Founder & CEO of Meez, Josh Sharkey, on Building the Operating System for Chefs
A clear trend is these days is the Ops movement. DevOps, AdOps are the most well-known, but more and more support functions are having dedicated systems and platforms created to help support their roles.
Our guest today, Josh Sharkey, Founder and CEO of meez, is pioneering the Food Tech space and creating a Google-Drive for restaurants and chefs. He talks about being a non-technical founder and why he wanted to build a dedicated platform for chefs.
About Josh Sharkey:
Josh started his career as a line cook working for renowned Chef Rick Moonen, he worked his way up the ladder in the NYC food scene (including working with Mario Batali) and became Chef at Gray Cafe in 2004. In 2009, he founded his own restaurant chain, Bark Hot Dogs. From there Josh became COO at Aurify Brands in 2016. Aurify includes chains Five Guys and Le Pain Quotidien. He founded meez inside Aurify in 2017 while still COO, and went full-time at meez in 2020.
In this episode we discuss:
01:28 How Josh’s journey in the restaurant industry lead him to founding meez
04:29 Lessons learned from his first startup Bark Hot Dogs
07:06 The early inspiration for meez
08:22 The off-the-shelf solutions he tried prior to building something for himself
09:54 Why chefs have been forgotten in technology solutions prior to meez
12:26 How Josh’s experience has shaped the product offering from meez
13:29 Finding user adoption in the chef community
14:50 The process of building his MVP
16:16 The preconceived notions that needed to rechecked after getting user feedback
18:16 Why meez is finding traction
20:36 How the vision for the company has evolved as more customers have onboarded
21:31 Meez’s data strategy currently and moving forward
24:32 Content strategy for meez
26:10 What Josh cooks for his family
27:41 How recipes add into meez and work for him
29:42 Plans for the recent $6.5m seed round with Stuck Capital and Craft Ventures alongside the Founder of Bento Box
Everything is my fault.
Fresh pizza dough