The Tinder for food app revolutionising the way Londoners find restaurants.

FoodMood is the Tinder for food app revolutionising the way Londoners find restaurants. The app lets users swipe YUM or YUK on images of delicious dishes to deliver personalised, local restaurant recommendations based on their tastes.

FoodMood uses a smart algorithm which analyses over a hundred food features to learn users’ tastes in real time – taking into account qualities including type of cuisine, ingredients and the way they have been cooked. The app was launched to help Londoners uncover local restaurant gems and explore the city’s vibrant gastronomical culture.

Charles Fattouche and Mehdi Kheloufi co-founded FoodMood in 2015. Born French, but Londoners at heart, they are real foodie geeks and have created technology that can read your mind – or, more accurately, your tummy – to help you find new food and restaurants that you’ll love. Charles and Mehdi tell us more...

The biggest challenge is... that there are only twenty-four hours in a day! In other words, we have to constantly prioritise and maintain a strict discipline on how we spend our time. We’re accelerating quickly which is obviously great but this brings its own challenges of managing growth affectively, which we are enjoying immensely.

The average day is spent... Two-thirds of it is spent executing on our plan for FoodMood, be it our growth, IT, marketing or business plan, while the remaining third is spent evolving our plan, i.e. brainstorming on new ideas and refining the short and long-term strategy for FoodMood. We also try out as many of the tens of thousands of restaurant dishes listed on FoodMood – a tough task!

The team consists of... Charles Fattouche and Mehdi Kheloufi are the two FoodMood co-founders who were born in France but are certainly Londoners at heart. Together, we have more than twenty-five years’ experience in developing sophisticated algorithms for work and for fun. That combined with our passion for food makes us what we would call “foodie geeks”. We have known each other for ten years and are essentially wearing all hats within FoodMood Limited, from coders, designers to marketers and business development.

Our favourite quote is... “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” - Walt Disney

We are where we are today because... of our sleepless nights. Perseverance is absolutely essential. Giving up is the only sure way to fail. We would also say the support of families and friends has been crucial to us. A lot of people when you start a new venture want to tell you why it won’t work and the problems you face but we can honestly say we didn’t encounter that when we began the FoodMood journey from those closest to us.

We are who we are because of... the many brilliant people we’ve interacted and worked with since starting our working life. We believe we can learn something from anyone and developing an attitude of being curious and letting people challenge us has very often helped along the way and particularly in the more difficult times.

The best advice I've been given... be passionate about your venture! Passion is what will drive you to work relentlessly, particularly during the more challenging periods. And trust us; there will be plenty of those more challenging times ahead. The other useful piece of advice we have received has been to not launch a business on your own. Having a partner or at least having a person you can turn to for objective advice and to challenge your ideas is hugely valuable.

In five years we'd like to be... reading millions of people’s tummies and telling them in real time where to eat! We believe our technology is unique and hugely valuable for people who like eating out, which is most of us. Our app benefits both consumers and the restaurants, so we hope to have firmly established ourselves as a genuine champion for food lovers and providers and help bridge the gap between the two.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... is that things evolve a lot quicker than you ever envisage and it is extremely tough to keep up! New apps are coming to the market every day which claim to offer something unique and we have to stay vigilant when potential competitors are launched.

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us... Our biggest regret has been not starting FoodMood sooner. Like many entrepreneurs, we were sitting on this idea long before we had the gumption to go ahead and do it. It taught us that ideas are one thing but execution is everything. We’ve always found that it’s the things that you don’t do which you ultimately regret rather than just taking the plunge.

The most rewarding experience we've had to date... is when we were voted a Top 30 App for Londoners by the Evening Standard only a few weeks after launch. It gave us a huge boost that lasted weeks! The second most rewarding experience has been when our respective mothers used the app for the first time and straight away got caught up in the game of swiping YUM or YUK. That was the confirmation that we had built something that was simple and addictive enough to attract a large user base.

January 2016