A Virtual Expansion and Tech Teaming
9 Min Read By MRM Staff
In this edition of MRM News Bites, we feature The Local Culinary, Ordermark and DoorDash, Lavu and Omnivore, Revel and 7shifts, Tocaya Organica and Postmates, bd’s Mongolian Grill and Lightspeed POS.
Local Culinary Expanding
The Local Culinary, a virtual restaurant group specializing in chef-driven, delivery-only concepts – the first of its kind in Florida – signed a letter of interest to open new commissary-style kitchens in Boca Raton and Aventura. Following the launch of its first location in Downtown Miami earlier this year, The Local Culinary is positioned for future growth across South Florida.
Led by Alp Franko, The Local Culinary also expanded from eight to 20 concepts, based on popularity and demand. Now available for delivery via Uber Eats, Postmates, GrubHub and DoorDash, the concepts include, among others:
- The Chef Burger – specializes in high-quality burgers and prime ingredients
- Dirty Fingers – transforming the fast food game with elevated burgers, hot dogs, wings, fries and more
- Mama Roma – bringing a true taste of Italy with authentic recipes and high-quality ingredients
- El Taco Loco – delivering unique tacos with a touch of craziness
- Shu Shu – bringing Asian-inspired dishes such as lettuce wraps, noodles, pad Thai, spring rolls and more
- The Green Kitchen – serving nutrient-dense menu options with fresh and flavorful ingredients
- Yoko Bowl – combines flavors of Asia and Hawaii to create rice bowls with raw fish, vegetables and more
- Hot Potato – delivering limitless flavor combinations of the most popular root vegetable
- Chicks – specializing in all things chicken, from fried to grilled, burgers, savory wings and more
- This is Gyros – bringing modern interpretations of the classic Greek dish
- Hot Dog Station – offering fun twists on America’s favorite classic
“Dark kitchens, ghost kitchens or virtual restaurants – however you want to refer to them – are today’s hottest restaurant industry trend, and they are here to stay, as consumer demand and purchasing patterns are shifting,” said Franko,. “A recent UBS report estimated that the market for food delivery is slated to grow from $35 billion in 2018 to $365 billion by 2030. Consumers clearly want the comfort and convenience of dining at home, on-demand and with rising food, labor and real estate costs, going virtual makes so much sense. We are thrilled to see The Local Culinary concept taking off and in addition to Boca Raton and Aventura, have many other new locations on our radar.”
The Local Culinary has adopted an approach that emphasizes the experience aspect of the delivery. For example, each concept incorporates a unique element that is representative of the cuisine. Items include personalized stickers, candy, fun toys and party accessories. With bright colors and witty messaging, The Local Culinary has invested in its marketing strategy to deliver an energetic brand that resonates with millennials, a major demographic driving the virtual restaurant trend. The Local Culinary’s two new ghost kitchens will begin delivery within the next few weeks. In addition to Florida, Franko’s expansion plans include several major U.S. markets including New York City. Beyond delivery, the company will connect with consumers through a series of community pop-up restaurant experiences and by participating in established culinary festivals and brand partnership activations.
Ordermark Expands Agreement with DoorDash
Ordermark entered into a new partnership agreement with DoorDash.Through the expanded agreement and partnership between the companies, Ordermark’s restaurant customers of all sizes will benefit from DoorDash Drive with an array of optimized on-demand delivery solutions into Ordermark’s integrated services. Ordermark is at the forefront of providing restaurateurs with operational efficiencies and the DoorDash integration will further simplify restaurant operations and assist restaurants in enabling delivery without increasing staff during peak, high-volume rushes and downtimes.
DoorDash Drive provides Ordermark restaurant partners with the ability to automate the process of assigning a “Dasher” (a DoorDash driver) to a customer’s order without requiring restaurant employees to manually re-enter the delivery order and address into a separate tablet. DoorDash Drive currently powers on-demand delivery fulfillment for hundreds of merchants nationwide including Chipotle, Denny’s, Wingstop, and Portillo’s.
“DoorDash shares Ordermark’s commitment to helping restaurants of all sizes to increase off-premise sales,” said Andrew Lambert, Head of Partnerships for Ordermark. “As the industry grows and matures, Ordermark is excited to collaborate with the industry’s leading companies, including DoorDash, to help restaurateurs leverage best-in-class technology solutions to drive sales, market share, and profitability.”
“We're excited to strengthen our partnership with Ordermark and integrate our on-demand platform with Ordermark's leading technology solutions to help restaurants perfect their delivery operations while maintaining a meaningful connection to their customer base," said Casey North, DoorDash's Vice President of Drive.
Lavu Teams with Omnivore
Lavu opened its platform to help their clients stay agile relative to accessing and leveraging third party restaurant technology by partnering with Omnivore, a universal POS connection for third-party restaurant apps. This partnership encourages restaurant operators to develop differentiated customer experiences and further streamline operations with their Lavu POS while taking advantage of Omnivore’s ecosystem of back of house, front of house and outside of house third-party solutions.
“We want to provide restaurant operators access to all the technology they need in one place,” said Lavu CEO, Saleem S. Khatri. “This partnership makes it possible for our customers to access what they need to help them better serve their customers.”
Omnivore connects to more than 200 applications to enable restaurant operators in third-party delivery, analytics, digital menus, guest engagement, online ordering and more. Key apps include OpenTable, MarketMan, Yumpingo, Thanx and Harri.
“Consumers today are expecting technology to be incorporated into their experience,” said Mike Wior, CEO of Omnivore. “Our collaboration with Lavu helps their customers easily navigate the rapidly advancing technology landscape needed to meet those expectations.”
Revel Connects with 7shifts
Revel Systems announced a partnership integration with 7shifts designed to enable restaurateurs to efficiently handle labor management concerns. Through the partnership, Revel’s point of sale functionality can synchronize sales data with 7shifts’ scheduling and labor management software to help keep restaurants compliant, efficient and profitable.
“We’re delighted to add 7shifts as a partner within our Revel Integrated ecosystem especially since their team brings the same level of attention and expertise to labor management that we’re able to give to the point of sale,” said Chris Lybeer, chief strategy officer at Revel Systems. “Together, we offer a complete solution for restaurant operators seeking to maximize their operational efficiency and profit margins.”
The integration will provide several critical features creating added value for restaurateurs such as:
- View real-time sales data – This allows restaurateurs to visualize their restaurant performance in real-time and quickly check their labor profitability.
- Automatic sales projections – The 7shifts system forecasts weekly sales with 95 percent accuracy so restaurant managers can build optimal schedules that adhere to labor targets.
- Schedule enforcement – When restaurant staff members clock in on Revel’s POS, time-punches are cross-referenced with the 7shifts schedule to ensure the employees are scheduled to work. This prevents time-theft and unbudgeted overtime.
- View real-time labor costs – Real-time labor costs are accrued in 7shifts as shifts are worked, allowing restaurateurs to instantly see their labor costs and make changes (such as cutting staff) if they are in danger of being overstaffed.
- Sync employee wages – As staff members’ wages are changed in Revel’s system, they are automatically synced to 7shifts to eliminate duplicate data entry into both systems.
“Restaurateurs know what it takes to be successful, but are often dragged down by tasks that detract from providing great guest experiences, and ultimately, growing their business,” said Jordan Boesch, 7shifts CEO. “We're excited to partner with Revel to help restaurants simplify labor management and improve operating performance. By providing real-time labor and sales insights, we're enabling operators to more accurately predict future labor needs and make smarter decisions.”
Tocaya Partners with Postmates
Tocaya Organica reports Postmates will become its exclusive on-demand delivery partner in Los Angeles. Postmates holds the #1 market share in Los Angeles – 100 percent more market share than its next closest competitor. Tocaya has also seen close to 100 percent growth in sales year-over-year on the Postmates platform alone.
“Like Postmates, Tocaya is an unparalleled and ever-growing brand, making it a natural partnership for us as we continue to expand our leadership position in Los Angeles and beyond,” says Dan Mosher, SVP & Merchant Lead for Postmates. “And as one of the leading merchants in this market, Tocaya has seen incredible growth on our platform, so we are thrilled to be chosen as their exclusive delivery provider to bring their high quality and uniquely versatile menu items to our joint customers.”
From the outset of the partnership, Postmates and Tocaya will integrate both delivery and pick up orders directly into the Tocaya Point of Sale (“POS”) system which will streamline the order fulfillment process and provide for an even better experience for guests.
This exclusive partnership also means that Tocaya will be prominently featured throughout the Postmates app experience and will be a large part of its local marketing and advertising programs in Los Angeles. In addition, Postmates and Tocaya have committed to collaborating on integrated marketing campaigns and promotions for customers on the combined platforms – likely to include both new and unique Tocaya dishes offered to Postmates customers only.
“There are a lot of third-party delivery partners out there, but we feel strongly that an exclusive relationship with Postmates in Los Angeles makes the most business sense as we work to take our off-premise offering to the next level,” says Mikey Tanha, President of Tocaya Organica. “We knew we wanted a partner that would strategically grow our customer base while also helping us streamline and optimize our delivery operations – and after evaluating many companies in the space, Postmates was the clear winner. As the number one delivery platform in Los Angeles, they came to the table with a strategy that we couldn’t pass up and with Tocaya being the top fresh-casual concept on the West Coast, we can’t wait to see what will result from putting our two powerhouse brands together.”
Matt Smith, Chief Marketing Officer of Tocaya Organica, adds, “Having an exclusive delivery partner not only makes sense from an operations and marketing perspective, but it’s going to tremendously benefit our customers as well.” Smith continues, “We have a very loyal customer base and given the significant volume we do in delivery, we knew it was important to scale with one partner to ensure a consistent and streamlined delivery experience, with great couriers that already know our product well. We are also planning some very cool collaborations through this partnership, offering our customers unique ways to engage with the Tocaya brand, in addition to all the great food.”
bd’s Mongolian Grill Joins Forces with Folds of Honor Foundation
bd’s Mongolian Grill, joined by Mongolian Concepts’ brands Genghis Grill and Flat Top Grill, has partnered with Folds of Honor Foundation to support the families of fallen and disabled military members. The non-profit organization is devoted to providing scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s heroes – those who have risked their lives to serve our country.
Starting Monday, October 28, bd’s Mongolian Grill guests can donate $3 or more to receive a folded flag to sign and pin up to the wall at any bd’s locations throughout the country. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the fundraiser go to Folds of Honor, where the money helpsan active service member, veteran or family member of the military.
“bd’s Mongolian Grill is dedicated to supporting our men and women in uniform,” said Doug Willmarth, chief marketing officer and nine-year Navy veteran. “With Veterans Day coming up, we invite our guests to join us in honoring them by supporting Folds of Honor in educating the families of America’s fallen and disabled service members this season. We are humbled to partner with an organization that makes such a big difference in the lives of those affected by service.”
The pin-up campaign will run through Monday, November 11 at all bd’s Mongolian Grill locations
“Last year, we had a very successful fundraiser through bd’s Mongolian Grill, and we can’t wait to see what its guests will do for the families we support this year,” said Chick Linski, senior vice president of the Folds of Honor Foundation. “The generous support of devoted partners like bd’s is what gives Folds of Honor the opportunity to impact the families of America’s fallen and disabled service members.”
Lightspeed To Acquire Kounta
Lightspeed POS Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire Australia-based Kounta Holdings Pty Ltd,. The purchase bolsters Lightspeed’s footprint across Australia and New Zealand by more than 7,000 customer locations1, including leading small and medium-sized brands across cafes, bars, full service restaurants, high-end boutique hotels, and more.
“Kounta’s impressive track record is thanks to its team, and we are excited to welcome them into the Lightspeed family,” said Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of Lightspeed. “When smart minds collaborate, our merchants are the main beneficiaries of the resulting innovation, ultimately enabling SMBs around the world to reach their full potential through our technology.”
“Joining Lightspeed, a recognized global leader, is a testament to our hard work and also a shared passion for empowering independent businesses,” said Nick Cloete, Founder and CEO of Kounta. “We are immensely proud to partner with a company so well aligned on purpose, culture and technology.”