Think of Tastet as the go-to guide to restaurants, bars, and cafés in Montreal. Valued for the authenticity of their content and opinions, they ensure that no establishment pays to be included on their site, and they aim to visit each place that they promote.

Their goal is to match their users with destinations they’ll love, using their own AI-powered recommender. Artificial intelligence is deeply rooted in everything that Tastet does, and they have plans to expand across the world to help hospitality businesses shine locally.

Keep reading to hear more from Sofia Shendi, CTO at Tastet.


  • Industry: Media/Tech
  • Company Size: 10-20

The Problem

“Our site has great traffic with 2.5 million unique visitors & 35 million social interactions yearly, and we struggled with hosts that didn’t grasp that going offline at any moment could really hurt our revenue model.”

“With the idea that we are actively working on opening in 30 epicurean cities within a short timeframe, it was extremely important to be a host that could support us with our scaling plans with as many websites and active users.

A big issue we had on WP Engine was that we couldn’t do as many Ajax queries as we needed, which didn’t make sense on a site where we aim to prioritize users and their interactions with our recommended addresses.

Our most popular section is the map, which features all of our addresses and helpful filters to find the perfect place to visit, no matter where we are. The user experience is incredibly important, and knowing we couldn’t offer everything we wanted was problematic.

You never want to be stuck with a host that prevents you from doing more, especially with the brilliant tech team that we have.”

The Solution

“We needed a host provider that worked with technologies we ourselves use and understand.”

“Since we started innovating in AI, we moved our whole stack on Google Cloud Platform. Knowing that Kinsta was also hosting its clients on GCP made it a no-brainer decision.

It was also nice to see that Kinsta had no issues with being fully transparent on the machine we are running on, which is not the type of information we could get on WP Engine. As a tech startup, it feels empowering to control and know what is our stack while also having 24/7 support from Kinsta.”

The Result

Tastet saw 3 major improvements after moving to Kinsta: customer service, the CDN, and freedom to create.

“We had three big improvements since moving to Kinsta. The first one is how the customer service has been supporting us. As the CTO of a startup, I am often communicating with customer support of the different platforms we’re on, and it can be quite frustrating to talk to people that do not understand what you are explaining.

This is not what I have experienced since moving to Kinsta. I feel like I am talking to actual developers and if my request is too advanced, the person I am speaking to has the initiative of requesting support themselves. It’s been super helpful to always have quick answers and bug resolutions with our hosting provider, and for that, I know that I will always pick them for any WordPress needs.

The second improvement has been with the CDN that comes with every website. As a competitive media platform, visuals are extremely important for us. Every week, we collaborate with a brilliant photographer for photoshoots at new restaurants, cafés, and bars. Knowing that Kinsta takes care of our media library by serving these high-quality photos as fast as possible to any visitor helps us concentrate on writing beautiful stories instead.

Finally, the third improvement we’ve had ever since joining Kinsta is feeling limitless when it comes to creating new website functionalities. Yes, it might sound silly, but as a website with high traffic, we’ve had many challenges over the past years. At first, we were hosted on a server that let us do whatever we wanted, but it was quite unreliable in speed and uptime. We then moved to WP Engine, where the speed was much better, and we finally could get a glimpse of 24/7 support! But as soon as we started implementing user subscriptions with the AI-driven recommender and a more advanced map for our user, we quickly realized that we were hitting a wall in what we were able to do – even on a dedicated server.

It’s really been nice to move to a host that wouldn’t stop us from innovating and challenging what is possible on our site. Now, we feel ready and supported to scale up!


Kinsta is what helps us sleep at night and concentrate on innovating as a tech startup!
Sofia Shendi
Sofia ShendiCTO