Startups have raised nearly $2.5B to integrate digital features into nearly every aspect of restaurant operations.

While the restaurant industry represents nearly $800 billion in annual spending in the US, it remains highly fragmented, with 90% of restaurants supporting fewer than 50 employees and 70% of restaurants operating just one location, according to the National Restaurant Association. To help restaurant managers improve operations, startups are aiming to integrate tech into nearly every aspect of the business, from CRM to inventory to engaging visitors while they wait for a table.

Investors have poured nearly $2.5B into the restaurant tech category globally since 2012, across over 600 deals. There have also been a number of acquisitions, including Yelp’s recent acquisition of seating management tool Nowait, and Subway’s acquisition of mobile restaurant payments platform Avanti Commerce. Revel Systems, which had been one of the most well-funded companies in the space with $128.5M, was also acquired for over $580M by private equity firm Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe.

We’re also seeing new investors in the space. Food delivery startup Just Eat, for example, recently launched a food tech accelerator whose investments included several restaurant tech startups.

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To better visualize the emerging restaurant tech startup scene, we put together the infographic below highlighting over 100 of these startups and the parts of the restaurant they target. We define the restaurant category as startups creating software or hardware to help restaurant businesses be more successful. While some of the startups below also work with other types of brick-and-mortar retailers, all have significant use cases in restaurants.

We also previously looked into the transformation of brick-and-mortar retail through technologies like augmented reality product displays and shopper-tracking beacons, as well as startups focused on grocery store management here.

Scroll down to view the graphic, read in-depth category descriptions, and see a company list with select investors. The graphic includes only private, active companies which have raised equity funding since 2012.

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Restaurant Tech

400+ items

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4.28.17 restaurant tech map

Categories and company list

Many startups focus on the restaurant front-of-house, tackling categories like:

Digital displays - Startups including Enplug provide digital displays for use inside restaurants, showing menu items, promotions, etc.

Guest wi-fi - Startups like Zenreach in the US and WiWide in China provide restaurants with guest wi-fi systems that can also track who’s logging on and off to help restaurants better analyze customer behavior and demographics.

Loyalty & rewards programs - Heavy hitters in restaurant loyalty include FiveStars ($89.9M in funding), LevelUp ($53.4M in funding), and Belly ($25.6M in funding). These startups offer points, reward systems, and sometimes pay-by-phone options for customers, as well as analytics and marketing options for restaurants.

Phone-charging stations - Several startups offer stations specifically geared toward restaurants, cafes, and event venues that let guests charge their mobile phones. Powermat, which raised $5M, works with Starbucks and others.

Reservation platforms - These startups, such as Resy ($15M in funding from Lerer Hippeau, Airbnb and others) work with businesses to offer reservation platforms online.This is a relatively crowded field.

Smartphone payment platforms - Startups such as TabbedOut ($41.1M in funding) partner with restaurants to let guests pay and split the bill directly on their own smartphones.

Table-top devices - Companies like E la Carte, with its Presto dining system, provide interactive tablets that let guests scroll through digital menus, place orders by touchscreen, and pay by card directly from the table. E la Carte has raised $68.5M in funding with clients such as Applebee’s and Outback Steakhouse.

Wait-list management - Several startups help eliminate restaurant lines with mobile apps that let guests join digital queues and receive notifications by phone. These include QLess with $3.5M in funding.

Other companies help restaurant managers streamline back-of-house processes, including:

Employee education - Schoox and ServeAnywhere provide digital learning tools focused in part on the restaurant industry.

Energy efficiency - LumaStream ($13.2M in funding) designs low-voltage LED lighting systems for restaurants. Small Box Energy ($5.6M) provides cloud-based HVAC control systems to restaurants and convenience stores to reduce energy and maintenance costs. Powerhouse Dynamics ($19.1M) works with restaurants like Burger King, KFC, Hooters, Bertucci’s, and Au Bon Pain to control HVAC and lighting and reduce energy usage.

Financial management - Sourcery and PlateIQ offer financial management software for restaurants, helping with accounts payable and more.

Food waste management - These startups help restaurants reduce and donate food waste. Boston-based Spoiler Alert, which raised $2.8M from investors including Campbell Soup’s fund Acre Venture Partners, is a software platform for businesses to track their surplus food, donate it or sell it at a discount, and register for the relevant tax benefits.

Inventory management - Companies like BlueCart ($4.2M in funding) help restaurants track inventory levels, streamline supplier communications, aggregate different supplier orders, and analyze costs.

Loss prevention - Startups such as Agilence and Envysion work with businesses to reduce losses and spoilage to improve profits. Envysion works with Chipotle, Popeye’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, and others, while Agilence’s clients include Au Bon Pain, Panera, and Cracker Barrel.

Marketing & CRM - These companies focus on restaurant marketing and building and maintaining long-term relationships with restaurant visitors. Zipscene, for example, which has raised $9M, works with restaurants to gather consumer insights to offer customer segmentation and improve marketing and loyalty programs.

Music systems - These startups provide smart music systems for restaurants and cafes. Rockbot ($6M in funding) gives clients like McDonalds, Panera, and Buffalo Wild Wings a digital music dashboard with curated music stations, while Stockholm-based Soundtrack Your Brand has raised $42M from investors including Spotify.

Restaurant management systems - These SaaS startups provide broad management platforms for restaurants that help control things like inventory, staffing, marketing, and financial management (some other categories in this graphic show startups that focus on just one of these features). Examples include Upserve, which raised $40.4M in disclosed funding and was valued at $111M in 2014.

Restaurant websites - Startups such as Bentobox help restaurants build and maintain websites.

Smart kitchens - A variety of startups are working to automate the kitchen, including Chowbotics (formerly Casabots) whose first product is a robotic salad maker. Zume is a CA-based pizza restaurant that uses a patented method of cooking robots inside their delivery truck, allowing the restaurant to automatically finish cooking each pizza en route to each customer’s house.

Staffing - Startups like When I Work ($24M in funding) provide software for restaurant employee scheduling and communication.

Tablet POS platforms – These startups all offer tablet-based point-of-sale systems for restaurants, aiming to give servers and cashiers faster and more mobile ways to process check-outs. (These are systems used by restaurant employees, not guests). For example, Berlin-based Orderbird ($36.4M in disclosed funding) provides an iPad point-of-sale system for the catering industry.

White-label delivery platforms - We’re all familiar with Seamless, of course, but the startups in this graphic offer white-label platforms for restaurants to create and manage their own online ordering and delivery systems. OLO leads with $62M in funding.

Restaurant Tech Startups Company List
Company Category Select Investors
Belly Loyalty & Rewards Programs Andreessen Horowitz, Lightbank, NEA, 7-Ventures
FiveStars Loyalty & Rewards Programs DCM Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures
Klikin Loyalty & Rewards Programs Caixa Capital Risc, PADEInvest
LevelUp Loyalty & Rewards Programs Google Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Balderton Capital
Loupe Loyalty & Rewards Programs Rand Capital
Mogl Loyalty & Rewards Programs Avalon Ventures, Jackson Square Ventures
Punchh Loyalty & Rewards Programs Cervin Ventures, VKRM
Servy Loyalty & Rewards Programs RiverPark Ventures, Food-X
Spendgo Loyalty & Rewards Programs Undisclosed
Enplug Digital Displays 500 Startups, Amino Capital
SchooX Employee Education Undisclosed
ServeAnywhere Employee Education Riptide Software
PlateIQ Financial Management The Restaurant Group, Initialized Capital, Tamares
Sourcery Financial Management FundersClub, BoxGroup
Copia Food Waste Management Y Combinator
MintScraps Food Waste Management N/A
Spoiler Alert Food Waste Management Techstars, MassChallenge
Cloud4Wi Guest WiFi United Ventures, Opus Capital
Purple WiFi Guest WiFi Juno Capital, Bill Currie
WiWide Guest WiFi Dianping, Tencent, Xiaomi
Zenreach Guest WiFi 8VC, First Round Capital, Felicis Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, SoftTech VC
Bevspot Inventory Management Bain Capital Ventures
BlueCart Inventory Management BlueRun Ventures
Dine Market Inventory Management N/A
eBev Inventory Management Sydney Angels
Meal Ticket Inventory Management Lacuna
Nix86 Inventory Management MassChallenge
Orderly Inventory Management TechOperators
Ordermentum Inventory Management Capital Markets Technology
Planet Table Inventory Management CyberAgent Ventures, Saison Ventures
SimpleOrder Inventory Management Cyrus Angel Fund
Trakbar Inventory Management Startupbootcamp FoodTech
WeissBeerger Inventory Management ICV, Innovation Endeavors
Agilence Loss Prevention Granite Ventures, NextStage Capital, Laurel Capital Partners
Envysion Loss Prevention Columbia Capital, High Country Venture
AppSmyth Marketing & CRM Constant Contact
Benbria Marketing & CRM BDC Venture Capital
HostMe Marketing & CRM Undisclosed
SevenRooms Marketing & CRM BoxGroup
Tock Marketing & CRM Upfront Ventures, Marc Benioff, Dick Costolo
Venga Marketing & CRM Fortify Ventures, BR Ventures
Plexure Marketing & CRM Vix Investments
Review Trackers Marketing & CRM American Family Ventures, CSA Partners
Tenzo Marketing & CRM Getti Restaurants, Acequia Capital
Zipscene Marketing & CRM Jump Capital, Blue Chip Venture Company, CincyTech
Rockbot Music Systems Detroit Venture Partners, Google Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners
Soundtrack Your Brand Music Systems Creandum, Northzone Ventures, Spotify
Doblet Phone Charging Stations SoftTech VC, GMO VenturePartners
Powermat Phone Charging Stations Navitas Capital, GM Ventures
Zon (Briggs & Thatcher) Phone Charging Stations Undisclosed
Chope Reservation Platforms Frontier Ventures, DSG Consumer Partners, NSI Ventures
Clubkviar (Kviar Ventures) Reservation Platforms 500 Startups, Emmergia
EZTable Reservation Platforms AppWorks Ventures, MediaTek
Pocket Concierge (Pocket Menu) Reservation Platforms 500 Startups, Line Corporation
Resy Reservation Platforms Airbnb, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, RSE Ventures
Reserve Reservation Platforms Sherpa Capital, Lowercase Capital, First Round Capital, Advancit Capital
Reserveout Reservation Platforms 500 Startups, iMENA Holdings, Jisr Venture Partners
Restorando Reservation Platforms Emergence Capital Partners, Kaszek Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners
Toreta Reservation Platforms World Innovation Lab
Velocity Reservation Platforms Initial Capital
HotSchedules Restaurant Management Systems Ballast Point Ventures, TPG Growth
Keru Cloud Restaurant Management Systems Baidu, Kaixuan Capital
Meiwi Buyongdeng Restaurant Management Systems Baidu, Dianping, Matrix Partners China
PeachWorks Restaurant Management Systems Allos Ventures, Huron River Ventures
Salido Restaurant Management Systems High Line Venture Partners
Squadle Restaurant Management Systems 500 Accelerator, Bolt Innovation Group
Toast Restaurant Management Systems Google Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners
Upserve Restaurant Management Systems First Round Capital, Index Ventures, Shasta Ventures, NextView Ventures
Bentobox Restaurant Websites Armory Square Ventures
TableHero Restaurant Websites Globevestor
Allset Smartphone Payments SMRK
Hungry Up Smartphone Payments BPI France, Reseau Entreprendre
myCheck Smartphone Payments Santander InnoVentures
myCheck Smartphone Payments Santander InnoVentures
QikServe Smartphone Payments Maven Capital Partners, Equity Gap, Par Equity
Spare Smartphone Payments Vested Ventures
TabbedOut Smartphone Payments NEA, Aeterna Capital
BistroBot Smart Kitchens Y Combinator, Carnegie Mellon University
Chowbotics Smart Kitchens Techstars
Innit Smart Kitchens Undisclosed
Zume Smart Kitchens SignalFire
7Shifts Staffing Relay Ventures, Globalive Capital
Brigad Staffing 50 Partners, Square, Uber
Planday Staffing Creandum, SEB Venture Capital
Shiftgig Staffing DRW Venture Partners, Chicago Ventures, GGV Capital
When I Work Staffing Greycroft Partners, Arthur Ventures,
Presto (E la Carte) Table-Top Devices Intel Capital, Romulus Capital, 500 Startups
Ziosk Table-Top Devices CapX Partners
iChef Tablet POS Platforms AppWorks Ventures
Gastrofix Tablet POS Platforms Entree Capital, Radenberger Group
L’Addition Tablet POS Platforms CM-CIC Capital Finance, Galia Gestion
TableSafe Tablet POS Platforms Swiftsure Capital
Lavu Tablet POS Platforms Aldrich Capital Partners
Octopus (Eleos Web) Tablet POS Platforms M1 Limited
Orderbird Tablet POS Platforms ConCardis, Digital + Partners
Shopkeep POS Tablet POS Platforms Tribeca Venture Partners, TTV Capital
Tiller Systems Tablet POS Platforms 360 Capital Partners
Touchbistro Tablet POS Platforms Relay Ventures, Kensington Capital Partners
Qless Wait List Management Wellington Financial Wait List Management N/A
ChowNow White-Label Delivery Software Upfront Ventures, Steadfast Venture Capital
Olo White-Label Delivery Software Core Capital Partners, RRE Ventures, eBay
OrderYoyo White-Label Delivery Software SEED Capital


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  • Joey Mucha

    Fantastic research on the rapidly evolving consumer dining experience and the technologies driving innovation forward. We’re huge fans at DotDashPay of self-serve payment experiences made possible by tablets and kiosks. I was in EWR yesterday and ordered a breakfast sandwich from a tablet, swiped my card, and 4 minutes later the delicious food was delivered to me. No waiting for the check, no confusion on my order, and it was effortless. That’s the way it should be. I think OTG Management created that self-ordering tablet payment experience.

    I look forward to seeing this space evolve and doing our part at DDP to enable more frictionless dining payment experiences.

  • Deap Ubhi

    Thank you CB Insights team for sneaking TableHero into the infographic! Only thing I’d like to add is that we’re SO MUCH more than just a restaurant website builder! We’ve got ambitious plans on taking over the entire tech stack that touches diners/end-consumers (digital presence, reservations/appointments and payments); and doing so by revolutionizing the onboarding experience (evident in how works!). Imagine a world where restaurants could build a website, or start accepting online reservations, or set up and install a new POS in minutes. Not weeks or months. We look forward to keeping the community up to date.