Amid the pandemic, a startup that's flown mostly under the radar has built a 7,000-strong list of restaurant clients throughout the U.S. since its inception in 2013. Its niche? Prominent restaurants from Asia - some with a Michelin Star to boot - seeking to expand into the U.S. This startup, aptly named MenuSifu, or a "guru" of the restaurant business, is putting its money where its mouth is with a fresh new Series B tranche led by Challengers Venture, to the tune of US$20M in funding
Menusifu has a penchant for knowing the ins and outs of both operating a restaurant in the U.S. From facilitating transactions through its Point-of-Sales (POS) terminals, supported by a back-end solution that uses AI to optimize a restaurant's operations from within the restaurant to running deliveries outdoors. And to its credit, Leo Li, MenuSifu's Co-founder and Co-CEO revealed that on average (based on a sample of 10,000 accounts) restaurants have seen a reduction of as much as 20% in management costs using MenuSifu's POS. And the company has slowly grown to secure the largest market share of Asian American restaurants as clients among POS platforms.
To cater to overseas clients that are used to operating their businesses in an entirely different way of operating, the company has become an expert in guiding Asian businesses to navigate running a restaurant business in the U.S. Where some restaurant businesses expect always-on customer service from its service providers, this means offering 24/7 customer service and in multiple languages - an advantage few of MenuSifu's competitors are willing to navigate. And not surprisingly MenuSifu is credited as the platform that's kickstarted the now notable names like Michelin Star Bistro Na's, Fu Niu Tang, and Tiger Sugar to become today's mainstay in some communities throughout the U.S.
Plus, MenuSifu has seen an increase in pandemic adoption as its platform has been upgraded with what it calls next-gen POS solution. And to sweeten the deal, MenuSifu has partnered with Google and Yelp to offer one-click online orders. Combined with an AI-driven POS solution, it's solving the very human problems customers have been plagued by throughout the pandemic. As consumers have increased their dependency on food deliveries, restaurants have struggled to catch up on staffing or scaling up its operations. Restaurants have faced deliveries of incorrect orders, an unforeseen uptick in business costs, or an increase in delivery times â all of which often results in negative reviews and a measurable impact on a restaurant's bottom line.
"We view these new, pandemic-era challenges as opportunities to expand meaningfully in our adopted market, and improve customer service standards across the industry," said Leo Li, MenuSifu Co-Founder, and Co-CEO.
With US$20M in fresh funding, the company is beginning to look outward. Equipped with flexibility to offer a customizable POS platform that not only traverse cultures but is proving itself to be integral for restaurants to scale, MenuSifu is bringing this model that's worked for its Asian-American clients, to the mainstream namely the rest of the U.S.
"It's our goal at Challengers Venture to seek out industry disruptors capable of redefining a sector innovators like MenuSifu." said Founder & Chief Executive Officer Binsen Tang. "This is a pivotal moment in digital transformation for the sector, and MenuSifu has the means to integrate an incredibly broad set of use cases across the entire US industry. The customizable nature of MenuSifu's POS system translates into vast market opportunities for the post-pandemic future."