Getting To Know You: Jim McGuire – Co-Founder & CEO of KitchenLogs

I have worked in IT for 20 years of my life. I was the fifth hire at a US startup and the company grew into a global hosting company. I relocated to London and built the company’s European presence and ran the entire operation. I took everything that I learned and focused that energy into a food truck startup for 2 years.

During that period I found a large gap in the market for something that could streamline the important administration and logging that is associated with food safety checks, and so decided to go back to the internet to work full time on developing a solution – Thus KitchenLogs was born.

What do you currently do?

KitchenLogs is a mobile based application to create a fully automated ‘Intelligent Food Hygiene System’ for the food industry. Our app is available for iOS and Android and was built to follow all Food Standards Agency (FSA) best practices – the Safer Food, Better Business scheme.

Businesses are using the KitchenLogs app to provide them with daily reminder alerts, simplified check boxes and reporting functions that make the whole process much less time consuming, reduces paperwork and helps to ensure that everything is logged and checked properly.

Our customers can be anyone that has a business working with food but typically, food producers and handlers, kitchen teams, chefs, restaurants, and hotels are seeing the benefits of the app.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

The idea was driven by an simple aim to make food hygiene easier, robust and more efficient.

Food hygiene checks are a make or break in a food business and calls for standards to increase are rolling in with every bad news story that hits the headlines.

The first thing the local health authorities look for is your ‘paperwork’ and – if this is not up to scratch or out of date – they will explore and really break down the rest of an inspection with a microscope.

The issue is that maintaining paperwork and adhering to the required regular checks can be a time-consuming headache for a business. Therefore we decided that it would be possible to build some software to help out and deliver an easy way to do these checks would be a welcomed solution.

What defines your way of doing business?

For us it’s all about freedom of choice and ease of use.  Because our technology runs from any smartphone, we are technology agnostic which allows the business to use its own equipment.  Nobody wants another delivery tablet or device that they have to learn to use – or find space for – in their kitchens.

Who do you admire?

I admire my parents the most. They led myself and my brothers by example, and gave us all a work ethic that showed how working really hard is the best way to achieve success.

Looking back, is there anything you would of done differently?

Yes and no, nobody is perfect in this world. Yes we fudged up a bunch of times but we learned, adapted, and moved on. We just need to prepare for the next dilemma and work our way through it. This is not a science, if it were sketched out everyone would be an entrepreneur. We live and learn and cannot repeat the past mistakes.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Nothing is ever easy as an entrepreneur. You have to be willing and receptive to learn from your mistakes and, most importantly, make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes.

Also try to learn from other entrepreneurs and understand how and why other companies experience failures. Again, this will give you a good framework to make sure you do not follow those routes.

Lastly surround yourself with a good team that will question you. Don’t just surround yourself with yes men!