoints the user via GPS so their server can find them on the beach. Oh, and users can also order things other than food. Sunblock, straw hats and towels are particularly popular, Benza noted.
“Obviously it is a very Uber-esque function, but we think a very sensible one, as it very clearly fills a consumer need. We also supply our users with a wait time so that people aren’t sitting on their blanket staring at the ocean but afraid to go swimming for fear they will miss their lunch.”
And apart from being a great opportunity for beach-goers to enjoy a day of sun and surf, which is now that much more relaxing, it also offers their resort partners a way to increase their beachside business without unnecessarily complicating the workflow.
“Everything is done through mobile payments and the orders go directly into the kitchen. It is very specifically designed to be [a] plug-and-play for our partners … alongside the existing staff function. At the end of the day, the workflow is the same if the server were to come and take that order, but the hotels we work with are already seeing a spike in revenue.”
EazyO is certainly improving the life of beach-goers, but currently only those in Miami, as that is the only city they are in these days. Expansion may be on the horizon, but it will most likely be in Florida for the time being.
“I think the nice thing about innovating vacation experiences is that there are an awful lot of ways to streamline them and make good experiences even better.”
Not to mention people usually spend money on vacation too.
We’ll keep an eye on how well they can spread those good experiences off Miami’s beaches.