Brendan Sweeney knew nothing about the restaurant business before he and his co-founders started the Atlanta-based startup Popmenu.
What Sweeney knew was that it was crazy that while every other company was using incredible graphics, curated text, carefully crafted images, and fancy videos to showcase customers in restaurants – publish a text-based menu.
“It’s just crazy for restaurants to showcase their inventory, which is their whole story, all of their sales,” said Sweeney.
Popmenu, the company he founded with three former colleagues from software companies in the Atlanta area (that has secured $ 17 million in new funding), has a solution.
Popmenu is more than just a pretty website for the savory scholars whose coding skills may not match their kitchen craft. The software also helps with social media management, email delivery, and even the vital delivery services that are vital in times of a still-spreading pandemic.
It’s the pandemic that has fueled the company’s growth, Sweeney said. “We saw trends for ten years in the first ten weeks of COVID-19,” he said. “A lot of people weren’t prepared for this.”
Sweeney and his co-founders Mike Gullo, Anthony Roy and Justis Blasco had both worked together on CareerBuilder or Commissions Inc. It was the experience with Commissions that Sweeney and his colleagues came up with the idea of starting Popmenu.
While Commissions was about creating tools that local realtors and agents could use to take back power from the big online platforms they ate their lunch on, Popmenu offers restaurateurs the same tools for small businesses.
“I received this playbook to help small businesses with SAAS. [And we’re] We’re helping restaurants regain control of Yelp and TripAdvisor, ”said Sweeney.
Other companies around the country, like Los Angeles-based ChowNow, are trying to do something similar. While ChowNow focused on online ordering, Popmenu started marketing and … well … popping menus.
The company will use the new money it has raised to add services such as on-site contactless transactions, and from there it could connect from the front-of-the-house to the back-of-the-house operations as well as the Ordering and fulfillment are made services.
Existing investors like Base10 Partners and Felicis Ventures returned to fund the company’s Series B along with new lead investor Bedrock Capital. Popmenu has also received celebrity funding in the form of a commitment from Mantis VC, the newly formed investment firm of the popular Chainsmokers band.
Apparently they wanted something like that loud Milan Koch from Mantis VC. “When Alex, Drew and I met the Popmenu team, it was immediately clear to us how much they really cared about restaurateurs,” Koch said in a statement. “We had close ties with property owners and hotel groups around the world and knew the unique challenges they face. We loved how Popmenu’s product can help impact their businesses in so many different ways.”
Popmenu sells its software for a monthly fee of $ 269 per location.
“So many industries have seen trends radically accelerated by the COVID crisis, probably no more than the restaurant industry,” Sweeney said in a statement. “They saw technology as the key to dealing with these challenging times. We aim to help them even more in attracting guests and reducing costs and complexity on the path to recovery. “