The FeedJun 25, 2020
079- Analyzing the current state of restaurant tech with Stefan Hertzberg of ItsaCheckmate
Stefan Hertzberg is the SVP of Growth at ItsaCheckmate, an integrator between POS systems and online ordering channels for QSRs like Wendy’s, Five Guys, and Jet’s Pizza. In this episode, we’ll talk about the recent M&A activity in the fragmented restaurant tech space, how operators can own their customer data on third-party delivery platforms, and the challenges facing many startups in the space.
078- Leveraging AI to unlock nature’s full potential with Karthik Sekar of Climax Foods
Karthik Shekar is the Head of Data Science at Climax Foods, a producer of specialty dairy-free cheeses currently being used by Michelin-starred chefs. In this episode, we’ll talk about how the startup leverages AI to speed up its R&D cycle, the advantages of natural plant-based alternatives over precision fermentation, and the potential for AI to create new foods we’ve never even dreamed of.
077- Feeding good gut bugs with Marc Washington of Supergut
Marc Washington is the Founder & CEO of Supergut, a line of shakes, snack bars, and powders focused on gut health through prebiotic fiber. In this episode we’ll talk about the misconceptions behind probiotics, the role of the gut in moderating everything from our mood to our metabolism, and the future of clinically-validated health and wellness products like Supergut.
076- Building the plug & play online grocery platform with Brad McNamara of Morrissey Market
Brad McNamara is the founder & CEO of Morrissey Market, an online grocery platform built on top of the existing restaurant distributor infrastructure. In this episode we’ll talk about Brad’s roots in vertical farming, how Morrissey is building online grocery as a service for food as medicine and nonprofit organizations, and the economics behind his asset-light approach.
075- Defining table stakes for modern restaurateurs with Shawn Walchef of Cali BBQ
Shawn Walchef is the owner of Cali BBQ and Cali BBQ Media, a 15-year-old BBQ chain located in San Diego, California that also creates B2B content for operators. In this episode, we’ll discuss how Cali BBQ is leveraging smaller-format locations like ghost kitchens and stadium concessions to build the “Amazon Prime of BBQ,” the current state of restaurant technology, and how restaurant operators can leverage the full potential of social media.
074- Delivering dinner from microenterprise home chefs with Morley Ivers of Cookin
Morley Ivers is the Co-Founder & CEO of Cookin, a Toronto-based food delivery marketplace enabling a new crop of creators to sell hot food from their homes or commissary kitchens. In this episode, we’ll talk about the regulatory hurdles facing Cookin and similar platforms, how Cookin is developing its own chef certification program, and the behavioral shift in how consumers will order food over the next five to ten years.
073- Dissecting the robotic delivery pipedream with Dmitry Shevelenko
Dmitry Shevelenko is the former head of Uber’s mobility partnerships and founder of Tortoise, a startup that built slow-moving robotic vending machines for stadiums, parking lots, and other public spaces. In this episode, Dmitry talks about lessons learned from his startup, the current landscape of autonomous delivery bots, and the challenges for hardware startups to become commercially viable businesses.
072- The Willy Wonka of Algae With Elliot Roth of Spira
Elliot Roth is the Founder of Spira, a startup growing algae to be used in protein, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and pigments. In this episode, we’ll talk about Elliot’s personal journey of growing his own spirulina algae while he was food insecure, how algae can replace harmful petrochemicals found in our clothes and food, and the future of hyperlocal, distributed food systems.
071- Building the world’s first caffeine replacement with Jeffrey Dietrich of Rarebird Coffee
Jeffrey Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Rarebird, a modern coffee company building a new replacement to caffeine without the jitters. In this episode, we’ll talk about the 60% of the population who are slow caffeine metabolizers, how Rarebird is leveraging a metabolite called Paraxanthine, and the various adaptogens that it's infusing into its portfolio of coffees to support long-term cognitive health.
070- Reimagining microwave cooking and frozen foods with Steph Chen of Anyday
Steph Chen is the founder of Anyday, a modern cookware brand designed specifically for microwave cooking. In this episode we’ll talk about some of the biggest misconceptions around the health and safety of the home microwave, how culinary influencers like Dave Chang and Kenji Lopez-Alt have become proponents of this way of cooking, and the next generation of CPG brands rethinking your freezer and pantry.
069- Fixing the broken incentives of our food system with Justin Mares of Kettle & Fire
Justin Mares is an entrepreneur behind better-for-you CPG brands like Kettle & Fire, Perfect Keto, & Surely and co-founder in TrueMed, a payment integration that allows health-promoting merchants to accept pre-tax HSA and FSA funds. In this episode, we’ll talk about designing decentralized, local economies around food, uncover some of the perverse incentives of Big Food lobbying that impacts our health, and look at the potential for personalized nutrition and wearables to improve preventative healthcare.
068- Democratizing the private chef with Carlos Ventura Jr. of Feast & Fettle
Carlos Ventura Jr. is the Founder & CEO of Feast & Fettle, a regional meal prep service delivering throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In this episode, we’ll talk about how the service has scaled from a home chef operation to over $20mm in revenue, how it’s differentiated other delivery services, and its new retail strategy.
067- Breaking down Amazon’s fulfillment network with Marc Wulfraat of MWPVL
Marc Wulfraat is the Founder & President of MWPVL International, a global supply chain and logistics consulting firm that advises large retailers on warehouse and automation strategies. In this episode, we’ll dissect the various pieces of Amazon’s global supply chain, its recent changes to its online grocery business, and the role of automation.
Full disclosure, the host is a shareholder of Amazon stock.
066- Arming the coffee rebels against Starbucks with Dane Atkinson of Odeko
Dane Atkinson is the Founder & CEO of Odeko, an online wholesale and technology platform powering a third of independent coffee shops across the US. In this episode we’ll talk about how Odeko’s reverse franchise model arms mom and pops against Starbucks, what the future of loyalty looks like for small businesses, and the myriad of ways technology can build sustainable local economies around the café ecosystem.
Read the full HNGRY Trends article here
065- Engineering a pre-alcohol probiotic with Zack Abbott of ZBiotics
Zack Abbott is the founder & CEO of ZBiotics, a manufacturer of the world’s first genetically engineered probiotics. In this episode we’ll chat about how ZBiotics started with a product that aims to reduce the negative effects of hangovers, the current state of the sober-curious movement, and the implications of GMO labeling.
Show notes:Get 15% off ZBiotics Read the full HNGRY Trends deep dive
064- Prescribing food as medicine with Josh Hix of Season Health
Josh Hix is the Co-Founder and CEO of Season, a food-as-medicine platform that enables people with chronic conditions like diabetes to access healthy food through delivery services in partnership with their insurance provider. In this episode we’ll talk about the incentives of the healthcare system to support healthy eating, how Season was born out of meal kit startup Plated, and the role of data when it comes to at-home testing and nutrition.
063- Democratizing investment in agricultural land with Tim Luckow of Farm
Tim Luckow is the founder & CEO of Farm, a platform for investing in farmland to be used in various environmental projects such as regenerative agriculture and wind energy. In this episode we’ll talk about the challenges of quantifying natural capital, how Farm is building technology to identify investment opportunities, and how it’s championing collective land ownership to better align incentives between land owners, farmers, and ranchers.
062- Taking the "ice cream truck" approach to delivery with Baris Karadogan of Jingle
Baris Karadogan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jingle, a new hyperlocal marketplace enabling mobile commerce of artisanal foods like ice cream, prepared meals, pastas, and more. In this episode we’ll talk about the difficulty in scaling food truck-centered businesses like Wonder, the push vs. pull model of delivery, and how five-minute impulse deliveries from a van could be more sustainable than 15 or 30 minutes.
061- Using microalgae as a future protein source with Yonatan Golan of Brevel
Yonatan Golan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Brevel, a startup growing microalgae indoors to be used as protein in dairy and meat alternatives. In this episode, we’ll chat about the difference between seaweed and microalgae, what its advantages are over conventional soy and pea-based proteins, and Brevel’s unique cultivation process that is able to help bring down its unit cost.
060- Dissecting delivery business models with Professor Len Sherman of Columbia Business School
Len Sherman is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and author who has contributed to business publications such as Forbes, Wired, Financial Times, and The Economist. In this episode, we’ll chat about the macro backdrop that gave rise to on-demand restaurant and grocery delivery, breakdown various holes in current models, and discuss frameworks for success when it comes to delivering food profitably.
"Why DoorDash Will Fail To Deliver Investor Returns"
Follow Len on Twitter @lenshermanCBS
059- Designing innovative foodservice programs for convenience stores with Jerry Weiner
Jerry Weiner is a foodservice veteran responsible for building out fresh food programs at convenience chains like Rutter’s, MAPCO, and Crown. In this episode, we’ll chat about the history of kitchen automation like TurboChef convection ovens, how delivery services like Wonder are leveraging such technology, and the evolving roles of convenience stores when it comes to serving quality meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner dayparts.
058- Converting convenience stores into delivery hubs with John Nelson of Vroom Delivery
John Nelson is the Founder & CEO of Vroom Delivery, the first white-label online ordering platform designed exclusively for convenience stores. In this episode, we’ll chat about why the c-store industry is unique from grocery and restaurant categories, the technology stack powering these retailers, and how Vroom is helping smaller chains compete against players like Gopuff and DoorDash’s DashMart.
057- Preventing food waste from eating grocers' margins with Stefan Kalb of Shelf Engine
Stefan Kalb is the Co-Founder & CEO of Shelf Engine, an automated ordering and intelligent forecasting system that helps regional and national grocers like Target and Kroger improve their gross margins by an average of 30%. In this episode, we’ll chat about Shelf Engine’s unique pricing model that guarantees gross margin improvements, how it forecasts store-level inventory, and how its auto-replenishment modules create a better customer experience online and offline.
056- Putting local restaurants on the blockchain with Michael Saunders of Captain & Supper Club
Michael Saunders is the Co-Founder & CEO of Captain, a white-label restaurant ordering platform that recently launched Supper Club, a web3 eating community where foodies get rewarded for supporting their favorite restaurants. In this episode we’ll chat about the potential for the blockchain to power restaurant transactions, the evolution of restaurant delivery, and the myriad use cases for web3 at chains like Starbucks and Chipotle.
055- Measuring your gut microbiome using smart toilets with Kevin Honaker of BiomeSense
Kevin Honaker is the Co-Founder & CEO of BiomeSense, a startup developing a novel biosensor platform that continuously measures the trillions of microbes in our guts with just a single piece of toilet paper. BiomeSense counts the leading researchers in the microbiome space like Dr. Jack Gilbert and Dr. Rob Knight as co-founders and advisors. In this episode, we’ll chat about the links between gut bacteria and various aspects of our health, how the industry suffers from unreliable data, and the potential for BiomeSense to develop precision nutrition and probiotic-based interventions.
054- Investing in CPG and the software powering it with Carle Stenmark of VMG Partners
Carle Stenmark is a General Partner at VMG, a hybrid consumer growth equity and software venture fund with over $1.2bn in committed capital. The fund has backed names like Spindrift, Stone Brewing, and Kind on the consumer side and Wee!, Afresh, and Swell on the tech side. In this episode, we’ll chat about how VMG leverages its software investments to help its portfolio brands, the state of valuations for CPG and tech startups, and the future of personalization and sustainability.
053- Owning the end-to-end omnichannel convenience platform with Art Sebastian of Casey's
Art Sebastian is the VP of Digital Experiences at Casey’s, the third-largest convenience chain and the fifth-largest pizza retailer in the US. In this episode we’ll chat about the role of convenience stores in a world of quick commerce, how Casey’s has leveraged loyalty to drive customers to order prepared food alcohol, and groceries, and the digitization of the supply chain.
052- Rebooting the independent grocery operating system with Brandon Hill of Vori
Brandon Hill is the Co-Founder & CEO of Vori, an inventory management platform optimizing the supply chain for underserved independent grocers. In this episode we’ll chat about how Vori’s software helps reduce retailers’ food waste, manages their pricing, and brings real-time inventory to online marketplaces.
051- Building the global first-party QSR delivery logistics network with Zach Noren of Uber Direct
Zach Noren is the Enterprise Partner Manager of Restaurants at Uber Direct. In this episode, we’ll chat about how Uber is providing whitelabel logistics for global QSR, grocery, and convenience chains, how it’s leveraging its earner base to drive down the cost of last mile delivery, and the role of middleware that makes everything talk to each other.
050- Going beyond the luxury of online grocery with Sarah Mastrorocco of Instacart
Sarah Mastrorocco is the VP & General Manager of Access to Food & Nutrition at Instacart. In this episode, we’ll chat about the $100bn+ opportunity for grocers to accept online SNAP EBT payments, how the platform is expanding nutritional access for tens of millions of Americans, and the future of content and commerce.
Note: The host is an investor in a limited partnership that is a shareholder of Instacart.
049- Building a global fungi-based protein platform with Karuna Rawal of Nature's Fynd
Karuna Rawal is the CMO of Nature’s Fynd, a fungi-based protein platform with $500mm in funding from investors like Bill Gates and Al Gore. In this episode, we’ll talk about how Nature’s Fynd can be used across applications like dairy and meat, its strategy to sell itself as an ingredient to other CPGs, and the future of decentralized fermentation in emerging Asian and African markets.
048- Personalization & the current state of restaurant tech with Brandon Barton of Bite
Brandon Barton is the CEO of Bite, a digital ordering software startup specializing in dynamic drive-thru displays and kiosks for QSR and fast casual brands. In this episode, we’ll talk about the future of on-premise dining, how personalization is improving his customers’ top-line growth, and of course, his hot takes on the latest trends within the broader intersection of food and technology.
047- Delivering inventory as a service to local restaurants with Na'ama Moran of Cheetah
Na’ama Moran is the Co-Founder & CEO of Cheetah, a mobile app-based distributor to thousands of independent restaurants throughout the Bay Area. In this episode we’ll talk about the competitive landscape of digital players like Choco and Pepper, how the startup has begun acquiring traditional mom and pop distributors, and how it’s now leveraging machine learning to help restaurants maintain just-in-time inventory to reduce waste.
046- Dynamic pricing meets hospitality with Marc Lotenberg of Dorsia
Marc Lotenberg is the Founder & CEO of Dorsia, a new reservations platform leveraging dynamic pricing to bring revenue management to the fine dining industry. In this episode, we’ll talk about what restaurants can learn from nightlife and travel industry pricing, the future of frictionless payments, and the walled garden of the reservation tech ecosystem.
045- Scaling micro food halls with Jordan Bramble of Local Kitchens
Jordan Bramble is the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Local Kitchens, a next-generation food platform that helps local restaurants scale their pickup and delivery through a network of suburban-centric micro food halls. In this episode, we’ll chat about Local Kitchens’ proprietary tech powering its online and offline guest experiences, how it stands out from traditional ghost kitchens, and the future of food prepared outside the home.
044- Ringing in the fungi-based meat revolution with Tyler Huggins of Meati Foods
Tyler Huggins is the Co-Founder and CEO of Meati, an alt protein startup creating fungi-based substitutes for chicken, beef, and more. In this episode, we’ll chat about the current state of modern consumers’ relationship to meat, how Meati is providing a superior alternative through its nutritional profile, and how it’s been able to attract a roster of culinary thought leaders in the industry.
043- Growing global host kitchen marketplaces with Rishi Nigam of Franklin Junction
Rishi Nigam is the Co-Founder & CEO of Franklin Junction, a marketplace of licensed brands like Fuku, Milk Bar, and Nathan's Famous and 350+ global enterprise restaurant host kitchens that fulfill orders for delivery. In this episode, we’ll chat about how the platform identifies new opportunities for CPG and restaurant brands to scale delivery in new markets, how the economics work between various partners, and the technology it leverages to unlock incremental sales.
042 - Building the backbone for digital food with Zhong Xu of Deliverect
Zhong Xu is the Co-Founder & CEO of Deliverect, a leading online order management platform powering the digital backbone of restaurants and CPGs. In this episode, we’ll chat about the platform’s latest virtual brand marketplace for restaurants, how Unilever is using it to spin up 24/7 on-demand ice cream storefronts, and how merchants can successfully leverage the power of third-party marketplaces to make it work for their bottom lines.
041- Redesigning systems behind donation-based community meals with Matt Jozwiak of Rethink Food
Matt Jozwiak is the Founder & CEO of Rethink Food, a New York-based non-profit that has built a unique system that empowers local restaurants to provide nutritious ready-to-eat meals to local communities. In this episode, we’ll chat about how restaurants are donating surcharges from each check to feed local communities, how Rethink is building a marketplace to match local supply and demand for over 7mm meals, and how it’s rescued 1.2 million pounds of perfectly good food waste from some of the city’s best restaurants.
040- Rescuing retail food waste to improve accessibility with Josh Domingues of Flashfood
Josh Domingues is the Founder & CEO of Flashfood, a mobile marketplace that connects shoppers to discounted produce and fresh food from local grocers that would have normally been thrown out. If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest global emitter of greenhouse gasses behind the US and China. In this episode, we’ll chat about the inflationary pressures that are challenging food accessibility, how Flashfood is changing consumer behavior, and how grocers are leveraging the platform to drive more traffic to their stores.
039- Inside the world's first molecular beverage printer with Matt Mahar of Cana
Matt Mahar is CEO of Cana, the world's first molecular beverage printer (or Star Trek beverage replicator). The startup is creating its own "app store" of beverages, allowing anyone to download tea, coffee, juices, sodas, and cocktails for 29 cents to $2.99 per drink without any packaged waste. In this episode, we’ll chat about the science behind Cana’s secret sauce, the immense environmental impact of the bottled beverage industry, and the long tail of potential beverage creators. The future is now.
038- Building the next-gen KFC of ghost kitchens with Alex Munoz-Suarez of Fuku
Alex Munoz-Suarez is the CEO of Fuku, a seven-year-old quick service fried chicken sandwich concept birthed from David Chang's Momofuku group. Fuku is now live in over 20 locations nationwide through a mix of ghost kitchens, stadium concessions, and corporate-owned locations. In this episode, we’ll talk about Fuku’s opex-light virtual licensing partnerships with Franklin Junction and Family Style, the entrepreneurial DNA inside Momofuku, and the lessons learned from David Chang’s 2016 vertically integrated delivery service Ando.
037- Investigating next-gen alternative foods with Larissa Zimberoff of Technically Food
Larissa Zimberoff is an investigative journalist focused on food tech and author of Technically Food: Inside Silicon Valley’s Mission to Change What We Eat. Larissa has dug deep into startups like Just, QOA, Upside Foods, and AppHarvest for publications like Bloomberg, Fast Company, and Wired. In this episode, we’ll discuss Larissa’s critical eye towards trends like cell-cultured meat and ugly produce, what she’s most optimistic about, and her recent dinner series that hosts meaningful conversations amongst industry leaders.
036- Your friendly neighborhood ghost kitchen with Atul Sood of Kitchen United
Atul Sood is the Chief Business Officer at Kitchen United, one of the leading ghost kitchen providers in the US with 13 live facilities. The startup has recently partnered with Simon Property Group and Westfield to open next-gen food courts within their malls as well as Kroger to allow shoppers the ability to mix and match from different virtual and physical restaurant brands in a single takeout or delivery order. In this episode we’ll talk about how ghost kitchens can disrupt the marketplace model, the importance of pickup, and how retailers and real estate owners are leveraging Kitchen United’s technology and labor.
035- The AWS of automated fast casual with Stephen Klein of Hyphen
Stephen Klein is the Co-founder and CEO of Hyphen, an automated makeline for salads, bowls, tacos, and burritos, reducing total restaurant labor costs by nearly 50%. Thanks to its pricing model that charges restaurants as low as 70 cents per meal, the startup is transforming the fixed cost of kitchen labor into a variable "AWS for restaurant labor." We’ll chat about what sets Hyphen apart from other articulated robots, how it plans to expand into new categories, and the future creator economy around food as the marginal cost of production falls to pennies per dish.
034- Empowering next gen TikTok chef influencers with the co-founders of Provecho
Zeke DeSantis and Conrad DeMasi are the co-founders of Provecho, a link-in-bio recipe product for the next generation of chef creators building their audiences on social media. On TikTok alone, there are nearly 60 billion views for content tagged #FoodTikTok, but no easy-to-follow recipe guide nor a streamlined way for culinary influencers to monetize their recipes through branded sponsorships. In this episode, we’ll dive into the startup’s two-sided marketplace between chefs, CPG brands, and consumers, what Instacart’s TikTok partnership means for its strategy, and the startup’s vision to become the link between online recipe discovery and home cooking.
033- Owning the end-to-end restaurant marketing funnel with Brendan Sweeney of Popmenu
Brendan Sweeney is the Co-Founder and CEO of Popmenu, a direct end-to-end platform that provides a website builder, online ordering platform, delivery aggregator, and more to over 6,000 small and medium sized restaurants. We'll chat about how the team used its outsider mindset to identify major whitespace for restaurants, the impact of first-party reviews on SEO, and the need for consolidation and competition in the space.
032- Omnichannel ordering for physical and digital brands with Nabeel Alamgir of Lunchbox
Nabeel Alamgir is the Co-Founder and CEO of Lunchbox, an omnichannel white-label ordering solution for virtual and physical brands like C3, 16 Handles, and Fuku that has raised over $70mm to date. In this episode we’ll talk about the accelerated consolidation in this space from players like DoorDash and Olo, how Lunchbox is able to retarget customers from third-party delivery apps over to direct channels, and the future of virtual brands and the metaverse.
031- Cashierless convenience stores with Michael Suswal of Standard AI
Michael Suswal is the Co-Founder and Chief Business officer of Standard AI, an autonomous checkout startup that’s raised over $250mm for its AI-based computer vision technology. In this episode we’ll talk about why Standard chose to retrofit vs. compete against existing convenience stores, how c-stores plan to leverage Standard to compete against Gopuff and DoorDash, and the role of the retail experience amidst the growing demand for delivery.
030- Building a faster next-gen food conglomerate with Chaz Flexman of Starday Foods
Chaz Flexman is the Co-Founder & CEO of Starday Foods, a next-gen food conglomerate that leverages best practices from the software industry to quickly test, launch, and iterate on CPG brands like All Day seasonings and Gooey Snacks. In this episode, we’ll chat about the processes that enable Starday to launch new brands for less than 250k in six months, how it approaches online and offline retail, and how the company likens itself more to a Ford than a Unilever.
029- Building the rails for instant commerce with Dan Folkman of Gopuff
Dan Folkman is the SVP of Business at Gopuff, the market leader in delivery of instant needs. Since its start on college campuses in 2013, Gopuff has evolved from selling convenience goods to a selection of over 4,000 unique items ranging from prepared food to liquor, produce, and beauty products, and it’s just getting started. In this episode, we’ll dive into what sets Gopuff apart from newer 15-minute delivery players, its new advertising business, the capital expenditures it has invested into its network over the last eight years, and much more.
028- Transforming the modern drive-thru with Alice Crowder of Krystal
Alice Crowder is the CMO of Krystal, a 300-unit regional QSR operating across the Southeast. The iconic Georgia-based slider chain was acquired out of bankruptcy by Fortress at the beginning of the pandemic and has since transformed itself through the launch of new AI-powered drive-thrus and celebrity-branded locations from former Giants player Victor Cruz. In this episode, we’ll dive into how Krystal A/B tests dynamic drive thru menus, launches new menu items, and is optimizing the drive-thru and off-premise experience.
027- Automating the pizza industry with Clayton Wood of Picnic
Clayton Wood is the CEO of Picnic, an automated pizza station that can improve foodservice labor costs by as much as two-thirds, doubling to tripling four-wall EBITDA margins. Picnic is currently being used on-premise at stadiums and will soon be powering delivery for national pizza chains, convenience stores, grocers, and much more. In this episode, we’ll chat about what makes the pizza industry a unique place for automation, lessons learned from the first wave of startups, and how operators are looking to scale brands using this technology.
026- Food as virtual "drops" with Kristen Barnett of Hungry House
Kristen Barnett is the Founder & CEO of Hungry House, a next-gen quick serve concept that curates a rotating selection of virtual brands from up-and-coming chefs and food influencers. In this episode, we’ll talk about the early days of Kristen’s experiences at Zuul and Dig (fka Dig Inn), the challenges behind customer acquisition, and her outlook on the ghost kitchen landscape.
025- Building virtual restaurant brands with former Nextbite VP of Brand Development Liz Moskow
Liz Moskow is the former VP of Brand Development at Ordermark/Nextbite. In this episode we’ll talk about what it takes to create a virtual brand, how technology companies are deploying these brands across thousands of independent restaurants, and the pitfalls caused by a lack of transparency that has spread wide throughout the industry.
024- Fixing the restaurant labor shortage with Jordan Boesch from 7Shifts
Jordan Boesch is the Founder & CEO of 7Shifts, a Union Square Hospitality-backed labor management platform for restaurants. In the episode we’ll talk about how restaurateurs are leveraging his technology to improve working culture and their bottom line. More importantly, we’ll dive into how the best operators are managing to attract and retain talent amidst a shortage of 1 million workers.
023- Optimizing virtual brands for restaurant chains with George Jacobs of Acelerate
George Jacobs is the Founder & CEO of Acelerate, an order aggregator and licensor of seven virtual brands. Jacobs has spent 28 years in the restaurant industry from working at his family’s pizzeria to joining the founding team of DoorDash Drive. This past summer, the startup announced a $14.4mm series A from Sequoia. In the episode, we cover the early days of DoorDash, the role of marketplaces, what distinguishes Acelerate from competitors like Nextbite and much more.
022- The flywheel of omnichannel retail with Mike LaVitola of Foxtrot
Mike LaVitola is the Co-Founder & CEO of Foxtrot- a corner store that lives in our neighborhoods and on our phones. What started out as an online warehouse has evolved into an all day cafe and lounge that stocks 1,500 highly curated SKUs from 150 different suppliers. We chat about the flywheel of omnichannel retail, the future of CPG discovery, the role of ultrafast delivery, and much more.
021- 3rd party food delivery regulation with Andrew Rigie of NYC Hospitality Alliance
Andrew Rigie is the Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance. Andrew was a driving force behind the recent set of NYC legislation that regulates restaurant delivery commissions charged by third-party marketplaces as well as data sharing provisions. We chat about how the regulations shifted from temporary to permanent, the externalities of fee caps, and the latest set of legislation designed to improve the brutal working conditions for bikers in the city.
020- Scan & pay restaurant payments with Christine De Wendel of Sunday
Christine de Wendel is the Co-Founder and CEO of Sunday, a new QR-based payment platform that is looking to improve the guest and server experience at restaurants, hotels, bars, and cafés across the world. We chat about everything from the complex merchant payment system in Europe and the US, what it takes to be a consumer-facing wallet, and how Sunday will enable restaurants to leverage valuable customer data to grow their business.
019- The original 30-minute omnichannel grocer with Barnaby Montgomery of Yummy.com
Barnaby Montgomery is the Co-Founder & CEO of Yummy.com, one of the first online grocers to deliver in 30 minutes or less since 2002. We chat about everything from unit economics of newer quick commerce players to inventory curation and the tradeoffs between full time drivers and gig workers.
018- Fungi-based meat enhancement and replacement with Paul Shapiro of Better Meat Co.
Paul Shapiro is the Founder & CEO of the Better Meat Co, a startup with the second largest mycoprotein fermentation plant in the world. Imagine walking into a Shake Shack and ordering a burger blended with fungi-based protein to form a patty that contains 50% less meat. That’s what Paul and his team are working to build with foodservice and CPG brands for poultry, seafood, and beef products as they also sell their proprietary Rhiza strain as an ingredient for pure meat alternatives.
017- Bringing Domino's tech to 50k independent pizzerias with Ilir Sela of Slice
Ilir Sela is the Founder & CEO of Slice, a dedicated marketplace and end-to-end ordering solution for over 16,000 independent pizzerias nationwide. Instead of 20-30% commissions of DoorDash and Uber Eats, Slice charges restaurants a flat $2 fee for any order above $10. We chat about everything from the $47bn highly fragmented pizza landscape to the startup’s expansion into building its own POS system and payments solution inside the four walls.
016- The power dynamics of online grocery with David Bishop of Brick Meets Click
David Bishop is a Partner at Brick Meets Click, a decade-old consulting and research firm in the e-Grocery space. Each month, David runs a survey that is considered one of the industry’s most prominent benchmarks tracking monthly online sales across delivery, pickup, and ship-to-home. We chat about everything from Amazon’s grocery strategy to the fight between third-party marketplace and traditional grocers.
015- 10 Minute grocery delivery with Ashwin Wadekar of Gorillas
Ashwin Wadekar is the Chief of Staff at Gorillas, a new pure-play small basket grocer that delivers items in less than 10 minutes from over 115 dark stores. We chat about everything including the shift in consumer behavior from weekly stockups to on-demand purchasing, Gorillas’ full-time labor model, and sustainability when it comes to food waste and e-bikes. If you’re curious about the battle of convenience and on-demand grocery, this conversation is for you.
014- Hyperlocal, personalized meal solutions with Ellis McCue of Territory Foods
Ellis McCue is the CEO of Territory Foods, a hyperlocal marketplace of personalized, chef-driven meals. Territory has created a distributed network of commissaries in 24 cities across the country that deliver pre-made dishes cooked by restaurants and chefs to customers who don’t want to sacrifice wholesome, healthy food for convenience. We chat about everything including the rise of the micro-chef, the sustainability of delivery, and how Territory leverages 90,000 data points on consumer preferences to inform its weekly menus.
013- Vertically integrated food delivery with Chris Baggott of ClusterTruck
Chris Baggott is the Founder and CEO of Clustertruck a fully-vertical delivery service that serves over 80 dishes across multiple cuisines throughout the Midwest. Prior to ClusterTruck, Chris sold Compendium Software to Oracle and took ExactTarget public before it was eventually acquired by Salesforce. We chat about everything from how ClusterTruck is able to coordinate its kitchen-to-doorstep time of less than 10 minutes to a host of consumer-facing issues plaguing other delivery companies today.
012- Dark store grocery with Pradeep Elankumaran of Farmstead
Pradeep Elankumaran is the Co-Founder and CEO of Farmstead, a same-day online only grocer that delivers a selection of 1500 fresh items at a fraction of the cost of its competitors. As online grocery penetration reached 10% of the total trillion dollar spend in the US, Farmstead is helping traditional brick and mortar grocers open up new delivery hubs that can fulfill 2,000 delivery slots per day. That’s over 13 times what an average store can currently handle. We chat about everything from the rise of GoPuff to leveraging AI to reduce food waste as we cover the current state of this highly essential industry.
011- The original cloud kitchen with Jaydeep Barman of Rebel Foods
Jaydeep Barman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mumbia-based Rebel Foods, The World's Largest Internet Restaurant with 320 ghost kitchens in three continents powering over 26 native and third-party brands like Wendy's. Founded in 2011 as Faasos, a QSR biryani chain, the startup quickly saw most of its sales go towards delivery with 73% of customers reporting having never visited a store. After realizing that the e-commerce revolution that occurred in books and travel would soon hit food, Faasos quickly pivoted to what is now known as the ghost kitchen model.
010- Leveraging AI in fresh grocery with Matt Schwartz of Afresh
Matt Schwartz is the co-founder and CEO of Afresh, an AI-powered merchandising and ordering operating system helping grocers save 100s of billions of dollars caused by food waste, inventory shocks, and online order fulfillment headaches within this trillion dollar industry. This was a really engaging discussion about the legacy technology that grocers have relied upon for decades and the trickle down effects when it comes to providing consumers with fresh, nutritious food that doesn’t go bad by the time it makes it to the fridge. Be sure to stay tuned to the end where Matt talks about his ideas for the grocery store of the future and his perspective on Amazon Fresh.
Check out the intro song, "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
009- The future of convenience stores with Frank Beard & Sam Polk of Everytable
Frank Beard is a retail consultant, speaker, and writer who is a thought leader in the convenience store space and Sam Polk is the CEO of Everytable, a retailer of pre-prepared meals whose mission is to make nutritious, delicious food accessible and affordable in every community. 93% of Americans live within a 10 minute drive of a convenience store, making them incredibly attractive real estate. In this episode, we explore ideas around healthy grab-and-go meals, electric vehicle charging, food delivery, and curbside pickup from these last-mile hubs.
Intro song: "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
008- The next generation of alt protein with Darcey Macken of Planterra
Darcey Macken is the CEO of Planterra Foods, a fungi-based protein subsidiary of JBS, the largest meat processor in the world. In this conversation we discuss why fungi-based proteins are the next wave of the plant-based revolution, how consumers are making decisions about them, and peel back some of the controversies surrounding the factory farming practices of its parent company.
Intro song: "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
007- The growth in pickup with Stas Matvinyenko of Allset
Stas Matviyenko is the Founder and CEO of Allset, a contactless, pickup-only marketplace and order ahead technology solution for local restaurants. In this episode we dive into why major delivery marketplaces like DoorDash and Grubhub aren't optimized for pickup or QR ordering, the impact of delivery fee caps on the industry, and the explosive growth of pickup amidst the pandemic.
Intro song: "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
006- QSR 3.0 with Michael Lastoria of &pizza
Michael Lastoria is the Co-Founder & CEO of &pizza, a 40-unit pizza chain that recently announced that it will ensure a $15 minimum wage for all employees by 2022. We sat down to talk about everything including the future of livable restaurant wages, suburban expansion, and what lessons fast casual can learn from old school QSRs.
Intro song: "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
005- Promoting diversity in food with Rahanna Bisseret Martinez
Rahanna Bisseret Martinez is an Oakland-based 16-year-old Top Chef Junior alum with experience at four Michelin starred restaurants. Matt sat down with Rahanna to discuss how black voices can be amplified within food media and the current state of diversity within the greater food ecosystem.
Check out Rahanna's latest recipe: https://www.allrecipes.com/article/cooking-projects-to-entertain-kids/
004- Personalized nutrition and the gut microbiome with Richard Sprague
Richard Sprague is a veteran technologist from Apple and Microsoft who has done over 600 microbiome tests using skin, nose, and fecal samples over the last six years. His fascination with his gut microbiome has led him to start Personal Science, a personalized nutrition project to help people discover their ideal diet by helping them track their glucose responses to doctor-prescribed meals. We speak with him about the future of gut microbiome testing and personalized diets that are projected to become a $64bn market in the next two decades.
003- Grocery of the future with Bill Stenger of KNAPP group
Bill Stenger is the Director of Food Solution for Knapp North America, the automation partner for Takeoff Technologies which was recently dubbed a Technology Pioneer in the grocery microfulfimment space by the World Economic Forum. Microfulfillment is a disruptive new technology that reduces labor and last-mile delivery costs associated with online grocery by creating small automated warehouses on the back of existing retail stores. We cover everything from consumers’ shopping preferences during the pandemic to Amazon’s suburban strip mall grocery strategy.
002- The necessary evil of delivery apps with Alex Canter of Ordermark
Alex Canter isn't just the founder of an online delivery management platform, he's also the fourth generation of the famed Canter's Deli in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. We talk about everything from the potential Uber/Grubhub acquisition to the harsh realities currently facing the oversaturated restaurant industry. If you're curious about where the future of dining is heading, this is a must-listen conversation.
001 - Plant and Cell-based Food Innovation with Big Idea Ventures
On our debut episode, we speak with Andrew Ive and Christian Cadeo of Big Idea Ventures, a VC fund and incubator dedicated to plant and cell-based proteins and ingredients, about the consumer and entrepreneurial landscapes across the US and Asia.