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Foodi reconstructing the mobile menu

What is Foodi Menus?

Foodi Menus is a West Coast startup changing the face of restaurant menus.

The current industry landscape

With the hospitality industry bearing the brunt of the current labor shortage and the Omicron variant bringing renewed restrictions to dine-out experiences, the food-service space can't afford to risk providing its customers with a sub-par experience. As mobile delivery services continue taking 30% of every order, the situation for restaurants, bars, and other dining establishments is grim at best.

Enter, Foodi - an innovative smart-menu platform enabling non-technical restaurateurs to easily create compelling, interactive, and mobile-optimized experiences. In a tech-averse industry barely surviving the pandemic, Foodi provide an intuitive menu system to better cater to and engage customers, drive personal interactions, dynamically adjust offerings, and effortlessly optimize marketing.

The birth of Foodi

Foodi was born out of frustration with early QR code menu experiences during the food-service industry's initial response to the pandemic. By now everyone has gone through their fair share of struggling to navigate a PDF menu from a phone while attempting to order - but for Foodi founder Ben Fisher, once was enough. The initial 5 seconds after his first QR code scan were full of delight with the innovative experience before him, the next 10 seconds - mainly confusion and annoyance. By the 30 second mark, the inspiration for Foodi had taken root and has continued to guide him ever since.

Setting out with no more than an idea, a marketing degree, and 2 years of management experience, within 365 days of his first QR code menu scan Ben had developed an MVP and was ready to bring it to market... or so he thought.

After a summer of testing for market-fit and coming up empty handed, Ben consulted with the rest of the Foodi team (two business advisors, an outsourced development team, and a part-time sales rep) and came to the realization that they had missed the boat with QR code menus. This was the start of Foodi's first major pivot.

Up until that point the Foodi messaging approach was built around the concept of offering restaurants a replacement for their current QR code system directing to a PDF menu. But the initial problem that started Foodi wasn’t a lack of systems for managing a QR code menu. The real problem was that PDFs were never intended to be used for mobile menus, whether or not a QR code is involved - and the PDF alternatives were not much better. As such, the Foodi messaging was updated to promote a system to easily manage a compelling mobile-friendly menu - no matter where it's displayed.

Foodi's goal

What Foodi provide is a trustworthy menu. So when a person goes to a restaurant’s website or scans a QR code at his favorite bar or when one finds a new food cart on Google or Yelp or through social media, customers can trust that they will be able to not only view a Foodi menu from their phone, but easily understand it. With this vital shift in key messaging, the Foodi Menus team identified another opportunity that had previously been thought of as a competitor due to their QR code focus: Website Designers.

By partnering with website designers, digital marketing agencies, and brand management firms, the Foodi system finally started to gain traction in the industry. Because the system was initially designed for use by food-service teams, web design outfits could now offer dynamic, customizable, and modern menu experiences to a much wider range of hospitality customers than they could at their prior price-point for comparable capabilities.

"As the world evolves to offer more interconnected and customizable experiences, expect to see more Foodi menus delivering food-service displays optimized for the masses' high-tech appetite." -Ben Fisher, Foodi Menus Founder and CEO

Looking towards the future, the Foodi Menus team is staying true to Ben's initial vision. Whilst their competitors see food-service menus as an afterthought, Foodi realize's that a smart-menu is the key to an effective, efficient, and enticing end-to-end dining experience. Instead of offering complicated features built for a few large corporations with extensive teams, Foodi prioritizes features that improve self-service, better catering to the 70% of the market composed of do-it-yourself restaurateurs.

Customer experience

One customer Foodi is working with right now (who prefers to remain anonymous until their menu goes live), is a group of food carts attempting to get more business from a nearby mall. Their previous strategies included handing out flyers to mall employees, and getting the mall's marketing team to list them on the mall website. But with little more than a 3 sentence description on the website and a general indication of their location, the food carts' business had yet to improve. In an effort to drive more traffic through their most powerful marketing tool - their menu - we're working on a dynamic menu experience to entice customers to venture outside. By displaying each cart's individual Foodi menu through a single QR code, relying on great visuals of every menu item, and working directly with the mall marketing team to post their "Group" QR code throughout the mall, the food cart pod is well on its way to receiving consistent business from mall employees and patrons alike. And thanks to Foodi's unique display capabilities, each cart is also able to add their own Foodi menu on their website, social media, and on the mall's website - with the assurance that potential customers will know exactly what they're selling and where to get it within seconds.

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