Is The Future of Dining Digitization? Allset CEO Thinks So!

We are living in a world with a live and thriving “on-demand” economy.

From having the choice to watch your favorite TV shows on your own time and schedule, to ordering meals and groceries through your mobile phone or online.

Companies seem to have finally figured it out…

Time is of the essence!

People seem to be willing to pay for their precious time to avoid time-consuming, mundane tasks. And with so many efficiencies taking place in different aspects of people’s lives, consumers are getting accustomed to speedy services so they can get back to what’s most important to them.

This phenomenon has us thinking… Is the future of dining digitization?

On this episode of On Foodable Feature, we learn from Stas Matviyenko, CEO and co-founder of Allset—a San Francisco-based application that aims to help restaurants provide a more efficient dining experience to guests who are short for time.

Watch the full interview to learn how this app can help increase a restaurant operation’s bottom line, how the technology integration would look like, and costs associated with the service!

Will Thrive Market Become Amazon's Biggest Competitor in the Organic Food Space?

The E-commerce giant Amazon made its plans known to conquer the organic food space about a year ago when it acquired Whole Foods.

While the tech giant was working to revive the organic grocery chain, Thrive Market, the online grocery store specializing in natural and organic products, was quietly and rapidly expanding across the country.

Now, Thrive Market has expanded with new categories and is offering membership perks to compete with Amazon.

Customers pay $5 a month to be a Thrive member and are given access to a marketplace of all-natural foods, beverages, wines, supplements and medicines at a discount, ranging from 25 to 50 percent off. Thrive offers free two-day shipping too.

So what does Thrive Market offer that Amazon doesn't?

It's all about the products and how they are sourced.

“Amazon buying Whole Foods has created a big opportunity for us,” said Nick Green, the co-founder and CEO of Thrive Market. “Whole Foods has been the standard bearer for natural foods and organic products, but the challenge it has had is that many people don’t live near one, and many people can’t afford it. When you think about the Amazonification of Whole Foods, Amazon bought it for the real estate, and it’s tried to make it more accessible for everyone. That means you’re going to see different products on the shelves.”

Thrive Market won't be losing sight of its standards. All products on the marketplace are ethically sourced and non-GMO, along with other requirements.

“Already, Whole Foods shelves have Honey Nut Cheerios and Amazon Echos,” said Green.

Although Amazon has introduced products like these to the Whole Foods stores, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently said that the chain will be keeping niche products on the shelves that aren't found at common grocery stores.

“Not only are we not decreasing local foods, we’re increasing them," said Mackey to "Well + Good" in November.

But Amazon has lofty plans for Whole Foods and it is bound to change what products the chain carries.

“Amazon doesn’t want Whole Foods to be a top-five regional or specialty grocer,” said Cooper Smith, principal analyst at Gartner L2 to "Digiday." “It wants it to be a top-five national grocery chain. That’s going to impact the products you see being carried. National brands are hitting the shelves and are in talks whereas they might not have gotten a foot in before.”

According to Green, Thrive Market grew its 2018 revenue by 50 percent compared to the year prior.

See what else Thrive plans to do in the next year to become Whole Foods' biggest competitor at "Digiay" now.

But Amazon isn’t just going after the on-the-go consumer with its grocery deliveries, its cashier-less Amazon Go stores are going to pop-up across the country offering food options. Watch The Barron Report episode below to see how these stores will make an impact on restaurants, especially those in the QSR and fast casual segment.

Whole Foods to Officially Exit Instacart Marketplace

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Back in 2014, the organic grocery store Whole Foods partnered with Instacart to offer customers grocery delivery.

When the grocery chain was acquired about a year ago by the tech and logistics giant Amazon, it was only a matter of time until the grocery chain was going to exit the partnership.

Whole Food deliveries will no longer be available on the Instacart app starting February 10.

According to a recent “Tech Crunch” report, Amazon, which has its own grocery service Amazon Fresh, has negotiated to end the partnership with Instacart earlier than the company expected.

“A person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that significant developments over the last 18 months forced Instacart to wind down its relationship earlier than planned. Whole Foods didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment,” writes “Tech Crunch.”

Instacart currently employs 70,000 people to shop and delivery grocery items for its customers. The service has grown wildly popular and has over 300 retailers on its marketplace including big-box retailers like Walmart and Kroger.

Its success has made it especially attractive to investors.

“The company raised $600 million at a $7.6 billion valuation in October, just six months after it brought in a $150 million round and roughly eight months after a $200 million financing that valued the business at $4.2 billion,” writes “Tech Crunch.”

However, this announcement means there will be layoffs. Instacart has said that 75 percent of 1,415 workers impacted have been given new roles. But there are 350 or so expected layoffs.

In a blog post, Apoorva Mehta, Instacart’s co-founder and CEO said that company is offering transfer bonuses to their Whole Foods shopping couriers and those that are being layoff will be given a separation package.

“We’re committed to taking care of all impacted in-store Whole Foods shoppers who choose not to, or cannot, be placed in a new role. For those shoppers, we’ll be providing a minimum of 3-months separation package based on your maximum monthly pay in 2018, as well as additional tenure-based compensation,” writes Mehta.

Do you think this is a fatal blow to Instacart? Will Amazon Fresh ultimately conquer the grocery delivery market? Or will consumers be more interested in using a service with many retail partners to choose from?

Read more about Instacart and Whole Foods parting ways at “Tech Crunch” now.

Amazon’s announcement to acquire Whole Foods rocked the food industry. Besides getting into the organic grocery market, Amazon has started to roll out Amazon Go stores. These convenience stores cater to the on-the-go consumer and are cashier-less. Many of which offer grab-and-go food options. These stores have become the most popular during the workweek, especially at lunchtime.

On this recent episode of The Barron Report, Host Paul Barron discusses how these stores are a threat to restaurants, especially fast casual.

Have Amazon Go and UberEats Become a Threat to Restaurant Operators?

Operators have always had to compete in the market with other concepts, but in today's market, there are a new set of power players ready to steal your customers.

Enter Amazon.

Amazon, like the fast casual segment, is catering to the on-the-go consumer with its cashier-less Amazon Go stores, many of which offer grab-and-go food options. These stores have become the most popular during the workweek, especially at lunchtime.

We recently analyzed the aggressive move Amazon is making in the foodservice industry. Listen to this episode of The Barron Report for more insights on if fast casual restaurants can survive this threat.

But there is one advantage that restaurants, namely fast casual restaurants, have over the Amazon Go stores– many have embraced the plant-based movement. According to Foodable Labs data, today's foodies can't get enough of these plant-based menu items.

Don’t miss our video breaking down this data about the plant-based movement below.

Amazon isn't the only threat operators need to be worried about. There is another shark circling to take a bite out of your business.

Third-party delivery services emerged as a solution that many operators desperately needed.

Since offering delivery has quickly become a guests' expectation, an operator has two options. One is to invest in significant funding to build a delivery program. However, this is easier said than done. It entails creating a system, investing in a platform to process these orders, hiring more staff to handle take-out and delivery orders, and then hiring reliable drivers to deliver these orders.

Or an operator can simply partner with a third-party delivery service, which eliminates most of the headaches. When you consider the operational and logistical challenges of offering delivery, its no wonder that operators across the country have decided to go the route of partnering with a third-party delivery service.

But now this has created a new problem.

One of the most popular delivery services out there is now UberEats. This company has quickly conquered the market. UberEats is currently offering food delivery for 50 percent of the U.S. population and has the lofty goal of serving 70 percent of the U.S. population by the end of this year.

As UberEats becomes more popular, the more the fees increase for the participating restaurants. Could this be correlated to the increase in restaurant closings?

Listen to the podcast above as The Barron Report host Paul Barron explains the data showing that third-party delivery growth may be tied to restaurant failures.

Food Delivery Discount Service Increases Sales During Restaurant Off-Peak Hours

Food Delivery Discount Service Increases Sales During Restaurant Off-Peak Hours

hough delivery has proven to be a huge market with the likes of UberEats and Grubhub snatching up restaurant dollars, it has also proven to be extremely expensive for operators and, consequently, for consumers.

According to Forbes, Restaurants could pay anywhere between 11% and 45% commission on each order if they sign up for a delivery service. And while restaurants admit that adding these services improve order numbers and total revenue, these rates are huge. And the delivery fees on the consumer side aren’t tiny either.

Two entrepreneurial brothers based in NYC noticed this issue while scouring for promo codes and coupons to lower their delivery order prices. Wondering, ‘why isn’t there some sort of food delivery happy hour’ Mohamed and Sidi Ahmed Merzouk set out to create this type of app.

Read More