Our Why Dún Laoghaire campaign aims to showcase why our town is a great place to do business and feature as many of the unique, creative and innovative enterprises that call our town home.
In our December campaign, we speak to 20-year-old James Fahy about his brand new company, JustTip, who are located in Dún Laoghaire Enterprise Centre. We hear how he and his 19-year-old co-founder Ciara Walsh have left university to become entrepreneurs and pursue their ideas to create a successful business model – and all from Dún Laoghaire!
“We both worked in hospitality so we know where the shortcomings are with conventional tipping and we were in a café this time last year and we wanted to tip but we didn’t trust the system as we didn’t know if the money would be going to the staff at all – so that’s really where our idea came about.”
Keep reading below to hear all about this Dún Laoghaire company and what it could mean for your next hospitality experience or even for your business and staff!
JustTip – A Dún Laoghaire company bringing transparency to tipping employees for their hard work
We asked James Fahy, the managing director of JustTip, to explain the whole business model of the 16-week-old company in his own words.
“Essentially we’re a contactless payments company in regards to tipping. So what we’re trying to do is bring transparency to tipping for employees and the consumer as well.”
James explains that JustTip’s system allows tipping to go directly to the employee with no management involvement. He says traditionally cash was the option for tipping or just putting it through the card machine and that meant tipping was a grey area.
“But what we’re doing now is bringing complete transparency for both the customer and the staff member..”
While the company has only just begun, James explains they already operate out of 85 locations across Ireland and UK, with €50,000 in tips already collected and received by employees thanks to the company’s technology.
What’s different about JustTip? They’re offering a solution that’s never been offered before
When it comes to tipping, in recent years it has become a contentious issue, with one well-known Dublin restaurant making headlines for their system in relation to the practice.
However, as Mr Fahy explains, JustTip’s hardware system sets them apart from their competitors and gives them a distinct advantage, which in turn is good for the businesses they supply, but also for their customers, as they can rest assured knowing exactly where their tip is going.
“We offer two solutions. The hardware solution is new and nobody else on the market offers a system where you can just tap your card off a machine and it takes the payment and that’s it.
“We also direct the funds to each individual employees bank account, based on the hours they’ve worked, so we’re bringing complete end-to-end transactional reports to employers.”
“Dún Laoghaire Enterprise Centre has given us a positive space where we can do our work and separate it from home life”
James tells us JustTip are based out of the Enterprise Centre in Dún Laoghaire, which is home to Digital HQ – the not-for-profit organisation that’s run by local man Eoin Costello, which champions small business and promotes and supports the digital growth mindset.
“When we came to work in Dún Laoghaire and the office we found it’s just a really nice place to be in. It’s also a brilliant area with creative innovation with other great companies,” Fahy explains.
“As we are starting up with a really low budget, the rent is very affordable so it is allowing us to establish ourselves and get going. There’s nobody in the Enterprise Centre that you wouldn’t want to talk to, everybody is so warm and friendly and very forthcoming with helpful advice and compliments.”
There’s also a personal connection to the area for James, as he lived in nearby Dalkey for 10 years, however, he still does live within the county area.
Parking, transport, the community and the amenities is what made JustTip call Dún Laoghaire home
James explains before the business had a bricks and mortar presence he had looked at office space within Dublin city but very quickly realised he didn’t want to locate JustTip there.
“We decided against town for a number of reasons, such as the issues with traffic, parking and the sheer fact it is so busy.
“Everyone thinks that town is place to be in terms of working but at the end of the day €3.50 an hour for parking adds up and you’re spending time too commuting.
“From a financial and personal point of view, it takes me just 10 minutes to get to work.”
James adds that the transport links are an attractive draw for businesses, with the frequency of the DART and bus systems meaning it’s easy and hassle-free for him to have to travel for a business engagement.
The future of JustTip from Dún Laoghaire – “We’re staying put, even if the company grows we’ll just get a bigger office!”
While JustTip is still in its early stages, James and his co-creator Ciara are staying motivated and looking ahead to the future.
They’re keen to get as many businesses within our town on board and help them and their employees with their tipping system. Asked for more detail on this, James says: “We’re working on it!”
JustTip are also calling Dún Laoghaire their permanent home with James assuring us even if they do expand – which we hope they will – they will not leave the area: “We’re staying put, even if the company grows we’ll just get a bigger office!”
“We’re here to stay,” concludes James.