Toronto-based company Ritual, who expanded its order-ahead food app to the U.S. late last year, just closed a $70 million Series C round led by Georgian Partners. Existing investors Greylock Partners, Insight Ventures, and Mistral Venture Partners also participated. This latest round brings the company’s total funding to $112.9 million.
The app lets users view menus and pre-order food from participating restaurants and cafes in their area. Like most mobile-ordering apps these days, you can set details of your order, like wanting your burger cooked medium rare, leave special instructions, and pay from within the app. Since Ritual is specifically aimed at the lunchtime crowd who orders then picks up the food, there’s also a handy map as well as the estimated amount of time it takes to get to your set address.
That’s all nice and convenient, but the big growth driver for Ritual of late has been the social feature baked into the app. Called Piggyback, the feature essentially acts as a social network for lunchtime. Teams — that is, a bunch of people in the same office or location — gather within the app to decide on a lunch spot, order, and figure out who in the group will actually go and pick up the food.
A feed shows who’s ordering from where, so you can join the order that looks most appealing. For example, say Adam at Acme is going to place an order at the local BBQ joint. You, however, ate early and opt instead to join Amy’s order at the coffeeshop, for a post-food pick-me-up latte.
The whole operation cuts down on things like massive email chains or Slack arguments over where to get lunch on any given day. It’s sort of like a virtual food court. Teams can reorder food, too, as well as view recommendations based on previous orders.
There are benefits for participating restaurants, too. According to a press release, they can see orders up to four times larger than with normal ordering, thanks to Ritual’s social features. The huge amount of data coming from the app also lets these restaurants analyze lunchtime purchasing patterns and even view their performance against similar businesses.
Ritual is available right now via iOS and Android in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Washington, D.C., and, of course, Toronto. The company plans on expanding to Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia and San Diego in the coming months.