MenuSano was founded by Sonia Couto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Since it's launch over 5 years ago, MenuSano is now used globally by restaurants, bakeries, public health departments, hospitals, food manufacturers, and more.
Sonia Couto: Founder, MenuSano
Sonia is the founder of MenuSano, a food analysis tech company in Toronto. Sonia has been in the tech industry for over a decade. She is an experienced leader who is highly results-driven and is known for “getting things done”.
MenuSano was created as a health intervention tool to address the rising rates of disease and obesity in our population. We understand that this can be managed and prevented with proper nutrition. MenuSano allows the foodservice industry to contribute to community health by providing nutrition information to their customers at the point of sale. Sonia identified a consumer need: that people want more control over their health. The MenuSano team identified that making healthy food choices is also an important part of this strategy. Currently, MenuSano is positively impacting people's lives and helping them lead healthier lives.
Sonia has overseen MenuSano’s development from its inception. Working with industry leaders, the government, users, and the MenuSano team, Sonia drives initiatives that will lead to strategic partnerships and growth within Canada and internationally.
Sonia has been the recipient of several awards that acknowledge her excellence in leadership in the software industry:
- Best Tech Manager 2019 - Timmy Awards by Tech In Motion
- Top CEO of the Year for 2019 – International Association of Top Professionals
- Leadership Elite, Most Influential Woman in Software Development 2018 – Canada
- “Most Influential Woman in Software Development – Canada” from the CV Businesswoman Awards, 2016
- “IT Businesswoman of the Year – Canada” from the CV Businesswoman Awards, 2016
- “Game Changer of the Year – Software Solutions” from the ACQ Global Awards, 2016
As a dedicated member of the tech community in Canada, Sonia is involved in a variety of professional groups that allow her to grow and mentor others. Her journey as a breast cancer survivor has led her to become an advocate for early breast cancer detection. She's also a strong supporter of women going through diagnoses and treatment. Furthermore, Sonia volunteers for the SilStar foundation, to raise awareness and funds for lung cancer research.
In 2010, we began developing the software and a year later, we were ready to launch. We started marketing to restaurants, owners, and chefs. To our surprise, the response that we received was, “We don’t want our clients to see the nutrition in our food. They will never come back to eat here.” We continued knocking on doors, but the fear factor was quite strong and by 2012, we decided to shelf the product.
In 2017, MenuSano’s founder, Sonia Couto was diagnosed with breast cancer. As Sonia began her treatments, she realized the true value of a good diet and proper nutrition. MenuSano was relaunched with a new vision in mind, “Choice is Healthy.” We then decided to educate the foodservice industry and help them embrace upcoming changes.
MenuSano’s story began with a group of individuals who are passionate about technology. While getting ready for a late night in the office, we discussed our love for home-cooked meals. We realized that cooking at home provided us with the knowledge of what’s really in our food. It was generally healthier than eating out. We then asked ourselves, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could order food and be able to see the nutritional value just like when you buy a packaged product, without having to send food items to a laboratory?”
In 2014, we heard about the Canadian health bill being over budget by a few billion dollars and this was mostly due to the rise of diabetes and obesity. The MenuSano team decided to reach out to the government. Toronto Public Health was planning on putting together a pilot project called the “Savvy Diner Menu” and agreed to use MenuSano. This allowed us to work with Toronto and Ottawa Public Health. We were able to acquire additional user feedback from nutritionists, dieticians, chefs, restaurants, and hospitals. The product was then updated and legislation passed in Ontario.
MenuSano is now being used globally by restaurants, bakeries, food manufacturers, hospitals, health centers, dieticians & nutritionists, and more in Canada, USA, UAE, Australia, and the UK. “I’m thrilled that MenuSano is now being used globally and that people are more open to change. As the old saying goes, ‘You are what you eat,’ and I believe that we can reduce and control diseases with a proper diet through MenuSano.”