This morning, xtraCHEF announced that we’ve raised $7.5M of funding in a Series A round led by MVP Capital with participation from existing investors ValueStream Ventures and Laconia Capital Group.

You can read the full press release here.

I wanted to take a moment to put this significant milestone for our company in the context of the hard work and dedication of our team as well as offer a glimpse of what this funding will mean for our current and future customers.

Since Bhavik and I started xtraCHEF, we knew that we were not only building a product, we were building a company. As we look around, we’re really proud of the people who make xtraCHEF what it is. We have a great team that works hard…around the clock and around the world.

I truly appreciate the contributions of each individual who has been part of our journey thus far. I also want to express my appreciation for our customers – some of whom have been with us since the very beginning – who have given us their trust and have been willing to join us on this journey.

Delivering Value

One of the core principles guiding our team is to focus on delivering value to our customers.

Now, a little more three years since launching, I can say with confidence that we are doing just that. Each day, thousands of users are using our cloud-based restaurant management platform to maximize profits and productivity at their restaurants.

In addition to our core AP Management features, our customers are using xtraCHEF to place orders directly to their vendors, monitor ingredient price changes, and closely manage food costs with our Budgeting and COGS Management tools.

We’re not only saving our customers tons of time and headaches, we’re improving their bottom-line.

xtraCHEF - AI-Driven Data Extraction & Cost Management Platform for the Restaurant Industry

What’s Next

Our mission is to provide foodservice operators with data to drive profitability.

With this next round of funding, we will continue to build on this mission and innovate on behalf of foodservice operators.

Here are four ways you can expect xtraCHEF to improve the value that we bring to the industry.

1. Transparency

Put simply, restaurant operators suffer from a lack of visibility, especially in the back-of-house.

There are so many blindspots in the restaurant business that can wreck havoc on a restaurant’s profits and throw them off of their goals. xtraCHEF’s robust reporting, dashboards and intelligent price tracking already provide real-time insights to prevent losses, but we know we can do more.

We not only want to continue to make it easier for restaurants to eliminate blindspots, but we also plan to make the procurement process more transparent across the board. We want operators using xtraCHEF to have timely, readily available data to make well-informed decisions about from whom they procure their goods and the price that they should be paying.

2. Access

Coming from years of working in enterprise technology prior to launching xtraCHEF, the lack of access to state-of-the-art technology for most restaurant operators was initially shocking.

We set out to democratize enterprise technologies by creating tools that were hosted in the cloud, accessible on any device and didn’t require teams of technologists or long implementation cycles. Our customers can now access tools and technologies that are used by Fortune 500 companies and can get a return on their investment in weeks.

Still, we’ve observed that as restaurant chains or groups grow, they are confronted with having to replace legacy systems in order to accommodate their changing financial and operational requirements. Yet, they are met with limited options.

We want to ensure our customers have good options as they grow versus feeling as if they don’t have the right tools to scale. We plan to continue to broaden our partner and integration options, so that restaurant operators don’t feel like they need to choose from inferior industry-specific systems and/or adopt one system that claims to do it all.

3. Experience

Steve Jobs said, “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”

What we often hear from our customers is that their existing restaurant management systems are just too difficult to set-up, to use and to maintain. We all know how fast technology evolves. Still, it’s likely that the interfaces of some legacy systems on the market today were designed decades ago!

We plan to continue our investments in improving the user experience so that our customers not only love using xtraCHEF, but they can use it on any mobile device or operating system. In fact, our product and UX teams have been hard at work, and we have some exciting new releases coming soon that we believe our customers are going to love.

We also plan to ensure that our Customer Success and Product Support teams continue to provide the best service in our space.

4. Intelligence

The term “Artificial Intelligence” gets thrown around a lot, so it’s hard to know what you should know and what you should ignore.

What you may think of when you think of artificial intelligence is IBM’s Watson or images of robots taking over the world. What you may not think of is the machine learning applied to invoice image recognition, line-item digitization, and automated GL coding.

Sound familiar? That’s right, xtraCHEF is already in the business of “Artificial Intelligence”, but we’re just getting started.

We plan to increase our investment in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the speed, accuracy and timeliness of the insights that we provide to our customers…again, it’s all about data to drive profitability.

We’re hiring!

Of course, in addition to the ways that I mention above, we will be growing our team. In the past year, we’ve opened new offices in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. Our Product Dev and Quality Control teams in India are also growing fast and outgrowing their current facilities.

To sustain the growth in our customer community and continue to provide our that community with superior service, we’ll be looking to add more smart, motivated talent to Team xtraCHEF. If you think you or someone you know would make a great addition to our team, please let us know.

Check out our open positions here.

Finally, I’d like to add that I love being a part of this industry.

The hospitality industry is filled with people who work hard, are passionate about what they do and are focused on serving others. We want to reflect those same values back to the hard-working folks in this industry by giving them tools to make their lives easier. We also look forward to giving back to the industry that has put us in a position to be successful.

I am really looking forward to this next leg of our journey, and I look forward to seeing you along the way.

On behalf of Bhavik & Team xtraCHEF, let’s go!

Andy Schwartz
CEO & Co-founder

Andy and Bhavik, Co-founders of xtraCHEF