High Tech Ties: Hospitality, Streamlined

Tabit’s software is making restaurants easier to operate

Israeli company Tabit’s software is making restaurants across the U.S. easier to operate

By Doreen Hemlock

Walk into the trendy Asian-fusion restaurant Kyu in Wynwood, and you’ll find servers with iPads taking orders electronically and clicking to send those requests to the kitchen. There’s no paper or pen, no walking the ticket to the chefs to order the Wagyu Beef Brisket. Later, your bill comes on the iPad too.

Credit Tabit Technologies, an Israeli company whose mobile-first platform helps restaurants and hotels streamline operations. Tabit’s cloud-based platform was built to benefit everyone in hospitality: servers, kitchen staff, owners, delivery folks, and customers. In Israel, the platform is now used by more than half the country’s larger restaurants, says co-founder and President Nadav Solomon.

Tabit set up its U.S. headquarters in North Miami in 2020. It’s now expanding across the United States, with its software in restaurants from New York and Chicago to Dallas and Lansing, Michigan. The company also is partnering with Florida International University, training students at FIU Bistro to use its platform and showcasing its offerings at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival that FIU helps run, Solomon says.

Key to Tabit’s success: data. Solomon says restaurants often focus on food and ambience, not keeping close tabs on operations. Yet more efficient operations can boost performance and profits. For example, more accurate and quicker ordering can turn over tables faster and help servers earn more tips.

Solomon and a partner, Barry Shaked, founded Tabit in Tel Aviv in 2014. Shaked had experience in retail; he’d earlier founded a company that made point-of-sale software for stores and then sold the business to NCR for $800 million. Solomon had a background in the food business: he’d studied biotech and food engineering and had done strategic consulting in the food industry.

The partners long aimed to expand to the U.S., given Israel’s small market. They first tried to grow from Dallas, where Shaked had business contacts. But they soon switched U.S. headquarters to South Florida, an area Solomon describes as similar to Israel: coastal, international, multilingual, and innovative, with lots of independent hotels and restaurants and an openness to newcomers. “In Miami, people are warm and embraced us. There’s a great tech community. The government helps. And I have Israeli friends in startups who relocated here,” says Solomon. “I feel like I felt in Tel Aviv.”

Today, Tabit employs some 35 people in North Miami of a total 240 worldwide. It expects staff to increase to 55 in North Miami and 310 globally by January, bolstered by funding that now tops $100 million, led by Vertex Ventures Israel, says Solomon.

Growth is expected not only from restaurants in the U.S. and Israel – Tabit now serves 1,500-plus eateries in those two countries – but also from hotels and new international markets. Tabit launched in the Bahamas and Greece this year and plans to start up soon in Germany.

Of course, global expansion brings challenges, some because of the larger scale. “When we start with a restaurant in Denver, we need to make sure we have people there,” says Solomon, as he builds a far-flung sales network. “In Israel, you don’t think about that; you can drive anywhere in two hours.”

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