Restaurant tech player Zenchef has raised over €50 million from PSG Equity as it consolidates its position as a European leader in this space. The strategic and financial partnership will help scale new growth and development of even more digital solutions for restaurants.
Today’s restaurant experience is vastly different than it was even just a couple of years ago. From selecting the restaurant, booking it, checking out the menu, ordering, paying and so forth, the experience now has an inherently digital touch. We book via our mobile, we order with QR codes and restaurants themselves manage things from a digital interface.
Restaurant tech pioneers Zenchef have been innovating in this sector since 2011 and have now been served up a tasty investment deal.
PSG Equity partnership
Today, the Paris-based company has announced an investment of over €50 million from PSG Equity (“PSG”), a growth equity firm partnering with software and technology-enabled services companies to help accelerate their growth and build scale across Europe and the U.S.
With PSG’s support, Zenchef’s management team aims to accelerate its growth in Europe, notably through a sustained growth strategy and by developing new B2B and B2C products to further strengthen its position within the restaurant tech sector.
Xavier Zeitoun, Co-founder and CEO of Zenchef: “We believe this partnership with PSG marks the beginning of a new chapter of growth and reaffirms both the relevance of our solutions and our strategic position within the restaurant industry. In PSG, we have found an ideal partner with a strong track record in accelerating growth for software companies. With their strategic, operational and financial support, we are solidifying our ambition to become Europe’s champion. In our view, PSG will enable us to identify the relevant synergies to better serve restaurant owners and their customers, and help us pursue our ambitious recruitment plan.”
Digitization of restaurants
Founded by Xavier and Thomas Zeitoun and Julien Balmont in the earlier days of the global digital takeover, back in 2011, Zenchef is now one of the key players in the restaurant space. The scaleup offers a set of innovative tech solutions that both facilitate an enhanced customer experience and optimized front-of-house operations.
Using the system, restaurants can control all their front-of-house operations (reservation and venue management, website and digital menu management, marketing activities, click and collect, mobile payments) from a single platform while owning their data. Having all these solutions in one integrated and comprehensive platform helps restaurant owners to increase occupancy, improve customer experience and minimize marketing spending, leading to better profits.
It’s certainly been an exciting ride for the restaurant innovators who have now managed nearly 50 million reservations for its partners, resulting in approximately 170 million restaurant diners, including more than 42 million in 2021.
Zenchef is also now operating in more than 15 countries, with a leading position in France, Belgium and Switzerland supporting over 7000 restaurants including about 180 Michelin-starred chefs, such as Anne-Sophie Pic, Yannick Alléno ou Alain Passard, as well as major restaurant groups like Groupe Bertrand, Del Arte, Ninkasi and La Criée.
Sustained growth strategy
Now, the ambitious team wants to keep growing and innovating. They are doing this by developing new B2B and B2C customers as part of a growth strategy centred around constant innovation that strengthens their market position.
As part of its growth strategy, Zenchef acquired and integrated startup Billee last year which enabled the launch of Zenchef Pay – a mobile payment solution for restaurant bills. This autumn, the company plans to bring out its own customer mobile app. Dedicated to foodies, this free application will allow them to check in real time the availability of over 1,500 restaurants in Paris and to make reservations. It will include various features that are intended to make the user’s experience more enjoyable, such as a geolocation service, themed restaurant rankings, reviews, and many more features.
Xavier Zeitoun added: “With the upcoming launch of our first consumer mobile app, we are closer to fulfilling our mission to an industry that has been severely tested in recent years and to which we want to bring the best technological solutions.”
This fresh investment will help push forward these plans and the app will serve as a launch pad for Zenchef to develop into the foodie market as well as helping restaurants forge closer relationships with their customers – a key trend in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Charlotte Lawrence and Edward Hughes, Managing Directors of PSG: “In a rapidly evolving restaurant market, we are delighted to begin a partnership with a restaurant tech leader and a company that is responsible and committed to restaurant owners. With Zenchef, we believe we have identified not only one of the top software solutions on the market but also a scalable business with a strong brand and an ambitious and talented team that is particularly well respected by restaurant owners. Together, we believe these factors strategically position Zenchef to capitalize on the strong opportunities of the digitization of the restaurant industry.”