Dublin-based Nory has raised a pre-seed round of $2m to help restaurants manage the full-suite of their operations with the tap of a button. From staffing and stock management to promotional campaigns, execution never looked so easy. The pre-seed round is led by Cavalry Ventures and Playfair Capital, with additional participation from Enterprise Ireland and leading angel investors from Europe and the US.
“Even prior to the pandemic, restaurants have faced a hugely challenging trading environment. The industry has low barriers to entry, meaning it’s super competitive and tough to differentiate. It’s also a labour intensive business with operating costs rising on multiple fronts, from ingredients to delivery aggregators. It leaves little room for error.
While the last 12 months have been devastating for the industry, it has also clearly highlighted the need for an evolution in the way of working. Restaurants of all shapes and sizes need to get more from every dollar spent,” says Conor Sheridan, CEO and founder at Nory.
He adds: “AI and automation will define the future of restaurant management – and Nory will be at the forefront of supporting these businesses to achieve a more sustainable and profitable future. We are delighted to have some of the sharpest minds in the investment community supporting us on this mission.”
Chickenomics: From trader to chicken shop to start-up CEO
Sheridan knows what he is talking about, having experienced the restaurant business first-hand. He was a quantitative trader and investment strategist before leaving his career in finance to found and launch Mad Egg in March 2018. Mad Egg is Ireland’s fastest growing independent restaurant chain. Within 14 months, Mad Egg grew to USD6m in annual revenue, a staff of 90 and, using an early version of Nory’s core technology, achieved 5x the typical industry profit margins.
This expertise has also convinced the investors: “We always pay immediate attention when we see that the founder has a deep understanding of the industry and its processes. That is the basis for an extraordinary product. And the product – as expected – absolutely convinced us: logically structured and intuitive to use, tailor-made for the hectic life of restaurant owners,” said Stefan Walter, managing partner at Cavalry Ventures.
Cutting edge technology for the restaurant around the corner
Running a restaurant is hugely complex, it is part data science, part logistics management and part theatre. Orchestrating all of the elements effectively is no mean feat. Nory pulls a restaurant’s world together into one centralised point of truth.
The product’s AI supports restaurant teams by learning and predicting the needs of the business and helping them execute operations more effectively. From what inventory to order, to what recipes to prepare and who to staff and when, Nory empowers data based decision making across the full-suite of restaurant operations. “We are not another product to ‘do the work’ on. Our automation lays the groundwork, allowing restaurant teams to confidently execute key processes with just one tap,” explains Conor Sheridan.
Up until now, such products have been reserved for a few restaurant chains at the top of the market. Nory is now looking to offer this game changing tech to smaller chains as well as individual restaurants. With his team of eight employees, Conor Sheridan already serves 25 customers. While Nory is looking to offer the technology to smaller chains as well as individual restaurants, the product has also caught the eye of some of the world’s biggest restaurant chains. In the upcoming quarter, they will launch a pilot project with McDonald’s.
“Despite the restaurant industry globally being a multi-billion dollar industry, it is still grossly underserved by the latest AI and automation technologies. Leveraging these and the lessons learned from Mad Egg, Nory empowers restaurant owners and operators of all sizes with never before available insights to run their businesses more efficiently and profitability. We’re hugely excited about the positive impact Nory will have on restaurants around the world and in accelerating a post-pandemic recovery for the sector,” said Chris Smith, managing partner at Playfair Capital.