Pizza Express entrepreneur Luke Johnson appointed chairman of hospitality ordering start-up TellTheChef

Businessman behind leading brands such as Strada, Giraffe, and Patisserie Valerie, has taken an undisclosed equity stake in the company

Serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson has today announced that he has joined early-stage hospitality ordering service TellTheChef as non-executive chairman, having taken an undisclosed stake in the business.

The appointment of Johnson, head of private equity firm Risk Capital Partners, former chairman of Channel 4 and ex-boss of Pizza Express, Strada, Giraffe, Patisserie Valerie, and Gail’s Bakeries, is said to enable the tech start-up to “rapidly scale into a hugely successful business”.

Founded by restaurateur Andrew Norton, Oxford-based TellTheChef is a platform which looks to simplify group bookings and pre-orders for restaurants and event venues – a “Just Eat for pre-orders”.

Until today, the hospitality company had grown organically having established a client portfolio of leading venues such as the Malmaison hotel chain and the Royal Opera House.

It now intends to raise further growth capital which it will invest in its sales and technology processes.

TellTheChef founder and CEO, Norton, commented:

“The hospitality industry has been slow to innovate and simple ideas like JustEat, OpenTable and TripAdvisor have rapidly scaled into hugely successful business. We aim to do the same and we’re delighted to have the backing of one of Britain’s most foremost leisure industry entrepreneurs to ensure we get there.”

New chairman Johnson continued:

“Managing group bookings is time consuming and prone to human error. TellTheChef makes pre-orders easy and creates a direct link with each customer that helps restaurants grow their customer base and obtain detailed feedback data. As a simple innovation that solves a big problem, TellTheChef is a scalable business with great potential.”

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