Photo illustration by Nico Heins
Welcome to RB’s weekly roundup of the latest in restaurant technology. To get this and other tech news sent right to your inbox every Wednesday, click here.
We have written quite a bit lately about the fragmented state of restaurant technology. There are lots of providers that do lots of different things, and it is largely on restaurants to cobble them together into a system that works.
That environment has given rise to a host of so-called all-in-one platforms that promise to streamline the process. The most prominent of these, Toast, went public last week in an offering that valued it at around $30 billion. Meanwhile, two other providers unveiled their own all-in-one systems. Here’s a look:
- Presto Flex: The company’s new front-of-house ordering tablet can be used to enable pay-at-the-table or as a server handheld, ordering kiosk or drive-thru line buster. It is also voice-enabled, allowing guests or servers to place their order by simply saying it out loud. It integrates with Presto’s QR code and payment products. Presto works with large chains.
- GoTab POS: The cloud-based system allows servers or guests to initiate the ordering process and guests to pay at the table using their phones. It also integrates with GoTab’s other products such as online ordering and delivery software. By capturing orders digitally, it eliminates some manual work for servers and gives the restaurant more data, which can then be used to power loyalty programs and promotions. GoTab works with large and medium-sized restaurants.
Grubhub is powering food ordering for D.C. football fans. The delivery provider is bringing its technology to the Washington Football Team’s FedExField, allowing fans to order concessions through the Grubhub app or by scanning a QR code at their seat. The company has similar partnerships with more than 250 universities as well as at the new Resorts World Las Vegas complex.
Uber Eats made it easier for users to find nearby food. Customers for the first time can use the app’s map function to search for restaurants. They can type in what they’re looking for or use food emojis, and the map will show what’s nearby and how far away each option is.
Philadelphia is considering a permanent cap on delivery fees. Councilmember Cherelle Parker has introduced legislation that would remove the end date from the city’s 15% limit on what delivery companies can charge restaurants (10% for delivery and 5% for any other fees). If passed, Philly would join San Francisco and New York as the only U.S. cities to make their pandemic-era fee caps permanent. Delivery providers have sued both cities over those laws.
Deliverect, a company that connects restaurants to third-party delivery providers, released a bunch of new features. They are:
- An updated data dashboard with new insights such as the performance of individual menu items and locations.
- An enhanced pickup system that allows guests and delivery drivers to see the status of their order on a screen inside the restaurant.
- Dispatch software that gives restaurants more control over the delivery process for orders that come through their own channels.
- A 24/7 chat line that restaurants can use to communicate with Deliverect support staff.
The Belgian company earlier this year raised $65 million in a Series C funding round. It works with more than 13,000 restaurants in 30 markets worldwide.
Hungry, a marketplace for curated group food experiences, raised $21 million. The company was founded in 2017 and offers chef-driven virtual and on-site catering programs and other events for businesses. The Series C round featured a host of celebrity backers including actress, writer and producer Issa Rae; “America’s Got Talent” host Terry Crews; NFL wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins; NBA star Lonzo Ball; and heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder. Hungry is based in Washington, D.C., and currently operates in six cities.
In case you missed it …
The world’s fastest-growing restaurant company is a ghost kitchen.
With IPO, Toast wants to be restaurants’ go-to tech provider.
The payment startup Sunday raised $100 million.