Kim Antoniou’s husband nearly died in 2013 due to an allergic reaction after a restaurant told him the wrong ingredients in a dish. Since then she has devoted her time and energy into developing software service Kafoodle – aiming to make allergen information more transparent and accessible for businesses and customers.
Her friend, Tarryn Gorre, was enlisted as a co-founder, providing an industry perspective from time spent as a consultant within hospitality and growing up in a family of hoteliers.
(1) Who are you and what’s your business?
We are Kim Antoniou and Tarryn Gorre who jointly founded Kafoodle in 2014. The original idea for Kafoodle was based on a EUFIC legislation that came into effect in December 2015 which dictates that all food and drink outlets in the whole of the EU must show, on demand, all information relating to any allergic ingredients in everything that they serve.
Kafoodle Kitchen is a user-friendly, cloud-based hospitality software service developed using the latest responsive online and mobile technology. Food and drink businesses can easily upload menus onto Kafoodle Kitchen which will then highlights the allergen information for each and every dish, producing a functional data sheet with all information clearly displayed.
What’s more, when a business signs up to become a Kafoodle Kitchen, it automatically list itself on Kafoodle App – a fantastic marketing tool which links directly with allergen-conscious consumers.
(2) How long have you been around for?
I originally started the development in early 2014. Having the background in online and mobile development coupled with having my severe allergy suffering husband lead me to change path altogether and set up putting together a plan to deliver Kafoodle. Some 18 months on we have a fully robust and tested kitchen management system and mobile app.
(3) How will you make money?
Our kitchen software is a SAAS product and sold on licence to the food and drink industry. It’s a low cost per unit but as it’s a European legislation and of worldwide interest we believe that high volumes will make it in incredibly lucrative. Just as a sense check there are over 275,000 restaurants in the UK alone. Even if we only manage to get a small percentage of the market share we will still have an incredibly lucrative proposition.
(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?
What makes Kafoodle completely unique to others is the story behind it and our intent. We are not only out there to make money (although that’s obviously very nice!) we are out there to make the dining experience become pleasurable again for those who suffer from severe allergies, and hopefully in time start to build trust so that they can eat with confidence.
(5) What was key in terms of getting started?
Having a clear understanding of what we are developing and why we are doing it. It’s easier to reach your target when you can see it in front of you. Then having the backing and support of an amazing business partner and expert board – and not least of all having enough money in the pot not just for the development but or the initial marketing and support infrastructure.
(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?
When I come across those who have severe allergies and show them the app they appear to be relieved that something has come out to bring back their dining experience. Knowing this app will make people confident to eat out again and that Tarryn and I are the reason behind it is definitely by far my biggest achievement to date.
(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?
There haven’t been so many setbacks as such, more minor delays though I now know it’s right when everyone says the tech always takes twice as long and costs double the budget.
(8) In five years’ time, I will be…
Hopefully on a beach – just one more great reason for bringing on board a younger business partner. More seriously, I can’t ever really see myself as ever being completely detached from the business but it would be nice to be a Kafoodle ambassador and leave the real work to Tarryn.
(9) What one tip would you give to others starting out?
Only build a business based on something that totally inspires you. Make sure that you understand what you’re doing and most of all know why you are doing it. If you don’t find yourself eating, sleeping (even dreaming) what you’re doing on a daily basis then you are probably doing the wrong thing.
(10) Who are your business heroes and why?
Angela Ahrendts – her innovation and passion for digital enabled her to completely transform Burberry into a modern sexy brand. She has a great ability to inspire and motivate.
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