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Vita Mojo: the software company that runs its own restaurants

The restaurant industry has had the same technology solution providers servicing its needs for years and it has historically been difficult for new software firms to gain traction in the sector. That is the view of Vita Mojo founder Nick Popovici, who has plans to change that situation.

Popovici, who launched Vita Mojo three years ago, has opened three restaurants of his own under the company name. And his team use these sites – located in London’s Spitalfields, Bank and St Paul’s – to prove the business’s technological capabilities.

“The restaurants are 100% a showcase and testing ground for new ideas,” he explained.

“One of the big questions restaurants have [when procuring technology] is, ‘does it really work?’ They worry about trying something new.

“We felt the need to prove the benefits and show bottom-line benefits. Our argument is ‘these are the ways we can fix your problems, and here is the proof’. That approach has won us our clients to date.”

Food services company Elior is one of those clients, as is the Black Sheep coffee chain.

End-to-end operation

Vita Mojo aims to provide an end-to-end operating system for its clients, from the kitchen to the point of sale, all of which will be intrinsically linked to a consumer’s mobile app, which enables customers to start ordering food personalised to their needs and without the need for cash transactions.

When ordering from Vita Mojo restaurants, for example, customers can choose their own ingredients, specify quantities, transact on app, and then pick up their tailored dish at a time most convenient to them. Running restaurants allows Vita Mojo to iron out software bugs before launching with a client, too.

Speaking ahead of his conference session at this year’s RBTE, where he will discuss his and Vita Mojo’s vision of the cashless restaurant, Popovici said: “Three years ago we envisioned what the restaurant of the future will look like, which is basically ultra-personalised food for the consumer, very convenient and very digital, and with automation at the back of house.

“We went and built three restaurants to push the boundaries and prove that what we envisioned is not only feasible from a technology point of view but also through high demand from customers.”

Popovici says his three eateries are serving close to 1,000 people each day, but he sees the company’s future very much as a software business, not a larger restaurant chain, and it has already made significant ground in winning large clients in just six months since going to market.

He also acknowledged there are plenty of franchise offers being waved under his nose each week, but it’s as a technology company that the organisation wants to build a market identity.

“Our plan is to help those in the industry personalise or automate – we want to make the industry more profitable – it’s well documented that it’s struggling at the moment,” he explained.

“And we want to give the customer a modern experience, a more transparent, informed and more controlled experience. We’re trying to help the customer make better choices.”

RBTE takes place at London’s Olympia, 2-3 May 2018.

You can register to attend here 

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