Another week another virtual restaurant, not to mention more free food via third-party delivery services running promo campaigns in the hopes of enticing more customers. And while said third-party services were busy debating the ethics of the on-demand delivery model, here’s what else happened this week in the restaurant industry.
Grubhub and Lettuce Entertain You Launch a Third Virtual Concept
Grubhub has been capitalizing on the virtual restaurant concept of late, rolling out delivery-only establishments in partnership with restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You. The two have already launched concepts around the Whole30 diet and lifestyle brand Bon Appétit. This week, the third-party delivery service announced a third virtual restaurant concept, this one inspired by Bharathi “Bonnie” Rao, a retired school teacher, curry leaf farmer and owner of Perryville Farms. Dubbed Padma’s Curry Leaf, the new “restaurant” will serve Indian-inspired lunch and dinner dishes exclusively through Grubhub.
2020 Predictions From 2013
Restaurant tech — both the adoption of it and the actual tools — has changed a lot in the last seven years, something highlighted this week in an article from Nation’s Restaurant News that looks back at a handful of 2013 predictions. How do they hold up in 2020? “Damn well, actually,” writes NRN contributor Ron Ruggles, who helped come up with the original outlook. AI in the drive-thru, digital ordering and payments, and ubiquitous outlets and USB ports for customers’ gadgets in restaurants all make appearances on the original 2013 list, and are all things we see in restaurants today. Read the full list here.
Red Lobster Joins an E-Catering Platform
Red Lobster is the latest restaurant chain to capitalize on the growing market for catering. This week, the chain announced it has joined ezCater’s platform, an online marketplace through which restaurants can launch and manage corporate catering businesses. Chili’s, Panda Express, McAllister’s Deli, and many other major restaurant chains are already clients of the service.
Postmates Is Giving Away $1M in Chicken
Postmates has run the numbers and, at least according to company data and a press release, determined that chicken is one of the top items ordered from the service during football games. With that in mind, the third-party delivery service is giving away $1 million worth of chicken this Sunday, January 19. Users can add a promo code (FREECHICKEN) to any chicken order to get in on the deal.