ontario contact tracing

Toronto startup is helping restaurants do contact tracing

Three Toronto entrepreneurs have created a software to help local restaurants with contact tracing.

GuestLog - described as a smart way to log restaurant visitors that's easy for both the business and customer, was created to aid with the reopening of the city during Stage 2 and 3.

The three founders had gone out to eat in Collingwood and noticed the restaurant handwriting everyone’s contact information on a sheet of paper.

Restaurants are required to keep a log so in the event of a COVID-19 case, they can check when that person visited and alert other guests who were there at the same time.

"It was all on paper and really unorganized," Stephen Hakami, one of GuestLog's founders told blogTO. "People's information was there - not held securely. Not to mention, everyone was sharing a pen."

From then, it was decided that a better solution was needed and GuestLog was born.

The service launched about two weeks ago and received funding and is now free for restaurants to use.

The Good Son, MeNami, The Slip, and Han Ba Tang are just some of the restaurants that joined before even knowing the service was free.

About 40 restaurants in Toronto have already signed up so far and some have signed up in other countries, according to Hakami.

Customers doesn't need to download anything but restaurants using the software need to download the app and sign up.

Each restaurant is given a phone number and a little form they can print out to display the number to guests.

When someone visits the restaurant, they text their name to that number, according to Stephen.

That information is then securely stored in the company's system for 30 days.

"One thing we know that's key to keeping people safe as businesses reopen is contact tracing," according to Hakami. "If we can track down where someone with the virus was, we can alert others and effectively mitigate the spread of Covid-19."

"This is the reason that governments across the globe are obligating restaurants that open to collect a piece of contact information from their visitors," he wrote. "It sounds great, but in reality, this is hard to execute."

So Hakami and his team created a software that is easy to use, secure, smart, easy, and safe.

"We just wanted to help in the grand scheme of things," Hakami said.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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