(Tell that to technology companies.)

This originally appeared in the July 22 Expedite newsletter. Subscribe here.

Uber Eats released a joint report with Technomic on Tuesday, detailing the impact of third-party delivery during the pandemic. As these surveys are wont to do, findings skewed favorably toward Uber Eats because they relied on a survey of 418 restaurants that already partner with the company. (Over 350 of those restaurants also partner with another third party, it said.) One stat that Uber trots out in its own blog post is that 3 in 4 restaurants say they would have had to shut…

This originally appeared in the July 15, 2020 Expedite newsletter. Subscribe here.

On Tuesday, restaurant tech company Bbot announced a $3 million seed round led by Craft Ventures. Bbot offers digital menus and online ordering and payment options — without another app download or consumer sign-up. (Win!)

“We are helping our hospitality customers redesign their businesses in the wake of Covid-19 and provide a solution that they can continue to use beyond the pandemic,” Bbot CEO Steven Simoni said in a statement.

But what of post-Covid restaurant tech funding? Are investors looking past the pandemic, or looking for solutions that…

This originally appeared in the July 1, 2020 edition of Expedite. Subscribe here.

Uber Eats Makes Postmates an Offer

Late Monday, The New York Times reported that Uber had made an offer to acquire Postmates, an expected move from a company that’s been vocal about its plans to expand its delivery footprint via consolidation. Pretty much anyone who was paying attention could have guessed that, after a failed Grubhub bid, Uber would set its sights on the smaller hometown service. (Postmates launched from San Francisco in 2011.)The reported offer of $2.6 …

This originally appeared in the June 24, 2020 edition of Expedite. Subscribe here.

The pandemic is the biggest threat to the restaurant industry that no one saw coming — “an extinction event for America’s restaurants,” as The Atlantic calls it.

Does it even make sense to be talking about restaurant technology right now when every day brings news that’s somehow worse than the day before? Yes, good technology can optimize a restaurant’s operations, even help a business save money, but does that matter when businesses are reopening while side-stepping regulations, or customers are treating restaurant staff poorly, or employees don’t…

This originally appeared in the June 15, 2020 edition of Expedite. Subscribe here.

It’s been a while since we talked, a lot has happened. Last Wednesday, Grubhub was bought by Just Eat Takeaway, a European delivery company, in an all-stock deal that values Grubhub at about $7 billion.

Then on Thursday, Yum Brands, parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and (more recently) Habit Burger, sued Grubhub. The lawsuit is a response to an early June email sent by Grubhub’s CEO alleging that the restaurant company had violated the terms of an agreement by entering into new agreements with…

This originally appeared in the May 27, 2020 edition of Expedite. Subscribe here.

It’s been over two months since the coronavirus upended the restaurant industry and my eyes are (finally) on the future. Honestly, I found it hugely challenging to think about what might be on the other side of what still feels like a giant question mark.

A few weeks ago, I talked to Sevenrooms co-founder and CEO, Joel Montaniel about new product features and… the future, broadly. The company, which offers a host of customer relationship management tools, released contactless order-and-pay earlier this month. It launched direct ordering for delivery in mid-March, shortly after most restaurants were forced to close dining rooms in the U.S. …

Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

This originally appeared in the May 21, 2020 edition of Expedite. Subscribe here.

I was really hoping to avoid writing another 1,500 words about third-party delivery, but the hits keep coming. Here’s a quick rundown of where we are right now.

On pizza arbitrage: Thank you to everyone who sent me this truly excellent piece about a restaurateur who made money by ordering his own pizzas via DoorDash. Ever the optimist, I’m hopeful that these moments might reset some of the unsustainable business practices that have fueled off-premises growth in the last few years. …

This originally appeared in the May 13, 2020 edition of Expedite. Subscribe here.

One of the themes I’ve been toying with is about big tech getting bigger in this pandemic. I wasn’t really thinking about food delivery consolidation, but yesterday brought a big signal: Uber’s rumored interest in an all-stock purchase of Grubhub. Consolidation in the food delivery space has been a given for a while, though who’s buying who usually depends on who you ask and when you ask them.

There are the investment and regulatory perspectives, and there’s the what-this-means-for-everyone perspective. I’ll take the latter, but there’s plenty…

This originally appeared in the April 30, 2020 edition of Expedite. Subscribe here.

Some recent changes from reservations services could be giving us a look at what to expect from full service restaurants as they begin to reopen.

Today, Resy announced a new set of features for restaurants, including a digital waitlist (available May 13) and a capacity monitor to help control the flow of diners and reduce crowding. It’s the latest example of how restaurants might use technology to adjust to operations as restrictions are eased in coming weeks and months. …

This originally appeared in the April 14, 2020 edition of Expedite. Subscribe here.

In a Monday morning press release, Grubhub told investors not to expect a profit in the coming months, even though business is relatively good. Instead, Grubhub said that it feels a responsibility to the industry, and will reinvest its profits in an effort to drive more business to restaurant partners. Examples included Grubhub-funded diner promotions and reduced or eliminated diner delivery fees. Examples did not include reduced or eliminated fees paid by restaurant businesses.

Now that we’re firmly in new territory, operational businesses have had time to…

Kristen Hawley

Food / tech / wine / fun

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