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Restaurant software startup CEO details expansion plans in Greater Louisville – Louisville Business First

Jaspal Singh, CEO of the restaurant software development company DiningTek, never expected to work in the food business. In fact, Singh left India to study technology in the U.S. specifically to get away from restaurants.
“My family background is food and restaurants. They sent me to school to keep me from restaurants and kitchens,” he said.
After receiving a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Wyoming in 2001, Singh moved to Colorado and became a software developer in the health care industry.
However, in 2016 some family members who owned restaurants in Colorado started complaining to him about their problems with online ordering platforms. Singh said technology companies were charging his relatives a lot of money for using their platforms, sometimes up to 35 percent of sales, while also diluting the restaurants’ brand recognition.
“When you order from DoorDash, GrubHub, or UberEats as a consumer you’re not remembering the restaurant, you’re remembering GrubHub,” he explained. “My family started showing their crankiness to me about this because I was the kid they sent to technology school. They said it was time to start paying for all of my free meals.”
Singh co-founded DiningTek in 2018 with Linda Carlson, a former co-worker with a marketing background. The company provides marketing automation, branding and online sales under one platform for restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and food wholesalers.
DiningTek offers restaurants an array of services at different price points, depending on the services they choose. The company offers e-commerce and marketing services on a subscription basis starting at $300 a month, but if customers do not want a subscription model they can pay DiningTek 10-15% of the sales generated through the company’s software.
DiningTek started in Broomfield, Colorado with five customers – restaurants owned by Singh’s close family and friends. But today, it has more than 200 customers in Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Wyoming.
“Anything we do has to be branded and marketed locally for them,” Singh said. “Our competitors will keep bringing consumers back to their own platforms. We are bringing diners back to these restaurants.”
DiningTek moved its headquarters to Kentucky in 2021 after being named one of eight winners of a startup competition sponsored by Render Capital. The contestants each received a $100,000 investments, but they were required to open offices in Kentucky.
Singh said the Render investment encouraged DiningTek to focus its expansion plans on restaurants in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Missouri.
“What has happened is that Render has brought to the foreground the Midwest and the Gateway to the South, which is Kentucky,” he said. “We are having conversations with the Kentucky Restaurant Association as well as talks right across the river in Indiana.”
Singh said the company expects to start onboarding customers in the Greater Louisville region in the next 90 days. He added that DiningTek could also be making an announcement later this month about a major investor from Indiana.
“At this point, the company doesn’t have permission to share their name. They have invested in our company already, and that’s why we are maintaining a presence on both sides of the river,” Singh said.
DiningTek currently has 10 employees but Singh said the company will be adding staff in Kentucky and Indiana in the coming months in anticipation of the increase in business.
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