The Restaurant Reservations War Has Started

The restaurant reservation service Resy announced that it has acquired another reservation company Reserve.

This means Resy is making a big play to take OpenTable's customers.

OpenTable was the first to dominate the market. The online reservation service company, based in California which was formerly partnered with Yelp, was purchased by the Priceline Group in 2014 for $2.6 billion.

About 50,000 restaurants use OpenTable currently. Resy, on the other hand, serves about 10,000 restaurants but after the acquisition of Reserve, the company will be serving 14,000 restaurants.

Although this is still significantly less than OpenTable, these companies have yet to expand into most markets.

Not to mention, the pricing model of OpenTable has been criticized for being expensive.

"OpenTable, founded in 1998, charges restaurants based on the number of reservations it makes for them, in addition to a flat rate, but says it is experimenting with a new pricing model it will roll out in the next quarter. Reserve and Resy, which both started in 2014, charge restaurants only a flat rate for use of their software," writes the NY Times.

Resy has been on an acquiring spree and bought ClubKviar, a reservation service in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain in April and the company also acquired Servy, a market research service a year ago.

Resy's revenue has doubled every year for the last four years.

“We’re attacking and dismantling some very stale, inadequate, overpriced products,” said Ben Leventhal, Resy’s co-founders and chief executive in an interview last week.

According to Foodable Labs data, Resy has the highest Operator Sentiment score out of all the reservation services. This means operators are much happier with this service.

So should OpenTable be nervous? Yes.

But there is another challenge in the industry right now that could impact the growth of these reservation services.

Social Restaurant Visits are down, meaning restaurant traffic is down and fewer customers are making reservations.

Read more about Resy’s acquisition of Reserve at “The New York Times.”

Watch The Barron Report above to learn more.

Zume Pizza Raises $375 Million From SoftBank, Other Firms on the Verge of Investing Too

The automated pizza delivery restaurant Zume has raised an additional $375 million from SoftBank, according to a recent report from "The WallStreet Journal."

“We’ve recently closed a round of funding to support our growth and hiring,” said Alex Garden, Zume CEO and co-founder in a statement.

Zume Pizza is a Silicon Valley-based company that is store-less and has a team of six different robots that assist in making the pizzas.

Zume also has delivery vehicles equipped with pizza ovens, so pizzas are ready for fast delivery.

But delivering fresh pizza isn't the company's only focus, Zume owns a patent for these delivery trucks and is considering licensing this technology to other restaurants looking to use trucks similar to those in Zume's fleet

“Pizza was our prototype,” said Garden to "TechCrunch" in April. “There’s no reason why this technology wouldn’t work for any restaurant or any food category. Any restaurant who wants to adopt our system can now easily do that. They don’t have to be experts in technology or appliance manufacturing. They can just be restaurateurs, who have a more flexible offering for customers.”

Evidently, the company's automation technology is especially attractive to investors because "The WSJ" also said that another firm is looking to invest another $375 million.

Prior to this recent investment, Zume already raised $70 million.

Do you think that this tech-focused pizza brand will take off with this massive investment?

Read more about the funding announcement and what the future holds for Zume at "TechCrunch."

We recently took a closer look at automation in the pizza industry. Watch the video below to see how Zume deploys its team of robots to make its pizzas.

Automation, the Latest Pizza Technology Alleviating Labor

Robots in the kitchen, sounds like a dream right? Well, 2018 brings the dawn of a new era in the foodservice industry, automation.

Automation, as defined by Techopedia, is the creation of technology and its application in order to control and monitor the production and delivery of various goods and services.

One particular area that’s booming for foodservice automation, is pizza.

Graphic Created by:  Rachel Brill

Graphic Created by: Rachel Brill

Startups like Silicon Valley-based Zume Pizza was founded in 2015 with the idea of cutting out laborious work for its employees, allowing them to move into more creative roles. The pizza startup has a total of six robots in its line of production to alleviate repetitive work.

Up and coming pizza restaurants aren’t the only ones adding robots to their concepts. A Pizza Hut branch located in South Korea has introduced a robot waiter, Dilly Plate. The addition to the restaurant is an effort to lessen staff pressures.

This boom in pizza technology is not the end. According to Technavio, the market for robots in the foodservice industry will experience a 29% compound annual growth rate from 2015 through 2019.

However, it may pose a threat to restaurant employees. A 2017 report from Cornerstone Capital Group states, between 6 million and 7.5 million U.S. jobs are at risk “in the coming years” due to automation, but Zume Pizza CEO Alex Garden doesn’t see it that way.

“For the first time in 20 years, we have more job openings than jobless people. We have to solve that problem,” Garden said. “When we automate a dangerous, repetitive task, we don’t get rid of that person. We train them and promote them and allow them to do more meaningful work.”

To learn more about how automation is impacting pizza restaurants, be sure to watch the video above an read more at Forbes.

Plant-Based, Technologically Driven, Vastly Different Startups Receive $3 Billion in Investments

Plant-Based, Technologically Driven, Vastly Different Startups Receive $3 Billion in Investments
  • The future of food looks technologically driven with meatless meat and low sugar sweets.

  • New meal choices are under development with recently funded startups.

These startups have gained about three billion dollars globally of disclosed investment over the past 12 months. Here are some highlights of food and beverage trends you can expect to see coming soon.

Read More

Zume Pizza is Aiming to License Their High-Tech Delivery Trucks to Other Restaurants

Zume Pizza is Aiming to License Their High-Tech Delivery Trucks to Other Restaurants

What’s better than fresh food delivered to your door? Fresh food that was made while on its way to your door.

At least that’s what Mountain View’s Zume Pizza thinks. This startup has dozens of patents on the baked-on-the-way method they’ve been cultivating since 2016. Zume Pizza delivery trucks are also equipped with robots to make the pies.

Read More