Q and A with Mike Wallace, CEO and founder of Perfect Company

The Vancouver-based company recently secured a $6 million Series A round of funding

Courtesy of Perfect Company

Vancouver-based Perfect Company recently secured a $6 million Series A round of funding, which will help bring to market Perfect’s tech solutions that address operational challenges for the restaurant, grocery, corporate foodservice and c-store industries.

The company recently launched Pick-Up technology in partnership with manufacturer Middlby that provides customizable, modular, secure cabinets for improved and contactless food take-out experiences. The cabinets can be heated or ambient to maintain food quality and freshness, and remove the need for person-to-person contact – key in these times. Perfect also offers Kitchen Workflow, a platform that adds precision, consistency and management visibility to the art of food production to help minimize waste, better manage food costs and simplify staff training.

The Vancouver Business Journal recently completed a Q and A with CEO and Founder of Perfect Company Mike Wallace.

MIKE WALLACE CEO & Founder, Perfect Company

VBJ: Tell me about Perfect Company … when was it first started, who started the company, who currently owns/operates it, what services/goods does the company offer?

Mike Wallace: Perfect Company was founded in 2015 by me, Michael Wallace, CEO, and Miriam Kim, COO, along with Philip Odom and Dari Barri. The company began in the consumer tech space making smart digital scales connected to a mobile app. This was born out of a personal quest to be able to make the “perfect cocktail,” thus the name. We wanted to be able to measure ingredients easily to make a drink or recipe consistently every time, and have it taste delicious. 

Perfect Company has evolved to now provide measurable technology solutions to operational challenges for the restaurant and hospitality industries. Our systems give foodservice managers a new level of control and visibility over the food preparation and pickup processes, helping make restaurants and other food establishments more efficient, effective and profitable through our two key products: Perfect’s Kitchen Workflow technology and Perfect’s Pick-Up Cabinets. 

VBJ: Since first starting the business, what type of growth have you seen? Revenue growth? Employee growth?

Wallace: We are really proud of the success we had in the consumer space and are excited to now be working in the commercial sector. We currently work with restaurants, corporate and academic cafeterias, and are growing into new sectors for us like grocery and c-store, sporting venues and burgeoning sectors such as ghost kitchens. We are continuing to sign on new customers in the foodservice industry and have recently added restaurant industry and technology veteran Jayson Tipp to our team as Chief Growth Officer. He will be instrumental to our success long-term.

We made the very difficult decision to furlough team members at the start of the pandemic as we awaited what was to come in the industry. With our recent $6 million funding round, we’re able to hire people back, we’re looking to grow our staff count and expand our offerings in the commercial space.

We are a private company, so we don’t share our numbers publicly. But, we are a start-up and are early on in our growth story. We have a number of clients and they range from single location foodservice operators to one of the largest QSR brands in the world.

VBJ: Why did you choose the Vancouver area for the home of the company?

Wallace: Miriam and I reside in Vancouver and felt that the area was ideal and perfectly conducive to the work we do. We found a strong talent pool of innovators and industry leaders locally that we’ve brought on and believe that we’ll be able to continue to grow here. 

VBJ: Tell me about some of the recent funding you secured and what the funding will do.

Wallace: We recently completed a $6 million Series A funding round led by Oxbridge Capital Partners, Ltd., which will enable us to further our growth and product development. Their support will be instrumental as we embark upon such a pivotal time for our company and continue to empower our customers to adapt to the changing needs of consumers in the foodservice space.

VBJ: I would love more details about the pick-up technology recently launched … are there any restaurants in the area that have already signed on to use this new technology?

Wallace: We partner with established foodservice manufacturers such as Middleby to create connected cabinets that allow any type of foodservice set-up to serve food and drink without the need for interaction between staff and customer. Not only is this particularly fitting for the times we are living in today, the consumer increasingly demands food “off-premise” – outside the four walls of the traditional restaurant, for example. People want absolute convenience, and that was the main driver for our work on the Pick-Up Cabinets. Customers can order via mobile app or web site, walk up to the cabinet, scan a QR code sent to them and a cabinet door will automatically open where their food is stored securely. Staff can easily load orders in through the other side of the cabinet making the process very streamlined. Further, cabinets can be programmed to be heated, refrigerated or ambient according to the operator’s requirements. The cabinets seamlessly integrate with digital ordering platforms, POS and guest messaging with customer-facing hardware to provide a touchless pick-up experience for consumers and even deliver service drivers. 

None of our current installations are in the Vancouver or Portland areas. That said, we are working with several brands that do have local locations. In addition, we would be thrilled and welcome the opportunity to share our products with local operators.

VBJ: I would love to also hear more about the Kitchen Workflow … how it works for restaurants, if any restaurants in the area currently use this or will be, etc.

Wallace: In the back of the house, our Kitchen Workflow platform enables operators to add precision, consistency and management visibility to the food production process. You would be amazed at how easily food waste and cost can add up just through a lack of consistent recipe execution. The platform provides interactive scale technology and digital workflows with just-in-time cues integrated with equipment to ensure crew members execute tasks consistently and accurately while reducing waste and food cost and increasing speed of service. Customers also benefit from consistent quality. How many times have you ordered a specialty drink at your local coffee shop and it tastes a bit different each time? These tools help alleviate that challenge.  While we don’t have permission to share the details, we do have a local franchisee of a global restaurant chain using our Kitchen Workflow platform and demonstrating compelling results. 

VBJ: What are your plans for the future of Perfect Company?

Wallace: As a company, we are committed to continuous innovation and driving operational excellence for our customers. In an industry with razor thin margins, it’s essential that foodservice operators optimize their workflow systems to reduce food waste and provide a safe and controlled user experience to keep consumers coming back for more. We are very optimistic about the year ahead as we grow our customer base, add global enterprise brands, and continue to create an optimized solution from the back-of-house to the front-of-house.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.