We’ll see you in there.
Connect to customize your food & drink discovery.
Imagine a world where food and technology collide––a world where they seamlessly collaborate––and in the age of COVID-19, benevolently fight the spread of a global virus.
Mentum Group, a Toronto-based start-up company launched by Joshua Gao, Austin Jiang, Lawrence Pang and Mogen Cheng, took off during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to set the standards for a long-awaited relationship between food and tech. The platform makes ordering from a restaurant and their menu a simple, safe and accessible action.
"Since the start of the pandemic, we've seen an increase in the use of fourth industrial technologies," said Gao. "It almost seemed like a new website or app was emerging every day, but nothing came close to tackling the chaos and disruption caused by COVID-19."
Mentum's digital services streamline the order management process for both restaurant owners and consumers, all while making it an interactive and engaging experience.
For the customer, Mentum's services offer convenience, customization and care.
"The customer scans the QR code and is then brought to an interactive menu. That's the difference between our online ordering system and a typical QR code. Our customers are presented with a digital world tailored to the restaurant, rather than a stagnant and oftentimes cluttered PDF menu," says Jiang.
These new technologies only added to the confusion and complexity, Gao added. The quad eventually joined together to create a platform that was user friendly and seamless to help restaurants and retail businesses survive the pandemic, but also to help them move forward afterwards as well.
In control of the company's partner and customer relations, Gao takes care of all things business. Pang and Jiang oversee Mentum's back-end development, in charge of production and integrations. As the Chief Data Officer and a published author in machine learning, Pang is the person to go to when any technical issue arises. Supporting Pang, Jiang assists with the development of the company's customer-facing applications and infrastructure as the Chief Technology Officer.
Cheng, the only Mentum founder who works in the restaurant industry, acts as the Chief Product Officer. As the company's right-hand man, he guides the developer team while supporting Gao in business meetings.
"Even before COVID-19, the industry was quite limited in terms of its technological advancement. Apart from the occasional Uber Eats or SkipTheDishes order, we weren't doing much. Although it seems quite bleak, I was inspired by this limitation. I wanted to create a digital experience that was much more convenient, something richer and more dynamic," says Cheng.
With Mentum, you no longer need to flag down a waiter. You can browse the restaurant's menu, place an order and set customizations without more than a click of a button.
"What we want people to know is that Mentum is not a replacement for on-the-ground workers, we're creating a seamless digital environment for owners to stay relevant in the future," says Gao. "We want to help businesses and customers through this difficult time with an affordable digital toolbox. And to do that, we have to support them at every step of the way."
On the other end, the business owner reaps similar benefits. Besides the obvious advantages of organization and convenience, the restaurant can monitor real-time sales and assess the data-driven insights provided by Mentum's customer analytics, identifying areas of potential growth.
Mentum also offers digital services and ordering kiosks for local restaurants all over Canada at a convenient and affordable price, granting them the opportunity to compete with massive franchises.
Post-pandemic, the team is confident that the business will continue to evolve and prosper, regardless of any obstacles or challenges––even a global outbreak.
Over the past year and a half, Mentum has acquired partnerships with over 1600 stores, including Ghost Kitchens and Yorkville's Sassafraz, but they hope to raise this figure into the thousands by the end of 2022.
"I see Mentum as being able to provide each restaurant with a speed of digital tools," says Pang. "This isn't something that's just going to stop. There are a ton of opportunities for growth and although the pandemic might have sparked some of these changes, they won't end with its existence."