Co-founding OrderMate & HungryHungry, both revolutionary in the hospitality industry; now HungryHungry has a team of 57 and 35% more revenue per customer whilst helping local hospitality businesses. (Mark Calabro & Shannon Hautot)

australia financial exit food and beverage fte 51-100 operational exit podcast sales $5m-$10m aud Mar 08, 2023

In this GASB Podcast episode, Troy interviews hospitality industry pioneers Mark Calabro and Shannon Hautot, who are based in Melbourne, Australia. The pair, who first met as University undergraduates 25 years ago, is one of few co-founders in Australia to have had two successful tech start-ups within the hospitality industry. From beginnings in a backyard garage, they launched their first business Point of Sale company, OrderMate, in 2003. In the years that followed they grew their customer base to over 2,500 venues across Australia, building a successful business that was acquired in 2021 by MSL Solutions for $ 7.5 million. 

Mark and Shannon are also the co-founders and Co-CEOs of award-winning hospitality tech startup, HungryHungry, a business they launched in 2019. During the pandemic HungryHungry pivoted quickly from mobile order & pay to online ordering for restaurants and as a result built a loyal database of over 2,000 restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars across Australia, and in the process helping many overcome the challenge of lockdowns to stay open for business. 

As the hospitality industry continues to embrace and benefit from technology driven solutions, the self-confessed foodies say their mission remains simple; to deliver innovative, tech-driven solutions that help venue owners increase revenue, and access valuable data insights to enhance customer loyalty and inform ways of delivering better experiences.

Most recently they have launched several new product features with a focus on helping restaurant owners and staff access ‘real-time’ consumer data insights so that they can instantly recognise regular customers and reward them for their loyalty through on the spot VIP services and/or future marketing and promotions. Alongside this they have also introduced bespoke, paperless kiosks, a service that caters to Australia’s growing casual dining sector and an offer that none of their competitors can match. The shift into stand alone hardware meets a growing demand for service versatility from a wider range of venue types beyond fast food locations.

Under Mark and Shannon’s guidance, HungryHungry has grown to a team of 60 people, and helped to deliver 35% more revenue per customer for its thousands of customers across Australia and New Zealand, ranging from independent restaurants, bars and pubs to festivals, events and large-scale corporate venues and hospitality groups. The business has also recently achieved profitability – no small feat for a hospitality tech startup.

Their relentless passion to build technology that empowers the industry and rewards their customers loyalty has been recognised with several awards including the 2021 Finder Award for Most Innovative Business Response to COVID-19, Winner of a 2020 Smart Company Resilience Award, and being named a 2020 Rising Star in the Deloitte Tech Fast 50.

According to Mark, conducting lots of small habits as a small business owner is one of the few they should develop and maintain, while Shannon, it is prioritising what is the most important and doing your best to get that done. Although both are different from each other, that’s what makes their partnership so successful and has helped them to stand the test of time where many others would have failed.

This Cast Covers:  

  • Mark Calabro & Shannon Hautot: a 20+ year business partnership.
  • Mark and Shannon’s companies: OrderMate & HungryHungry.
  • How OrderMate & HungryHungry was invented from the ground up.
  • Success is not black and white like pass or fail.
  • Prioritising on finding that product-market fit.
  • Inside the journey of raising funds and how this can add benefit to a fast growth business.
  • People and culture.
  • Why small-medium business owners need to be able and willing to work across all areas of the business as required
  • Shifting planning for 30-day sprints rather than 90-day sprints.
  • The value in mentors and targeted entrepreneurial networking groups.


Additional Resources: 




“It's good to evolve and pivot and grow and learn as you go.” — Mark Calabro & Shannon Hautot.

“Going from a dream to a reality, that's one of the biggest things you can get as successful as a founder.” — Mark Calabro & Shannon Hautot.  

“It's not always just you're either successful, or you're not, it's a series of goals and milestones.” — Mark Calabro & Shannon Hautot. 

“As a founder, you kind of don't have the luxury just sort of specialize within one area. You have to be a jack of all trades.” — Mark Calabro & Shannon Hautot.

“If you're a great person, you will generally attract great people as well.” — Mark Calabro & Shannon Hautot.



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