Noticing “significant operational inefficiencies in restaurants, pubs and bars”, City Launch Labber Joel Satchi (Executive MBA, 2020) envisioned a business which would make ordering food and making payments quicker for customers. With this determination, Emenunow.com – the only plug and play mobile ordering and payments service for hospitality – was born.
We caught up with Joel recently to find out more about his new business and how his time at City encouraged him to take this step…
Can you tell me about your time at the Business School?
I spent a lot of time focusing on all that City had to offer with respect to entrepreneurship support and was involved with City Launch Lab, as well as the entrepreneurial modules offered in the MBA. I met my business partner as a result of the network I built through the MBA. The group trips to China, Silicon Valley and Vietnam showed me how fast hospitality-tech was being adopted across the world and inspired me to commit to developing a hospitality-tech business in the UK sooner rather than later.
What happened after you graduated?
I developed Emenunow.com, a hospitality-tech business that enables hospitality venues to virtually publish their bespoke branded menus, accept orders and payments for sit-in dining, collection and delivery using existing hardware that is faster and cheaper and more scalable than any other solution on the market.
Tell us how the idea for EMenuNow came about?
I spent a lot of time as a consultant working away from home and noticed significant operational inefficiencies in restaurants, pubs and bars, which resulted in them taking too long for ordering and payments, so I wanted to develop a solution to resolve this. My research identified that venues really disliked big brands like Deliveroo due to high costs and lack of brand personalisation. For example, on Deliveroo you are just another venue grouped with the many venues in your area and your branding is lost. The venues wanted their own virtual presence that was very personalised so that they could control more of the customer journey with respect to ordering, payments and loyalty without the high fees.
What has been the most rewarding experience?
The connections I made at City have directly resulted in my business being launched. The most rewarding experience was watching our first client accept ordering and payments going through our system.
What has been the biggest challenge with launching EMenuNow?
The mass influx of competitors due to COVID-19 has meant that we have had to quickly differentiate our product. We have now re-positioned ourselves as the only company that can integrate with any existing system, meaning in some cases, we are the only company that can provide an integrated ordering and payment solution. For other venues, we can save thousands of pounds and have our system installed in days vs weeks compared to our competitors.
How can other people get involved?
If you know of a new restaurant, pub or bar that would benefit from working with EMenuNow, I am offering £50 for referrals. Also, if anyone would like to invest in the company, I’d be delighted to hear from you. If interested in either of these opportunities or would simply like to find out more, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
There is nothing more rewarding than starting your own business and seeing it being used by customers. If you have a passion to start a business and have an idea, try and make a very cheap version of your solution and test it with potential customers before committing. Always make sure you are making something that customers want before you invest heavily.
Thanks to Joel for taking the time to chat to us.