“Don’t think twice, you’ll never look back” – CEO Q&A with Stephen Nolan of Nutritics

By Business & Finance
29 February 2024
Portrait of Stephen Nolan, CEO of Nutritics, smiling in a professional setting.

Stephen Nolan is Chief Executive of food service technology Nutritics. Nutritics’ software helps businesses with food data to manage recipes, create labels, plan meals, publish menus and measure your environmental impact

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

Nutritics is a tech company which helps hospitality and foodservice businesses run safer, more sustainable and more profitable operations. Our main priorities are growing the business, developing our teams, and ensuring our technology remains best-in-class.

What are your biggest challenges as CEO?

Our customers are heavily impacted by the current inflationary environment, with the cost of food increasing quite substantially in recent months. We expect this to continue and it’s important that we engage collaboratively with them to support where we can. Our own business is not immune, with pressures in technology cost and wage inflation presenting challenges.

How do you keep your team/staff motivated?

Nutritics is a values driven business, with our five core values of Team First, Open Communication, No Ego, Integrity and The Rocket (profitable growth) at the core of what we do. This drives decision making and ensures everyone has a central anchor to grow and flourish within our business.

What are the challenges facing the industry going forward?

Without doubt, the biggest challenge (and opportunity) facing every industry is climate change. In order to meet the 1.5C climate goals, we’ll all need to make significant changes to the way we do business – none more so than the food sector, as one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food systems. Early adopters will gain huge credit in the market for something that everyone will have to do.

What new trends are emerging in your industry?

You can expect more sustainably balanced menus in 2024. At COP28, 134 countries, including the EU, the US, China and the UK, committed to include food and agriculture in future emissions reduction plans. Food systems will adapt to meet climate change targets, and reformulation of menus is a step in the right direction.

Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?

Too often, sustainability is not seen as a board room issue. It’s tacked on to an existing function with no board sponsor. Whereas organisations who have made it a board issue are starting to reap the rewards of making sustainable investments, ensuring the long term viability of their business.

How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your business/sector?

Covid had an enormous impact on the hospitality sector – there were times when many of our clients and partners thought they would go out of business, but the sector rallied together to help each other, their teams and their communities. That spirit of collaboration has remained – people in the sector are radically honest and transparent, they’re happy to share good ideas and pass on advice that collectively helps drive the sector forward.

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

We’re at an extremely exciting point in our growth journey and having the opportunity to build and scale a global business is a huge motivator, alongside working with such a strong and knowledgeable team.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given in business?

The best advice was to ‘make the jump’ into entrepreneurship. There’s always a reason to put it off and delay, but once you do it, you never look back. On the other hand, the less helpful advice was that early stage companies are judged by their success in raising investment. Generating revenue is the true mark of success.

What advice would you give to others starting out in business?

Go for it! Don’t think twice, you’ll never look back!

What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

Without doubt, our involvement with COP28, helping the organisers to deliver climate-friendly menus at the conference. From expert consultation with 80+ caterers at a workshop in October, to our Foodprint and Ten Kites tech being used by every food offer at the congress, and being invited to present our work to delegates, I’d like to think we left our mark out in Dubai!

What’s next for your company?

A big growth opportunity is Knowledge Labs, a consultancy service we launched last year to help hospitality businesses improve profitability by simplifying sustainability. Until now, our academic experts have always worked behind the scenes on our best-in-class tech solutions – Knowledge Labs gives our partners access to both.

Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?

We’d love to make significant inroads in America. We already work with a lot of businesses out there, but the next step is a base in the US. But we’re also just scratching the surface of what we can achieve in Europe, so 2024 is an exciting year for us.

What is your favourite hobby and why?

Family, exercise and following sport – all great ways to take your mind off the day job!

What is your mantra for life?  

It’s short, so enjoy the moment!


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