ZenMenu: Changing the Menu Game

When Luis Croussett and his long time friend, Carlos Paulino, were passing their time on a Christmas vacation in 2011 complaining about the long lines at several popular chain restaurants; how splitting the bill was always an issue and how sometimes you have to wait so long to place your order, get the bill or even pay, they never dreamed that less than a year later they’d be the proud owners of a brand new company, Flying Kick Inc., and the proud parents of a new product that would change the way restaurants serve up their menus and patrons place their orders.

ZenMenu (http://zenme.nu), a tablet based menu system that replaces old fashioned paper menus with tablets aims to save restaurants money by reducing printing costs and enhancing patrons dining experiences.

“We believe that tablet menus are the future, not just because they’re greener – (which we like) – but mainly because of all the benefits restaurants get from them.”  Many restaurants make menu changes on the spot based on their inventory, the table allows quick and easy updates on the fly. Run out of a special, take it instantly off the menu. Restaurants can get immediate feedback from customers on their experience. Find out about negative experiences while they are still in the restaurant and the establishment has time to react. Allow patrons to order and pay without assistance.  “We want to be the tool for restaurants to improve their business in this new internet age when it is not only important what is on a restaurant’s walls, but also what is on their website, Facebook or Yelp page.”  Croussett explained.

Luis and his team recently completed Techlaunch‘s 12 Week “LaunchPad” program which identifies and guides Technology focused start-ups in New Jersey. They were 1 of 10 companies to be the first to go through the accelerated program. “We applied, and the next thing we knew we were at an interview with a prototype explaining to the five judges why they needed to choose our company for their program.”  Croussett said. “The program was amazing. To be working next to nine impressive companies and coached by seasoned and successful entrepreneurs pushing you to get your product to market was a great experience. I would definitely recommend TechLaunch to any entrepreneur who is serious about taking his or her company or idea to the next level.”

The Zen Menu team consists of four long time friends – Luis Croussett, Rene Martinez, Carlos Paulino and Jose Peña. Luis met Jose in Elementary School. The two later met Carlos in High School and then Rene in College.  All four are originally from the Dominican Republic. Crousett is a Telecommunications Engineer with a Masters Degree in Telecommunication Networks and Systems from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. In Madrid he discovered his love for food which encouraged him to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts Management. He has worked for several multinational companies such as Vodafone, Rockwell Automation, Eaton Corporation and Hawaii, as Technical Project manager, product and process engineer.

Zenmenu just recently launched a free trial, which restaurants can sign up for by visiting http://zenme.nu/#freetrial. Tablets are rented for a small monthly fee. There are no contracts so restaurants are free to opt out whenever they wish.  There is also an ad supported model through a strategic partnership which allows the company to offer the ZenMenu tablets for free and split the revenue with the restaurant. This way they will have all the benefits of a digital menu and an additional revenue stream.

If the tablets break Flying Kick Inc. takes care of it. The restaurant just sends the tablet back and they ship a new one. Each tablet comes with a cover to protect from spills and falling damage. Every tablet also has anti-theft software installed. So if the tablet leaves the restaurant the company will know the location.

For more information visit  http://zenme.nu or send an email to info@zenme.nu.

Deborah Smith , Founder and Executive Editor of JerseyBites.com.  Launched in 2007 as a home for her growing collection of recipes, Jersey Bites soon grew into a hub for all things edible in the Garden State. In her spare time, (Ha) she works as a Social Media consultant and speaker.  You can learn more about her services and marketing through social media on her blog www.DeborahLSmith.com