With roots in Europe, Atlanta startup launches payment solution for restauranteurs

Between tracking down the check, dividing the bill, calculating tip…and of course, remembering to pick up your credit card from the check presenter…paying for a nice meal out can quickly turn into a long and arduous process. 

From the restaurant’s point of view, handling payments can take focus away from providing the best food and the best customer experience.

The team behind sundayapp is looking to streamline both sides of this restaurant payment process. After a successful start in Europe, they’ve picked Atlanta as their US home. 

Co-founder Christine de Wendel has relocated from Paris to Atlanta to lead the growing team, which she said will grow to about 15 people over the next six months. 

“It’s a solution developed by restaurant owners for restaurants and for end consumers,” de Wendel told Hypepotamus. “You feel it in our product design, the ease of use, and in the dashboard we built for the restaurants. It’s really a solution that makes it possible to pay in ten seconds.”

Sunday expands upon the QR code menus that we’ve grown accustomed to during the pandemic. Whenever a customer is ready to leave — be it at the end of the night or after one cocktail — they can just scan the QR code to pay via Apple Pay or Google Pay without having to flag down a waiter for the check. 

Customers get upwards of 15 minutes back at the end of the meal, and restaurant staff can turn tables over more quickly while ultimately collecting more tips.

The app was first tested at 75,000 tables at Big Mama Group restaurants in Paris, London, and Madrid, which are run by sunday co-founders Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux


Funding The Future of Restaurants

Sunday certainly combines two things Atlantans love: FinTech and good food.

Their website playfully says they are building a ‘FunTech’ company, which is very much felt in the branding and overall design of the app. “We’re coming from the hospitality business. We’re a bunch of people who love to spend time together and love a good night out. So building a FinTech company with restaurateur DNA is really fun,” added de Wendel.  

If de Wendel’s vision for the future of restaurants doesn’t get your attention, perhaps sunday’s fundraising news will. The team raised $24 million in its initial seed round. 

New York-based Coatue, Europe-based New Wave and Global Founders Capital joined the round. De Wendel noted that several prestigious restaurateurs in Chicago and New York are part of the round, and they have helped serve as “ambassadors” for the startup. 

Half of the fundraising round will go in expanding the tech team and the other half will go towards quickly scaling sales and ops teams in the US, France, Spain, and the UK. 

Designed by restaurateurs, sunday offers the next generation of brick-and-mortar payment while creating post-pandemic operational efficiencies as eateries recover.

Being an international startup from day one, De Wendel admits, is bold. “It is extremely intense, but it’s really deliberate,” she added. “We’re pretty convinced we can tackle all four markets at the same time.”

For de Wendel, it comes down to timing. “With the pandemic, people have gotten accustomed to using QR codes. Most restaurants now have QR codes on the tables for menus, but it’s still a very small number of restaurants that have a payment solution with QR codes. We’re convinced that the timing is right because customer adoption through QR codes is huge.” 

She also sees the platform playing an important part in helping restaurants stay open in the wake of the pandemic. 

“Restaurants have been one of the industries hit the hardest by the pandemic. And so they’re really eager to innovate,” she added.

While starting with restaurant QR codes, de Wendel told Hypepotamus that she sees sunday as ultimately a “B2C payment tool” to “disrupt physical retail payments.” 

Sundayapp will go live this May in the US, just in time to enjoy a summer reunion with friends and family.


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