The Food & Hospitality Industry Answer to the Digital Revolution

Portrait: Moritz Grumbach, Founder & CEO of gastrozentrale

When Moritz Grumbach met his buddy Frank Itterheim in high school, he certainly could not have imagined that they would one day do more together than start an electro band. But life often turns out differently than expected.

gastrozentrale is the duo’s answer to the digital revolution taking place in the food and hospitality industry. Launched in May 2015, is an online shop for hoteliers and restaurateurs providing everything for their restaurant and industrial kitchen needs.

Focus on the customer

Moritz und Frank have a vision. Bringing it to life, however, is not quite as easy as they first thought. “We still had a lot to learn,” Moritz remembers. The two of them worked up to 18 hours a day in the development phase of their idea. “It was an adventure, and in that intense time, it welded us together.”

But what is so special about gastrozentrale? Moritz explains what sets their business apart from their competitors’: “It’s our passion for the industry. And then there’s the human side, something we really value. We concentrate on the customer, not just the product.”

Beyond their range of products, gastrozentrale also provides every customer extensive consulting. That way they guarantee that everyone gets just what’s right for their company. “We don’t just want to sell products, we want to promote and enhance our partners’ business,” Moritz says.

The perfect example for that is the work they did with a small artisanal brewery called “Berliner Berg” in Berlin Neukölln. “We noticed that our two companies have a lot in common. That’s why we decided to help each other out. We’re not just selling products to the brewery. We’re also giving each other mutual support in getting integrated into the industry and gaining ground,” Moritz explains.

Business Model Wins Over Accelerator Jury

The startup’s nomination for the Techstars METRO Accelerator proves that it’s not only the two young entrepreneurs who like this business model. Moritz expects a lot from the three month program. “We’re hoping the project will help us find companies from the METRO network that we might be able to work closely with down the line. I think the Accelerator is a great opportunity for us to take our business in a new direction.”

The most important thing for Moritz is making sure the customer is satisfied: “One of the biggest rewards of my job is delivering exactly what the customer asked for by the end of the project, and then seeing his gratitude for that.” That gives the founders a new high every time it happens.

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