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Anonymous restaurant check-in offers option for security-wary diners

Anonymous restaurant check-in offers option for security-wary dinersImage: iStock

A Canadian company called, I Checked In, has released a contact-tracing service that restaurants and other businesses can use to contact customers who want to keep their identities anonymous for services like pizzeria dining reservations. The service was created to help diners concerned about the sharing of their personal information online. I Check In's system allows venues to still reach customers without ever actually knowing or seeing their personal information, a news release said.

The company's product encrypts all customer information throughout its use, keeping individuals anonymous to the restaurant or any other business using the service. However, the company said that users' personal information can be shared with what the company called "relevant government bodies," for situations like an outbreak of COVID-19 at a pizza business where health authorities could reach those affected if needed. The product also allows for contactless check-in and customer menu usage.

To use the service, brands sign up, create a "pin" that generates a QR Code, allowing guests to go to the website, enter their PIN or scan the QR code, before they are asked for their names and numbers. That information is stored in encrypted form, along with the restaurant location that they visited and the time they "checked in."

Guests remain anonymous to the restaurant brand and the company said that means diners' information can't be mishandled, misused or lost. In fact, in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 or other illnesses, the restaurant can notify I Checked In immediately and the company informs healthcare organizations that can contact customers, the release said.

After check-in, visitors can also view any types of special or regular menus, as well as the physical and social media addresses and other information. Restaurants can also add the service directly to their own websites or get creative with the tools I Checked In provides.

The company, founded at the end of May this year, is made up entirely of a solo entrepreneur, Avi Lugassy, who co-owns of a small restaurant brand, called Soupa Cafe Ltd, that was hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. The loss of revenue sparked an interest in finding a better way to help people customers who prefer that they're information not be tracked.

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