Modern Market Launches its Own In-House Delivery Service

As third-party delivery services continue to increase fees and monthly pricing, the more restaurants are investing in developing their own internal delivery platforms.

The fast casual Modern Market is the latest restaurant to unveil its new in-house ordering & delivery platform.

With a focus on catering and larger orders, delivery will be free for orders of $50 or more and the system has a feature that allows a host to invite other participants to add their own individual order to a larger group order.

As we mentioned, Modern Market is one of many to buck the trend of partnering with third-party delivery apps.

Food delivery apps like Uber Eats, Postmates, seamless and DoorDash have become wildly popular in the last few years. These apps make up 40 percent of the 20 most-used apps. Uber Eats made $7.9 billion in gross in 2018, according to Uber's recent IPO prospectus.

These apps offer consumers multiple food options to pick from. Users don't even have to have a restaurant or type of cuisine in mind before using the app, making it a perfect option for the indecisive eater.

From a restaurant standpoint, these apps are an easy solution to the delivery problem. By partnering with a delivery app, you can offer your customers the convenience of delivery without investing in a team of drivers or an expensive platform to process these orders.

"Managing delivery in-house, however, can be difficult and costly too. Hiring drivers, scheduling, making sure orders are fulfilled on time and creating the software that helps tie all these dots together is a large undertaking and can lead to serious issues if executed poorly," writes "Restaurant Dive."

Even though the third-party services have made it easier for brands to offer delivery, they do cut significantly into profits.

As more restaurants partner with third-party delivery apps, the more these companies' can increase fees. Not to mention, a restaurant definitely loses some of the control of these orders. It's up to the third-party's delivery driver to get the food and bring it to the guest in the estimated time frame. So the service aspect and food quality are heavily dependent on the delivery provider, not the restaurant.

So it’s no wonder that more restaurants, like Panera Bread, are shifting away from these services and developing their own.

But as "Restaurant Dive" points out, Modern Market is taking a risk by going the in-house delivery route.

"Another danger that Modern Market will have to consider is whether eschewing popular apps like Uber Eats, which compile delivery offerings from multiple restaurants, will prevent it from being as competitive as possible," writes "Restaurant Dive"

Deciding to go with a third-party delivery or investing in an in-house platform isn't an easy decision.

Learn more about the restaurant’s in-house ordering & delivery platform in the video above!

"Managing delivery in-house, however, can be difficult and costly too. Hiring drivers, scheduling, making sure orders are fulfilled on time and creating the software that helps tie all these dots together is a large undertaking and can lead to serious issues if executed poorly," writes "Restaurant Dive."

Even though the third-party services have made it easier for brands to offer delivery, they do cut significantly into profits.

As more restaurants partner with third-party delivery apps, the more these companies' can increase fees. Not to mention, a restaurant definitely loses some of the control of these orders. It's up to the third-party's delivery driver to get the food and bring it to the guest in the estimated time frame. So the service aspect and food quality are heavily dependent on the delivery provider, not the restaurant.

So it’s no wonder that more restaurants, like Panera Bread, are shifting away from these services and developing their own.

But as "Restaurant Dive" points out, Modern Market is taking a risk by going the in-house delivery route.

"Another danger that Modern Market will have to consider is whether eschewing popular apps like Uber Eats, which compile delivery offerings from multiple restaurants, will prevent it from being as competitive as possible," writes "Restaurant Dive"

Deciding to go with a third-party delivery or investing in an in-house platform isn't an easy decision.

Learn more about the restaurant’s in-house ordering & delivery platform in the video above!

"Managing delivery in-house, however, can be difficult and costly too. Hiring drivers, scheduling, making sure orders are fulfilled on time and creating the software that helps tie all these dots together is a large undertaking and can lead to serious issues if executed poorly," writes "Restaurant Dive."

Even though the third-party services have made it easier for brands to offer delivery, they do cut significantly into profits.

As more restaurants partner with third-party delivery apps, the more these companies' can increase fees. Not to mention, a restaurant definitely loses some of the control of these orders. It's up to the third-party's delivery driver to get the food and bring it to the guest in the estimated time frame. So the service aspect and food quality are heavily dependent on the delivery provider, not the restaurant.

So it’s no wonder that more restaurants, like Panera Bread, are shifting away from these services and developing their own.

But as "Restaurant Dive" points out, Modern Market is taking a risk by going the in-house delivery route.

"Another danger that Modern Market will have to consider is whether eschewing popular apps like Uber Eats, which compile delivery offerings from multiple restaurants, will prevent it from being as competitive as possible," writes "Restaurant Dive"

Deciding to go with a third-party delivery or investing in an in-house platform isn't an easy decision.

Learn more about the restaurant’s in-house ordering & delivery platform in the video above!

Panera Bread Names New CEO

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

The fast casual bakery cafe chain Panera Bread has announced late last week that it has appointed Niren Chaudhary as the company's new Chief Executive Officer and President.

The restaurant industry veteran previously held the role of COO and President at the quick-serve chain Krispy Kreme International since 2017. Prior to that, he has had different executive management roles at Yum! Brands for 23 years.

"Niren is a recognized industry leader with an impressive track record of establishing brands and leading companies to achieve growth in markets around the world," said Oliver Goudet, Panera Chairman and JAB managing Partner and CEO in a press release. "He is passionate about serving the people he works with as well as his customers, and has shown a keen ability to develop growth strategies that appeal to consumer needs no matter where they reside. These qualities make him perfectly suited to lead Panera into the next phase of global growth in the US and abroad, while maintaining its mission of doing good in the world and serving food as it should be."

Chaudhary will be taking over Blaine Hurst's former role as he retires and transitions to the Vice Chairman of the Board of Panera.

"Blaine played a significant role in making Panera a leader in the industry including his tireless efforts to lead Panera through its omni channel journey including Panera 2.0, digital, delivery, catering, brand evolution and his commitment to diversity and inclusion," said Goudet. "To that effect, we are excited that Blaine has agreed to join JAB to help accelerate the technology transformation of our other food portfolio brands such as Pret a Manger."

Panera Bread started 30 years ago, making it one of the oldest fast casual brands on the market. Today, there are 2,300 Panera Bread stores In the U.S. and Canada.

However, now that the fast casual sector so saturated, the brand has much more competition.

In 2017, JAB Holdings bought the chain for about 7.2 billion with the goal of expanding the restaurant by focusing on quality and convenience. Panera has been ahead of the curve when it comes to incorporating technology with its popular mobile app and loyalty program, along with its massive employment of kiosks in the last few years. Last year, the chain launched its own delivery service.

Back in 2016, we spoke to Ron Shaich, the founder and former CEO about how he started Panera Bread and learned about his story as a game-changer in the industry who helped to build the fast casual movement. Check out the Fast Casual Nation documentary trailer below or watch the full film now available on Amazon Prime Video.

Sweetgreen has Halted its Cashless Policy After Backlash

As more cities like Boston and Philly pass legislation prohibiting businesses from going cashless, formerly cashless stores are now being forced to change their policies.

Sweetgreen, which had a cashless policy in place, announced late last week that it would now be accepting cash.

Those opposed to cashless policies argue that these policies exclude a segment of the population without bank accounts or debit or credit cards.

"Some have also raised concerns about privacy and data security. Philadelphia and the state of New Jersey passed laws banning cashless stores last month, and New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington are considering similar bills," writes "The New York Times."

There are some exemptions to these laws, including businesses like parking garages, hotels, and rental car businesses.

Sweetgreen introduced its cashless policy in 2016 as a way to streamline the payment process for customers and employees.

But in an effort to make the transaction process faster, the fast casual salad chain "had the unintended consequence of excluding those who prefer to pay or can only pay with cash," according to a statement by the restaurant.

“Ultimately, we have realized that while being cashless has advantages, today it is not the right solution to fulfill our mission,” said sweetgreen.

Amazon, which has aggressive plans to roll out up to 3,000 of cashier-less Amazon Go stores by 2021, also made the surprise decision this month to accept cash.

Check out the recent episode of The Barron Report below to learn more about this new legislation in Philly and the impact it had on Amazon Go stores before the accepting cash.

What Makes these Fast Casual Innovators the Best in the Business

Fast casual is a term I coined in the mid-’90s at the time to create a way to identify the segment compared to the bulky titans of fast food and casual dining. It wasn't rocket science for me to come up with the term or to even launch fastcasual.com, it was at a time when I saw the culmination of a few strong-minded individuals willing to push the status quo with the right ideas that were starting to connect with an emerging new consumer.

I had the opportunity to meet and work with these fast casual innovators early in my career when I started to see the hidden gems of restaurant brands that they were forging. But the most important aspect that I understood back in the ’90s was not my connection to food, it was my connection to technology consumer adoption and my understanding that technology would someday be the guiding force of the restaurant business.

Fast forward 25 years later and you now have a segment nearing 100 billion in sales and almost every aspect of communication is referring to the term I coined back in the ’90s. My observation and study of the segment, the consumers, the trends and the leaders still drive my curiosity today. If you have not had a chance to check out the documentary Fast Casual Nation, be sure to check it out on Amazon Prime here!

Join me in The Barron Report episode above as I break down some of the pioneers and emerging brand titans of the fast casual sector as I analyze both the pros and cons of some of the best brands in the business.

Dig Inn Raises $20 Million in Funding Round Led by Danny Meyer's Investment Group

The farm-to-table fast casual Dig Inn has secured $20 million in a funding round, led by Danny Meyer's Enlightened Hospitality Investments.

Dig Inn founder and CEO Adam Eskin announced the latest investment in a post on Medium where he also shared what the company plans to do with the additional funding.

The fast casual has been expanding rapidly. With 26 store locations in New York and Boston. But the latest funding round will help the brand launch in a new market- Philly and the company is also aiming to open an additional 10 stores.

To do that, the chain is going to need more manpower. So the restaurant will be ramping up its hiring.

"We’ll hire another 300 men and women, many of which have never stepped foot in a restaurant kitchen, and teach them that knife skills are life skills, and how learning how to cook can change everything," writes Eskin for "Medium."

The chain has now raised $71.5 million total. Dig Inn, which was founded about 7 years ago, is one of the leading trendy concepts aiming to bring healthy, all-natural food with fast service to customers.

With its new partnership with the Danny Meyer team, the restaurant will also be ramping up its supply of healthy vegetables.

"We’ll supply our restaurants with over 8 million pounds of vegetables from the 80+ farmers that make up our growing community, including 100,000 pounds from our own Farmer Larry Tse, his team, and his newly launched Young Farmer Incubator Program," writes Eskin.

The chain will focus on not only expansion and increasing food supply but it will be expanding it's delivery service and opening a full-service concept in New York City's West Village as well.

Read more at "Restaurant Dive" now.

Chains like Dig Inn with veggie-forward menus that deliver are going to stand out in today's market. Plant-based consumption was up 300% last year. Although the demand is high for these menu items, there aren't that many restaurants offering delivery of plant-based meals. Watch the On Foodable: Industry Pulse episode below to learn more about how consumers are wanting more plant-based food delivery options.