Summary List Placement
Well before the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation in March, restaurant operators began sounding the alarm about the economic hardships they face when working with third-party delivery companies.
The outrage over these obstacles — high commission rates for placement on their vast marketplaces and the refusal to share consumer data — was amplified during the pandemic.
And, no one has screamed louder about these “injustices” than Nabeel Alamgir.
: Meet the 5 food tech startups offering restaurants profitable alternatives to DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub
Alamgir co-founded New York City-based Lunchbox in 2019 with a single mission: to give small chains and independent restaurants online ordering solutions to drive sales, and reduce their dependence on third-party delivery operators.
In late January, Lunchbox launched a NotGrubhub website to promote direct orders from 120,000 New York restaurants. By doing so, Alamgir is telling consumers to bypass Grubhub, and other third-party delivery companies.
He is David trying to slay Goliath.
“We are the underdogs,” he told Insider in a recent interview. “I’m excited about all the tech providers that are helping restaurants and if that puts a target on our back against these third party companies, so be it.”
Living the American dream
Alamgir, who immigrated to the US from Bangladesh as a teenager, got his first job in 2009 in the restaurant business.
He wanted to earn money for homecoming but he didn’t speak much English at the time. So he got a gig as a busboy at Bareburger, a casual dining chain in New York City.
It was the ideal job.
“You’re nice to people and they don’t bother you. But as I was picking up English, I would not shut up,” said the affable Alamgir.
His chattiness and work ethic led to jobs as a server, then marketing manager at Bareburger. He eventually became chief marketing officer and helped Bareburger expand to nearly 50 restaurants.
But during the expansion, Alamgir said he ran into roadblocks with Bareburger’s digital ordering channels, especially with delivery. Systems didn’t talk to each other, and delivery was a losing proposition, he said.
Third-party delivery companies skimmed profits from restaurants by charging high commission fees and denied Alamgir the one thing he coveted most as CMO: access to consumer data.
“For dine-in, we knew who our customers were. For delivery, we had no idea,” he said.
Something had to be done.
Empowering independent restaurants
Alamgir left Bareburger in 2019 and co-founded Lunchbox with Andrew Boryk, the company’s chief technology officer.
The startup is aimed at independent restaurants and mid-market chains that can ill-afford their own I.T. department to produce the online solutions needed to grow a healthy digital business.
Lunchbox looks to emulate tech pioneers such as Sweetgreen, Panera Bread, and Chipotle Mexican Grill – chains at the top of their game when it comes to frictionless mobile order and pickup technology, loyalty programming, subscription services, and app design.
During the pandemic, the company added a curbside feature for clients within 16 hours of New York City shutting down.
“We design everything,” Alamgir said.
Clients pay a monthly service fee ranging from $200 to $300 …read more
Source:: Business Insider