Episode 05

The Challenges of Adopting an Agile Mindset

Julien Balmont, Founder and CTO of Zenchef, talks about leveraging agility to execute an org-wide pivot and how teamwork can translate into hard metrics like customer retention and lifetime value.

Julien Balmont Founder and CTO of Zenchef

Episode 05

Julien Balmont - The Challenges of Adopting an Agile Mindset

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Joining Vikram on the show today is Julien Balmont, the Co-founder and CTO of Zenchef, a Paris-based restaurant management platform. When it began in 2011, Zenchef was an online directory of menus, and, in 2014, they pivoted to a marketing management platform that helps restaurants feel the digital presence, manage their websites, and speak to customers directly. Currently, they aim to scale their current customer base of a little over 6,000 customers to 25,000 by 2024.

Today, Julien talks about scaling up and the challenges of building an agile team, as well as what sparked the Zenchef idea, how it evolved, and the different components of the Zenchef software. He then defines agility and how he leveraged its principles to scale and goes on to emphasize the value of customer-centricity in scaling. Julien also notes that, when times got tough, Zenchef utilized the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) methodology to steer the business back in the right direction. Finally, Julien explains how working together as a group plays into the hard metrics like lifetime value and customer retention.

The Finer Details of This Episode:

0:00 Introduction

1:29 What sparked Zenchef

4:02 How Zenchef has leveraged the Agile mindset to help scale

9:15 How to rectify misalignment of teams when scaling

11:54 Zenchef’s response to the pandemic challenges

14:51 Julien's key learnings/unlearnings from his Zenchef journey

17:49 How good team relationships play into the hard metrics

19:26 Julien's thoughts on Zenchef's recent acquisition of Billee

21:21 Julien’s recommendation for dining in Paris