Story by Dana Setting
From the outside, success often appears to be a matter of being in the right place at the right time. The truth is usually a much different story. A story of research and development, years of trial and error, and then finally, a breakthrough moment.
According to Jeremy Brooks, the Chief Marketing Officer for GRUBBRR, that breakthrough moment came in the Spring of 2020. This is, of course, when the restaurant industry began to face unprecedented challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The GRUBBRR Platform consists of a range of both hardware and software, all working together to create a contactless ordering ecosystem. By the Spring of 2020, GRUBBRR had already invested more than three years building their contactless ordering software, and they already had hundreds of systems in place in pilot stores.
When the Covid-19 pandemic upended normal restaurant operations, owners and operators needed a way to continue running their businesses. For an industry that is notoriously slow to adopt new technology, this was a difficult challenge. Suddenly in-person dining was largely prohibited. Where in-person dining was still allowed, many customers viewed eating out as too risky and stayed home. Many restaurants lacked the infrastructure to become entirely carryout and delivery-only, and found themselves in crisis.
According to Brooks, “These die hard, passionate entrepreneurs, for years had no reason to make a change. Then suddenly they did.” “They had to move fast and find a solution that would ease customer fears, protect staff, and maintain efficiency. GRUBBRR was ready and stepped up in a big way. Their client base multiplied rapidly.
Brook said, “The upcoming generations have been raised online. They expect a fully integrated online menu and ordering option.” Looking toward the post-pandemic future, Brooks said that these core changes to the industry are permanent, and places that haven’t shifted will struggle and may eventually find themselves obsolete. “If you don’t do it, your competitor will, and they’ll survive”, he said.
Brooks said that GRUBBRR evens the playing field. Starting at $1 an hour, small and independent restaurants now have the same capabilities as large chains. He said, “We put people back in the fight.” He notes that many clients have reported impressive results since onboarding with GRUBBRR, including reports of a doubling in business from some who hadn’t offered contactless ordering before.
Some reasons for this growth include integration. No matter how the orders are placed— via phone, online, or in-person, the software is optimized for efficiency and accuracy. Brooks said that having customers fully complete their own orders eliminates waste by minimizing mistakes. The kiosks provide a decrease in labor and training costs, and enable an increase in revenue, with clients reporting a higher per-order average than their pre-GRUBBRR numbers.
Their digital menus are easy to navigate, they’re intuitive and they include real images of each menu item. GRUBBRR believes that customers buy with their eyes so each menu item pairs with a smart upsell. Brooks said, “You just ordered a burrito, instantly the option to add a side of sour cream pops up.” It’s about anticipating customer needs and wants. Brooks adds that with contactless ordering, customers can order without feeling pressure or judgement, and can do so quickly.
You can currently find GRUBBRR’s self-ordering kiosks in countless restaurants, casinos, stadiums and arenas. They’ve also developed food and beverage lockers for venues such as stadiums and arenas, and they plan to continue innovating in the contactless industry.