Inspiring Innovator 2021 -

Inspiring Innovator one year on: The EMenu Now story

One year on from winning Inspiring Innovator of the Year 2020, Paul Beach, Head of Entrepreneurs caught up with Joel Satchi from EMenu Now to discuss investment, scaling up and new partnerships.


16th December 2021


Joel EMenu Now

Remind us of the pitch

With over 50% of all hospitality guests demanding a digital ordering experience, online ordering for table service has exploded in the last year and it’s here to stay. The problem is that most hospitality businesses are stuck with historic IT systems that don’t connect to the mobile ordering and payment solutions on the market today. These businesses are left with two options, either use expensive, unintegrated solutions that can cause chaos operationally and costly mistakes, or spend a fortune upgrading the IT infrastructure, which is simply not an option for most businesses.

EMenu Now solves this problem.

EMenu Now helps hospitality businesses provide better guest experiences and improve profitability using the world’s only ‘plug and play’ mobile ordering and payment technology. This means that any hospitality business, no matter how old their IT infrastructure is, can provide bespoke mobile ordering and payments solutions via a QR code and have those orders sent to the existing systems, without changing a thing operationally. Our integration innovation has been described ‘game changing’ technology by industry heavyweights. This differentiates EMenu Now from all the existing players in the market that can only connect with the latest infrastructure.

You were 2020 Inspiring Innovator of the Year. What did it mean to win?

The support from Arbuthnot Latham has been second to none and is one of the main drivers of our success.

Our first investor was a judge at the 2020 pitch and his investment enabled us to secure further pre-seed funding to grow our team from two to six people, open an office in Bristol and go from transacting £250 a month to £25,000 a month in the space of six months, and now we are on track to hit £1million a month in the next 12 months.  

How have you scaled up?

We went from working with small cafés in London to large hotels such as the Moxy hotel in Manchester and live trials with the UK’s biggest dessert parlour, Creams Cafe. We are now in talks with Primark to supply ordering and payments technology for their new Cafés and a large pub chain with 1000+ sites. We now have a roadmap to scale, the partnerships in place, the right leadership team and game changing technology.

You’ve been incredibly busy. What’s next for EMenu Now?

We are scaling through partnerships and now have access to over 50,000 sites in the next year through partnerships already secured. We recently secured a partnership with the world’s largest hospitality procurement company Entegra, part of Sodexo, who are including our services to their client base which includes the Four Seasons Hotels. Earlier this year we partnered with leading digital food safety supplier Navitas Safety to assist their 13,000 restaurants access EMenus that trace allergens from source to plate, providing a better, safer, guest experience.

What other changes are you seeing in the hospitality industry?

EMenu Now was designed with sustainability at its core. We want to help business promote sustainability by eliminating paper menu wastage and reduce carcinogenic thermal receipts used in the kitchen. That’s why we partnered with Sustainably Run, an organisation that helps hospitality businesses achieve net zero status as they plant a tree for every eligible order via EMenu Now. We are also working with tipjar to increase staff engagement by making tips accessible, transparent, and fair.

What would you say to this year’s winner, Smart Cirquit?

I would like to congratulate Smart Cirquit on their fantastic pitch and well-deserved win. The team seemed like they have landed on a really interesting idea with huge potential, so I wish them all the best.


Can we help?

If you are a business owner or founder and would like to understand more about how we can help you, please get in touch with our team.

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Read more

Simon Almond

Smart Cirquit crowned Inspiring Innovator of the Year 2021

We were delighted to host our sixth Inspiring Innovator of the Year in November, an annual event where we select four new businesses with the potential to disrupt their markets. This year, technology start-up Smart Cirquit took home the overall prize.


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