Authored by: Michelle Doss (Director of Corporate Marketing)
HungerRush had ringside seats to the restaurant tech revolution. COVID-19 hastened the ongoing spike in demand for restaurant tech, which led to a flurry of mergers and acquisitions as big companies sought to invest.
By then, HungerRush was an established player in the industry, with plenty of experience in mergers and acquisitions. That’s why we sat down with The Deal’s Nikitha Sattiraju and told her:
- How HungerRush anticipated the digital revolution
- Why we’re positioned better than other companies to see what’s coming next
- What our acquisition of 9Fold means for you and your marketing team
Let’s dig in.
How HungerRush Got Ahead of the Restaurant Tech Revolution
Simple: As HungerRush CEO Perry Turbes told The Deal’s Nikitha Sattiraju, we knew the industry, struck fast, and kept investing in expertise to stay ahead of the competition. Here’s how those things helped us:
- Know which way the wind’s blowing. HungerRush saw that digital orders were rising and customer data would only become more important; COVID-19 hastened that. So we adopted a strategy that involved finding, in the words of Perry Turbes, “more digital ordering channels and [more] creative ways to enable marketing for our customers.”
- Strike fast, strike first. HungerRush knew we needed financial backing to invest in those digital ordering and marketing technologies. CapStreet Group LLC shared our vision for the future of restaurants and backed us. Together, we’ve been able to acquire exciting companies like OrderAI and 9Fold and integrate them in HungerRush.
- Keep growing by investing in what’s important. Hiring outside expertise is key to staying ahead of changes in restaurant tech. “For a fast-growing technology company, that expertise is important,” Turbes says. “You can get capital, but you really need someone that’s there to help grow the business.” Without investing in outside experts, HungerRush would have stagnated.
At HungerRush, we saw what was coming with advances in technology and realized how they could be utilized to help QSR owners be more competitive. But here’s the thing about the future: it’s always changing.
Modern Restaurant Tech: Automated, But No Less Personal
To take advantage of something, you have to see it coming. That’s why HungerRush hires so many restaurant industry veterans. They’ve given us a real edge: they know the industry, and they’re always thinking about what’s coming next.
Here’s a taste of what’s coming in 2022:
- Greater use of labor-management tech. It’s a real challenge to recruit, train, and onboard employees these days. As highlighted in The Deal article by Josh Benn, Managing Director at Kroll LLC, “Many restaurants face difficulty staying open past nine because they can’t staff it.” We’re inclined to agree—and because of this, we expect labor-management tech will see huge growth in 2022.
- Companies are doubling down on tech. More and more companies are seeing the need to encourage customers to visit their restaurant (or platform) and investing accordingly.
Take a look at this table. It shows which large companies acquired food tech or scheduling startups in 2021 alone.
|Olo Inc.||Wisely Inc.||$187 million|
A lot of money was spent in this sector in 2021, and this pattern looks set to continue in the future.
- Robotics hardware will remain in a tight spot. Robotics in restaurant tech is stuck in an awkward place right now, with slim prospects of short-term improvement. Aaron Allen, CEO of a restaurant consulting firm of the same name, told The Deal, “Many restaurant tech companies, particularly in emerging areas such as robotics, blockchain and remote kitchen controls, are stuck in the ‘valley of death,’ where they are too big for friends and family funding and too small for private equity.” So until the market clears the valley of death, we’re going to see a very limited adoption of robotic tech in kitchens. AI-powered software, on the other hand, is here and leading to similar efficiency gains—so the urgency to adopt robotics hardware is low.
Next up, we unpack HungerRush’s acquisition of 9Fold and what that means for the HungerRush POS going forward.
And for smaller restaurants that might think all this technology is out of reach (or, let’s be honest, out of budget), HungerRush’s acquisition of 9Fold is nothing but good news.
What Acquiring 9Fold Means for HungerRush Marketing
HungerRush recently acquired 9Fold and incorporated them into our HungerRush marketing and POS system. Now HungerRush offers a white-glove marketing service that allows restaurants of any size access to the same tools that enterprise-level establishments have.
With the addition of 9Fold, HungerRush marketing is capable of:
- Personalizing customer outreach, deals, coupons, and loyalty programs
- Targeting email and SMS marketing campaigns
- Issuing detailed customer data reports that QSRs can use to drive business decisions
“HungerRush 360 Marketing provides valuable reporting to allow businesses to easily see trends in customer behavior. The system empowers restaurants to fully use valuable data in a way that takes the guesswork out of how and when to market to customers, helping them to grow their business and expand profitability.” — Perry Turbes, HungerRush CEO
Time to Join the Revolution
HungerRush has been at the head of the digital revolution in restaurants since the beginning. Backed by CapStreet Group LLC, we were able to invest in emerging technologies and continue to help restaurateurs stand out from the crowd.
With 9Fold part of the team, HungerRush is ready to offer restaurants of every size the chance to unleash the power of marketing. Sick of playing catch-up? Get ahead of the game.
“The results speak for themselves. It’s truly like having a built-in marketing department without having to pay even a fraction of what it would cost for one salaried marketing employee per month.” — Vicky Dalva, Batata.