The Viennese start-up Tolstoy has revolutionised the gastronomy industry in a short time. With a unique digital approach and a 100% vegan menu, it has redefined the culinary experience. But now a new phase in its history is entering.
The beginnings of Tolstoy
Tolstoy started in 2020 at Vienna’s Naschmarkt with a completely new kind of gastro concept. Founded by the dynamic trio Daniil Klubov, Rares Bacila and Olivia Tucek, the company stood for digitalisation, plant-based food innovation and transparency. Named after the Russian writer Tolstoy, an early animal rights activist, they aspired to become the largest vegan franchise restaurant chain in Europe.
The acquisition by the DoN Group
Only three years after its foundation, the DoN group, Austria’s largest privately run gastronomy and catering company, has taken over Tolstoy’s successful concept. But instead of changing things, DoN group plans to further develop the digital concept and expand the vegan offer both in its own restaurants and in catering. Culinary genius Olivia Tucek, once Chef de Cuisine at Tolstoy, will now help lead the brand’s growth at DoN.
“I am thrilled with the spirit of the founders and the entire team at Tolstoy, who have established this strong vegan brand in the Viennese market in such a short time,” said Josef Donhauser, the brains behind DoN group, emphasising the strategic importance of the acquisition.
What makes Tolstoy special?
Apart from the 100% vegan menu, which ranges from bowls and salads to pasta and stews, desserts and milkshakes, Tolstoy stands out because it’s digital. Customers can order cashless directly in the restaurant or online for takeaway. There is also a vending machine for food and drinks for self-service outside opening hours.
The future cooperation with spoon.tech
But Tolstoy is more than just food. Behind the scenes, the founders worked on a revolutionary IT ecosystem that controls every aspect of restaurant operations. With this knowledge, Klubov and Bacila founded another startup, spoon.tech, which is now expanding to the US. With the acquisition by the DoN group, closer cooperation with spoon.tech is also envisaged to further drive digitisation across the hospitality industry.
In today’s fast-paced world, Tolstoy shows how the combination of technology, food awareness and entrepreneurship can shape the future of gastronomy. With the support of the DoN group, this visionary restaurant will surely reach many more milestones.