MustHaveMenus Surpasses 8000 Restaurants Mark, Lands $500k Financing

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Seasoned team sees rapid adoption of its cloud-based menu design and restaurant social media marketing service. Seeks to build freshest menu database on the web.

MustHaveMenus, the menu management company, announced today that it had successfully closed a Series A financing round of $500,000. Additionally, the company reported that more than 8000 restaurants are now active subscribers to its cloud-based menu template and social media marketing service for print and digital menus.

The company has grown rapidly in the past year by providing sandwich shops, cafes, bars, pizza parlors, fine dining establishments and many other types of restaurants with the ability to update menus online and then print or publish them. Storing menus in the cloud enables last-minute changes, like menu substitutions, specials, and price changes that help restaurants stay profitable. The service also delivers cost savings by decreasing the need for expensive work from designers or print shops. Finally, the site simplifies social media marketing by giving restaurants a one-step process for publishing menus to Facebook.

"MustHaveMenus is in an active space where many companies are vying to help restaurants manage their menu data online," said founder and CEO Jim Williams. "The difference between MustHaveMenus and the others is that we support the branded, printed menu first and foremost, which is mission-critical for restaurants. Managing menus for online promotions is secondary. This creates the perfect flow, where updates to menus go to the tables first, but can also instantly be published to Facebook."

Williams said proceeds of the fundraising would go towards the company's growing effort to help restaurants convert designer desktop menus to digital format in the cloud. The financing was accomplished through prominent angel investors and CEOs, including Sam Shank, CEO of HotelTonight, Howard Love, CEO of LoveToKnow, and Doug Colbeck, former CEO of Trails.com.

"We chose to invest in MustHaveMenus because we felt they had created a real differentiator from other menu data aggregators, they’ve got a great value proposition for restaurants, and they have real revenue,” said investor David Hehman of Spartina Ventures. “Plus, we have a lot of confidence in Jim due to his strong startup track record."

MustHaveMenus was formed in September 2011 when it was spun out of Internet incubator Letters & Arts. The mission of the company is to revolutionize the building and storage of menus to increase their effectiveness in print and to maximize the power of menu data on the Internet and mobile devices. The company’s 8000 restaurant clients create more than 30,000 menu updates every month. The company charges a $15 monthly fee for restaurants to gain access to menu templates, including entire menu sets, then print or publish them online. MustHaveMenus’ founder Jim Williams is also a co-founder of Internet companies Ellinee, Sharefaith and MarketHome.

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