Any startup founder will tell you their team is building an innovative product.
But it only takes a few minutes of chatting with Brendan Sweeney, CEO and co-founder of Popmenu, to know that his foodie-focused team is creating a platform that is changing how local restaurateurs do business in 2020.
Popmenu started when Sweeney was working abroad and tried to pick out options from less-than-stellar online restaurant menus, which were mostly stale text PDFs.
“When we started the business we thought it just seemed cool to have menus that looked great,” Sweeney told Hypepotamus. “But then we got to know restaurateurs, and we were like, ‘wow, you’ve kind of been abused by technology.’ It could be third-party platforms screwing them over, or local contractors or an agency. I can’t tell you how many people we’ve run into where we hear that there is some guy holding a domain hostage or a person who won’t let data go.”
Popmenu has evolved to become a full-service customer engagement engine for independent restaurants of all sizes. The platform helps manage everything from digital marketing, menu experience, and ultimately online ordering.
“We’d gone on this journey where ‘this could be cool’, to ‘wait, this could be really helpful.’ Then we got into COVID, and when you go to 100% off-premises dining, and then you’re paying 30% margins to a big marketplace…that’s wrong. You aren’t going to be able to run a business like that,” continued Sweeney.
Fresh off a $17 million Series B round from Bedrock Capital, we sat down for a video conversation about how the funding will help Popmenu bring on new talent and expand their overall business. You can watch the entire recorded conversation below.
You can hear Sweeney talk about the type of people he looks to hire, what Popmenu’s team dynamic is, and what it’s like to help local restaurants weather COVID.
For Sweeney, it’s been a humbling and hopeful experience to work directly with local restaurants during this uncertain time. He added, “If you don’t get fired up about that, you definitely should do something else.”