The purpose of “No Paper Menu”

Vision statement

WHY:  Good food fits your diet, tastes good and therefore makes you happy. No Paper Menu wants more people to enjoy good food.

WHAT: No Paper Menu is developing an app that matches people’s preferences and needs to good food in local restaurants. The technology allows you to first choose what you want to eat  and then finds where you can get this food.

HOW: The app learns about the personal preferences of users and filters the available dishes in the surrounding area accordingly. Users will be able to find fitting food based on their current cravings.

The bad rating on Airbnb

One of the first times I used Airbnb was on a trip to Madrid a few years ago. We went to see friends at a party in the centre of the town, lost track of time and had a great time. When we woke up it was way overdue to get to the airport. Nothing was broken but we had definitely left the place in kind of a mess.

I didn’t think much of it until I saw the less than flattering review. I got slow replies, if any, when I was trying to book rooms, as I was traveling in the US. Customer support said that I just had to get over it and improve my rating over time.

I love the concept of staying in someone’s home. A lot of times it’s more affordable and you feel like you are a part of everyday life. I felt restricted and like I was missing out on something good. Airbnb was a gateway to a way of life that I wanted, and eventually got back after getting better reviews over time. The service was something substantial. It made me feel loss.

Uber getting thrown out of London

I had begun using Uber pretty soon after they opened for business in my hometown Stockholm, Sweden. They offered black cab service with passionate drivers in beautiful cars at the same price as the normal cab companies. Looking back I see that their introduction of the cheaper service Uber X definitely contributed to my decision to sell my car.

When I moved to London Uber became an even more frequent mode of transport, since the underground lacked cellphone coverage. Being able to work while traveling made Uber the only sensible way to get around. I was going to airports, meetings and friends houses, with the inside of an Uber as the only constant framing the cityscape.

The London Uber ban of September 2017 came as a big surprise. There may be a chance for Uber to get a renewed license from the government body “Transport for London” through a court appeal in the coming months. Either way a company that I interact with solely through an app has proven to be something very substantial for me. I feel the fear of loss.

Eating out without “No Paper Menu” in 2019

I began using No Paper Menu during February 2018 soon after they opened up in East London. All of a sudden I had a marketplace of all the dishes in all restaurants around me and I only needed to see the food that was relevant to my diet and my taste. With London’s great culinary offering available, me and my friends started choosing what to eat before deciding on where to go.

We found ourselves queuing to back street vendors offering the neighbourhoods best dish in a narrow but highly sought after dish category. I had since long stopped worrying about the bill in restaurants since most places would accept payment through the app.

The service helped me depending on the situation I was in or the craving I had. I could find dishes that were healthy, near by, cheap and food that would expand my culinary knowledge and experiences. My taste was understood, articulated and used to match me with food in such a way that it made me feel very limited and restricted during the week when I had lost my phone during the fall of 2019.

There was a short circuit in my apartment which somehow managed to fry my iPhone. I was able to have the battery changed and they let me borrow a windows phone in the meantime. Some apps had a windows version, but not “no paper menu”. I soon realised how backwards things felt.

I was being treated to lunch by partners to the company and started reading the menu, scanning row by row, working my way downwards, trying to filter out the irrelevant choices and making mental notes of the things that would fit my diet, before returning to choose between the possible options. Later the same day I was meeting friends downtown for dinner and instinctively picked up my phone before I realised that I would need to play it by ear. I didn’t know the price range of the dishes before choosing a restaurant, how many dishes would fit my diet and most importantly I couldn’t see any ratings of the dishes or how they matched my taste preferences. Pausing the conversation around the table to calculate my part of the bill and pay felt like a strange distraction.

Eating without “No Paper Menu” feels clumsy and awkward. I miss how graceful and enjoyable it is to dine with the app. I realise that it’s a substantial part of my everyday life. I am feeling the loss.

The purpose – Happiness at scale

No Paper Menu want to bring more happiness to the world by enabling people to eat more good food. At scale, that’s something substantial.

Some of our sources of inspiration are:

The Hooked Model: http://www.hookmodel.com/
Good to great: http://www.jimcollins.com/
The Mom test: http://momtestbook.com/
Value proposition design: https://strategyzer.com/books/value-proposition-design
The Lean Startup: http://theleanstartup.com/

Our stack: React Native, GraphQL, Node.js, PosgreSQL

Apply to be one of the first users of the app in Shoreditch in mid December: [email protected]enu.com
Read about the values of No Paper Menu here and see the positions that are available here.
Apply to be a part of the London team by email: [email protected]

—  Jacob Notlov, The Founder and CEO of No Paper Menu