5. Louiza Hacene

Company: Malou

Founder: Louiza Hacene

Website: https://malou.io/en/restaurant-marketing

About Malou


Restaurants operate in an exceptionally competitive market, where reputation and customer loyalty are key to success. Digital and social media have revolutionised the way that consumers discover and interact with restaurants, and tech-savvy restaurateurs have successfully capitalised on this. However, traditional restaurateurs and time-poor, budget-poor establishments have struggled to keep up with the demands of digital media alongside running an actual restaurant. That’s where Malou comes in.

Originally founded as a digital marketing agency in 2018 to help restaurants to attract and retain customers, the business’ growing customer base (of which the majority were well-known French restaurants and dining groups) helped the agency to triple its revenue between years two and three – thanks in large part to the agency’s focus on using automation to improve its efficiencies, productivity and results for its customers. This led to the lightbulb realisation for Louiza that there was a significant opportunity for a tech-focused performance partner for restaurants.

Covid-19 shutdown and pivot

Unlike most companies in the hospitality industry, the Covid-19 pandemic helped Malou in that restaurant owners were quiet and therefore had the time to think about their wider operations.

Working alongside some of its early restaurant owner clients, the Malou co-founders (now a group of three, with Waad Toumi joining as Chief Product Officer and Victor Sage joining as Chief Technology Officer) spent much of 2020 building its proprietary technology and algorithms which would enable it to pivot the business from an agency to a SaaS model.

A powerful solution made by and for restaurants to enhance their online presence

Malou is dedicated to providing tailored digital marketing solutions designed exclusively for the restaurant sector – including integrating a restaurant’s Google Business page, social media profiles and restaurant listing and delivery platforms all into one centralised hub. Malou then utilises AI and automation to intelligently analyse and generate responses to customer reviews, generate social media posts, and maintain consistent information across all owned channels – all of which enhance restaurants’ online presence, SEO, visibility and social media engagement. And, ultimately, enhance a restaurant’s reputation and attractiveness.

In an era where nine out of ten customers choose restaurants online, Malou has emerged as an essential tool for restaurateurs. The platform’s comprehensive offering manages and improves the entire relationship between restaurants and their customers, from discovery and conversion to customer satisfaction monitoring and loyalty building.

Now a team of 50, the business works with 2,000 restaurant customers across 12 countries, including independents, food chains, top chefs, and high-profile restaurant groups – such as Bagatelle Group, Krispy Kreme and Jean-George Group’s Tin Building marketplace in New York City. It recently raised €10m from prominent investors (including Bertrand Jelensperger (founder of The Fork), the SaaS B2B experts henQ, Bleu Capital, Jim Texier (former CPO of Lightspeed), as well as several restaurant clients).

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