Can the Start-up Galley Enhance the Back-of-House Tech With the Help of Google's Former Chef?

Can the Start-up Galley Enhance the Back-of-House Tech With the Help of Google's Former Chef?

Although the front of house in restaurants across the country has seen significant enhancements in technology in the last few years, the systems in the back of house are still playing catch-up.

From doing the inventory to recipe storing, a lot of operators have not transitioned to digital platforms.

“Sometimes kitchen recipes are handwritten in notebooks that chefs keep in their pockets,” said chef Shawn Quaid, who managed eight restaurants at the shared kitchen Green Summit. “Sometimes recipes are dog-eared in binders or coffee-stained on clipboards hanging in the kitchens.”

No one knows this better than Nate Keller, the former executive chef at Google, who used to manage the massive kitchen operations using a spreadsheet, while ironically working at one of the biggest technology companies.

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Yeast Will be Instrumental In The Next Level of Food Tech

Yeast Will be Instrumental In The Next Level of Food Tech

Earlier this year, Foodable reported on products from companies like Beyond Meat, which is looking to replace animal meat by using a plant-based product for its Beyond Burgers, and Ripple, which is a company offering a milk-like product strictly made out of peas. Those are just a couple of examples of a larger move towards plant-based or alternative protein.

Thanks to the low costs on biotech tools, a handful of startups, mainly concentrated around the Bay Area, are “using a biotech process called fermentation to make animal products,” reports “Fortune.”

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Google-Backed, Veggie Milk Could Have Lowest Eco-Footprint in Dairy Industry

Google-Backed, Veggie Milk Could Have Lowest Eco-Footprint in Dairy Industry

You’ve heard of alternative milk made from soy, almond, coconut and rice… but have you heard of a plant-based milk made from yellow peas?

That’s right!

Ripple, a startup backed by $44 million from Google and venture capitalists from Silicon Valley is selling alternative milk that not only has a clean taste, but also has just as much protein as that made from cows, reports “Bloomberg.”

It’s perfect timing since Foodable recently reported that there may be a milk shortage, or at least a milk price hike, due to globalization.

Alternative milk might just be the solution, especially if it’s eco-friendly and high in protein.

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Ando, David Chang's Online Restaurant Gets $7M in Funding

Screenshot of Ando's website

Screenshot of Ando's website

The delivery-only, virtual restaurant by David Chang, Momofuku and Expa – Ando has just closed a $7 million Series A investment round. 

The online restaurant launched in New York in July and has recently launched a web app. Momofuku provides the back-of-the-house service with the culinary expertise, while Expa provides the front-of-the-house service with the delivery logistics. Ando offers NYC diners meals like the Fried Chicken, Spicy Tofu and the NY Cheesesteak.

"Mobile technology has completely transformed our daily lives, and it's certainly impacting the overall dining experience with the ease of delivery," said David Chang, co-founder of Ando in a press release. "We've never taken VC money before, and Ando was a very special case since we've always wanted to do delivery for Momofuku. The concept of Ando was planned many years ago, and we waited until we found the perfect partner, Expa, that had the right technology and logistics to deliver quality food that, when delivered, is as good or more delicious than eating something in a restaurant. Now through the Ando platform, we're starting to understand the consumer experience better and when we understand how the consumer eats the food and wants the food, then we can cook it better as well."

Does the Market Need a Service Like This?

The food delivery sector is extremely competitive nowadays, so how does Ando set itself apart from the many options available in NYC? Ando claims that the meals are high quality, tasty, and fresh. 

The dishes are also tested to see if their quality stays consistent while in route to the guest. The platform provides realtime analytics and data, so Ando knows how the customer is responding to the ordering process, how the kitchen is performing, and how quick the meals are being delivered. This allows them to adapt to provide a better experience for their customers. 

"The food delivery space is growing, evolving and adapting to accommodate a new generation of consumers that wants authenticity, consistent quality and a personal connection to a brand," said Hooman Radfar, co-founder and CEO of Ando in a press release. "With this new funding, we'll continue our commitment to culinary innovation, making food delicious while experimenting with ingredients, enhancing packaging and improving our backend technology to ensure the best experience upon delivery. Our goal is to grow our menu offerings and expand beyond New York, creating delicious food and pushing the limits of delivery."

Ando started off delivering lunch, but also now offers dinner during the week. It has expanded it's delivery zones to include all of Midtown East and some parts of Midtown West. 

The service also recently launched Ando Labs, where customers can test new dishes and provide feedback. 

With this new major funding, will Ando survive in the competitive delivery market? And is this concept scalable enough to expand to other cities? 

Why These Food Tech Companies Failed

Why These Food Tech Companies Failed

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Five years ago, it seemed like every entrepreneur wanted a piece of the food tech pie. Once PostMates launched in 2011 and GrubHub and Seamless merged in 2013, thousands of food-focused technology companies were on the lookout for funding.

The future looked bright as many of these companies raised millions. Fast forward to 2016, several of these well-funded startups have been forced to throw in the towel.

But, why did these companies fail in the first place? Especially when many of which seemed to be on track to succeed?

SpoonRocket 

This on-demand pre-made meal delivery startup announced in mid-march that it was closing up shop. Although the company had raised $13.5 million, it wasn’t enough to fund the costs to continue operating. 

So, why couldn’t SpoonRocket stay afloat?

The Fierce Competition 

By 2016, SpoonRocket was one of the many on-demand food delivery services on the market. DoorDash, PostMates, Caviar, GrubHub and even Amazon were rapidly spreading to different cities. 

Investors interested in the third-party delivery sector had more options to choose from.

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