Xenial Serves An All-In-One Solution for Restaurants & Businesses Alike

Xenial Serves An All-In-One Solution for Restaurants & Businesses Alike
  • Xenial is an all-in-one, cloud-based solution to help restaurants run their businesses.

  • Xenial is Taco Bell’s mobile ordering solution.

On this episode of On Foodable: Industry Pulse, we talk to Christopher Sebes, the president of Xenial as he explains the cloud-based, full-restaurant platform solution which allows business operators to do everything necessary to run their business from one application.

Xenial includes “everything from ordering to payroll integration, time and attendance management, inventory, labor scheduling, reporting. And, the ordering platform also includes all sorts of ordering, so that’s mobile ordering, web ordering, customization kiosk,” said Sebes. “And, Xenial doesn’t charge extra for those services.”

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HelloFresh and Grubhub Snatch Up Restaurant Customers

HelloFresh and Grubhub Snatch Up Restaurant Customers

Consumers today are looking to save time, money, and calories. And in trying to do that, it has completely changed how and where they eat. According to data from the USDA, at least 50% of U.S. food expenditures in 2014 we’re allocated towards food away from home. That number has steadily increased since they began collecting the data in 1929.

Additional USDA data shows that 62 percent of millennials surveyed in December 2017 reported purchasing prepared deli food, carry-out, delivery, or fast food within the last seven days.

Mostly fueled by trends to eat healthier meals in shorter amounts of time, consumers are more than willing to fork over some extra cash for convenience and time efficiency.

According to business insider, there is a massive unfulfilled market opportunity here.

“As of 2015, about $210 billion worth of food is ordered for delivery or takeout on an annual basis in the U.S., according to Morgan Stanley research. But two of the industry leaders, GrubHub/Seamless and Eat24, generated a combined $2.6 billion in food sales last year. This means the market is underpenetrated but massive, which will incentivize continued competition and, potentially, an influx of new entrants.”

Meanwhile, the meal kit industry has seen exactly that sort of influx. The meal kit industry was dominated by Blue Apron just one year ago. Now, though Blue Apron has managed to hold on to its lead internationally, their market share has more dropped more than 17 percent and now Hello Fresh has surpassed them as the largest meal kit company in the US. And other competitors like Home Chef and Sunbasket are now gobbling up those extra dollars.

But the overall popularity of meal kits is dipping. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that investors have all but abandoned the meal kits space. And data from Foodable Labs shows that all the top meal kit brands are showing decreases in their consumer sentiment ratings.

Still, the meal kit industry is a 1.5 billion dollar industry, and certain segments of our industry are heavily impacted by consumer crossover with meal kits and groceraunts. For example, 34.7% of fast casual customers also use meal kits or groceraunts, making them a direct competitor. QSR’s, on the other hand, are safest with only 12.3% crossover.

Check out the episode above and let us know what other data you want to see!

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First Amazon Go Grocery Store Opens to Public in Seattle

First Amazon Go Grocery Store Opens to Public in Seattle

Amazon, Monday, opened their the first brick-and-mortar grocery store where no physical checkouts are required. Amazon Go has been in beta-testing with Amazon employees since 2016 and has just opened to the public. It was expected to open to the public more quickly but there were some teething problems with correctly identifying shoppers of similar body types - and children moving items to the wrong places on shelves, according to an Amazon insider.

Transactions in the store are all done digitally using Amazon’s “Just Walk Out Technology.” It uses hundreds of ceiling-mounted cameras and electronic sensors to identify each customer and track the items they select while walking through the store. Purchases are then billed to customers' credit cards when they leave the store.

Back in 2016, Foodable covered Amazon’s announcement of this concept and our experts chimed in on how these futuristic grocery stores could impact restaurant operators and their businesses.

“First and foremost, what a great wakeup call for our industry. If anyone in our industry is taking anything for granted, what a gift Amazon is providing us...Amazon knows how to deliver experience,” restaurant brand coach Rudy Miick, CMC, MA, said.

“In today’s market, people like convenience. Just like any business that offers a competitive product, there will be some loss of market share to restaurants. However, this is a great opportunity to model the process and fit it to your concept,” Andrew Carlson, consultant and author of Customer Service Is the Bottom Line, said.

The store offers pre-made meals, consumer packaged goods, Amazon Fresh meal kits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and a bunch of average grocery items. As of now, Amazon has not said if it will be opening more Go stores, which are separate from the Whole Foods chain that it bought last year for $13.7 billion. Only time will tell what's next.

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Amazon Go: How Will This Checkout-Free Grocery Store Change the Restaurant Industry?

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In times when speed and efficiency are highly-valued qualities by the everyday consumer, Amazon, the logistics tech giant, has opened the first grocery store of its kind to appease such demands.

Although it is currently in beta-testing and will not be open to the public until early 2017, Amazon Go is the first brick-and-mortar grocery store where no physical checkouts are required. So, how are transactions made? It is all done digitally through Amazon’s “Just Walk Out Technology.” When guests with Amazon Prime memberships enter the store, all the items in their possession are scanned and charges are made on their accounts.

How could this technology be used in the restaurant space to improve guest experience? Is commercializing this seamless technology even a possibility? And with Amazon Go’s quick-and-easy options, including to-go, chef-prepared meals, how will this affect foodservice as a whole, when hungry guests can swing by for a quick bite as opposed to a local fast casual?

Earlier in November, Foodable covered Amazon’s announcement and our experts chimed in on how these futuristic grocery stores could impact restaurant operators and their businesses.

“First and foremost, what a great wakeup call for our industry. If anyone in our industry is taking anything for granted, what a gift Amazon is providing us...Amazon knows how to deliver experience,” restaurant brand coach Rudy Miick, CMC, MA, said.

And Miick is right — this e-commerce giant’s entire brand promise is to commit to brand experience. From transforming the retail market for bookstores in its early days to now bringing cloud services to consumer tablets and Fire TV, it’s no surprise seeing Amazon breach another vertical for growth.

Amazon Go, bringing the e-commerce brand from the digital to the physical, will entice guests with ready-made meals, fresh breakfast, lunch, dinner, baked goods, milk, cheeses, and more from household name brands and artisanal merchants, according to Fortune. Customers will also be able to pick up Amazon Meal Kits, which concept rivals that of home-cooking services like Blue Apron.  

“Amazon is smart to transcend into the arena of physical grocery stores. If Amazon is going to make an impact on the grocery business, it’s going to have to do something aggressive to penetrate the market owned by Walmart,” Burns said. “I don’t think restaurants need to worry as much as Walmart does. Restaurants still have the advantage because a lot of people don’t cook at home.”

However, even if the restaurant industry is not directly affected by Amazon’s grocery stores, its technology has the potential to influence and penetrate into the restaurant and retail space like never before.

“In today’s market, people like convenience. Just like any business that offers a competitive product, there will be some loss of market share to restaurants. However, this is a great opportunity to model the process and fit it to your concept,” Andrew Carlson, consultant and author of  Customer Service Is the Bottom Line, said.

If it is possible to commercialize this subtle technology, it could change the way transactions — especially in foodservice and hospitality — are conducted forever.