My name is Michael Avniel and I am the CEO of Majordomo. I started my journey in the industrial Kitchen at my school cafeteria when I was 14 years old. Having managed multiple restaurants since, I learned a lot about the progress and flow of inventory in the industrial kitchen.
Our VP R&D partner, Adir Elfersi, is a software architect with the best experience in IoT.
Raed Abu Leil, our business development manager and consultant, is the General Manager of the YMCA three-arches hotel in Jerusalem. Before that, he was the financial accounts manager of the hotel. He taught us a lot about inventory cash flow in hotels. We like working together and we learn a lot from each other.
A few years ago, as I was doing inventory counting at a restaurant I was managing, I noticed that the industrial kitchen had a very big problem. There wasn't an easy way of tracking the exact inventory status in real-time.
Inventory management systems exist, but if you want to be correct and precise with your orders, you need to update them manually, which involves a lot of paperwork. If you want to know the status of your inventory, you need to be in the kitchen, open the refrigerators one by one, check every product, assume how much you have, and write it down with pencil and paper.
That causes a lot of problems because you don't know where the food goes. Your employees may be taking stuff home without you knowing, or they may be wasting more than they should. Without your hand on the pulse, you’re missing a lot of inventory.
I was looking for a software solution to this problem but I couldn't find anything that could give me the real-time status. Some software systems learn from the point of sale, so if, for example, someone orders a hamburger, they truncate one bun, a burger, and 2 slices of tomato from the inventory. That system is far from accurate and only tracks the food that you sell. If something goes to the trash because it burnt or fell on the floor, those things are not reflected in the system. That’s one of the aspects that Majordomo is helping to solve.
I started working on a solution in 2018 under the brand name Smart Container. During the 2020 Covid pandemic, I had a lot of time to interview hoteliers because most of them were shut down or had very few guests. I interviewed 10 senior hotel managers, and I learned a lot of things that made me realize that our product is much more than a smart container, it’s an inventory management solution. We evolved and made significant changes to our software and we are now starting to pilot with a big hotel here in Jerusalem.
We recently won a startup competition and were granted the opportunity to tour Spain with Telefonica corporation to start a pre-seed investment. We are going there next month and we are really looking forward to it.
Majordomo has devices and sensors at the source inventory that send all the relevant data to the cloud. When food products arrive from the supplier, they immediately know how much they have and how much they use, giving the business owner more control and knowledge of inventory changes. For example, if you’re running low on tomatoes, you’d get a message saying you need to order more before you actually run out.
One of the hoteliers I interviewed had a rooftop bar, a restaurant, and a dining room for the hotel guests, each with its own kitchen, and one inventory system for all three. The hotel owner didn't know how much food was being used in each of the kitchens. This was a huge blindspot because they could not know how much each dish cost them. If you don't know what your cost is, you don't know if the dishes are profitable. That is one area we are trying to solve and one of our main differentiators.
If we take McDonald's as an example, they have thousands of branches worldwide, and those branches are managed by franchisees that buy the food from McDonald's. They don't have external suppliers. I imagine that somewhere in McDonald’s logistics center, there would be a computer showing the real-time inventory on every one of McDonald's branches.
From that, they can learn how much they use and how much they need to order for tomorrow. They can learn a lot about the spending and efficiency of each branch. If two branches are selling 200 burgers a day, but one uses 15kg of tomato while the other uses 20kg, this is the sort of difference you can learn a lot from.
So, our vision is to create that unified view and make it accessible for food inventory managers with a tap of a finger.
Eventually, our goal is to create an autonomous inventory management system that would not only predict and prevent stock outages but also place direct orders when and where they are needed.