Camile Thai plans to invest €10m in ‘tech pivot’ this year

18 Feb 2021

Brody Sweeney, founder of Camile Thai. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Having already dabbled in drone deliveries, Thai food chain Camile says robotics will play a bigger role in its kitchens in 2021.

Camile Thai has announced plans to raise €10m to invest in a new “technology-centric strategy”. The Irish food chain has already partnered with drone business Manna, trialling drone deliveries in the Galway town of Oranmore earlier this year.

Camile said its next steps in 2021 will be further investment in drone deliveries and automating its kitchen operations with robotics.

“Despite an extremely difficult year for the hospitality sector, for Camile 2020 has seen rapid growth,” said company founder Brody Sweeney.

“Our suburban, delivery-focused model has proven to be pandemic-proof in the last 11 months, not least in terms of revenue and sales. This has enabled us to not only push forward with our aggressive expansion plans, but also to prematurely move ahead with our main goal – our tech pivot.

“Our raison d’etre is delivering guilt-free, delicious takeaways. But for us, we see tech playing such an incremental role in terms of food preparation, but also UX and, of course, delivery.”

Founded by Sweeney in 2010, Camile now has 35 outlets across Ireland and the UK. Alongside its focus on technology this year, it also plans to launch 15 new outlets. The company will be hiring for 300 new jobs as a result, with 220 positions planned for Ireland across retail, business development, marketing, sales and cookery. The new outlets will be based in Dublin’s The Point Village and Frascati Centre in Blackrock, as well as other locations in Cork, Mayo and Waterford.

Camile will also invest in its ‘franchise-as-a-service’ venture this year. The new initiative gives venues with underused commercial kitchens the option of working with Camile’s delivery menu. It aims to help hospitality businesses continue to operate during Government Covid-19 restrictions. The first premises of this type recently opened in Sligo and the chain said it plans to open five or six more.

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021