Choco, a mobile platform that digitizes and optimizes the relationship between restaurant kitchens and suppliers, announced today it has added a new feature specifically meant for multi-unit operators.
The company’s platform is best known at this point for its ability to directly connect restaurant kitchens to suppliers in order to make the ordering and management of food inventory easier and more streamlined. Besides helping kitchens waste less (in terms of both money and actual food), Choco’s system promises to keep restaurants in the flow of their day-to-day work instead of puzzling over inventory.
Building on this idea, the new feature translates this optimization to restaurants with multiple locations or even multiple brands. Via the feature, which now comes baked into the Choco package and can be accessed from a mobile device, owners and managers can oversee their entire inventory and list of suppliers across all of their locations. They can view the entire list of suppliers for any given location as well as which team members are involved in ordering process and which specific suppliers they communicate with.
As Chelsea van Hooven, Global Industry Advisor at Choco, explained over to me over a call this week, the goal is to give restaurant groups a more comprehensive overview of not just what they’re ordering but where it comes from and who is in charge of that relationship. For a single restaurant or a small chain, this might be a fairly straightforward process. However, the more units a brand has, the more room for errors, redundancies, and unnecessary purchases in the restaurant kitchen.
Multi-unit restaurant brands comprise about 30 percent of the businesses in the restaurant industry, and make up 40 percent of Choco’s current user base.
In addition to the new feature, Choco has also recently undergone a brand revamp. The company started out pitching food waste reduction as its main tagline, and doing so through digitizing restaurant kitchens. While fighting food waste remains an integral part of Choco’s mission, optimizing the restaurant kitchen so it runs more efficiently will be at the heart of the company’s work now.
Building a more efficient kitchen is top of mind for a growing number of restaurants nowadays. Part of this is in response to the pandemic, which has decimated revenues and forced restaurants to operate off lean margins and even leaner operations. But van Hooven pointed out that we’re also now at a time when restaurants are more willing to explore new technologies that can improve business operations. The restaurant industry, once reticent to make any technologial upgrades, might have been forced into digitization, but now it’s the number one priority for most. Back-of-house tech, in particular, will see significant growth and investment this year.
Choco’s new feature is available as part of the overall software package at no extra cost.