Sticking to the same as the previous giveaway, Apple has partnered with restaurant delivery apps to offer free delivery on meals ordered through Grubhub, Seamless and Eat24. Orders must be made through the website or the apps using promo code ‘HOOPS’ at checkout, and paid using Apple Pay of course. There are some strings attached though …
iOS users should download the latest version of Google Maps so they can take advantage of some new transit features. Version 4.47 of Google Maps brings additional details when getting directions via public transit. Rather than highlighting the intersection where an underground train entrance is and expecting you to find it, Google Maps will tell you exactly which entrance you need to go into to take the correct train. For instance, on some New York City Subway lines, the entrance may only serve one direction of the train and a rider may not realize it until they realize the stops are in…
Following an update last month with real-time transit and driving details, Google Maps for iOS has today received another update. Today’s update brings the app to version 4.47 and includes new details for restaurants, additional transit updates, and more…
Google Maps for iOS was today updated to version 4.47, introducing new and improved features.
When searching for a restaurant using Google Maps, you can now see wait times at more than a million restaurants around the world that will let you know just how long you can expect to wait before being seated.
Google says the update also introduces the ability to sort and search through reviews of a restaurant, store, or other business, so you can find specific information that you’re looking for, and it includes more robust transit directions.
The new transit directions feature in Google Maps is designed to let you know which transit entrance you need to go to, and it is available in New York, Hong Kong, Taipei, Paris, Los Angeles, Delhi, Moscow, Singapore, Madrid, Barcelona, Kiev, and Budapest.
Thanks for using Google Maps! This release brings bug fixes and awesome new features to help you discover new places and navigate to them:
– See average wait times at over a million restaurants worldwide.
– Search and sort through reviews of a place.
– Get transit directions that tell you exactly which entrance you need to go into. This feature is available now in New York, Hong Kong, Taipei, Paris, Los Angeles, Delhi, Moscow, Singapore, Madrid, Barcelona, Kiev, and Budapest, with more on the way!
Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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Elon Musk’s dream of building a 1950s-themed Tesla Supercharger station, complete with rockabilly music and roller skates, is closer to becoming a reality after The Drive noticed a permit filed with the city of Santa Monica for a “Tesla restaurant and supercharger station.”
A Tesla spokesperson wouldn’t confirm whether an “old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant” was indeed the plan for this particular location, but allowed that it was possible. (Tesla’s PR department spends an inordinate amount of time scrambling to explain their boss’s enigmatic tweets.)
Gonna put an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant at one of the new Tesla Supercharger locations in LA
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2018
The Boelter Companies, Inc., one of the nation’s leading food service design, equipment and supply companies, announced this week the launch of Boelter Blue, a custom mobile app that simplifies restaurant marketing.
The app, designed to help independent restaurants drive customer engagement and traffic, builds on mobile application technology Boelter gained when it acquired Anchor 5 Digital last year. Boelter will introduce the app at next week’s Midwest Foodservice Expo.
“We’re not just providing our customers digital marketing technology, but also decades of Boelter foodservice expertise,” said Eric Boelter, president of the Boelter Companies. “With Boelter Blue, we’ve made it easy for restaurants to reach and engage customers so they can focus on what they do best – preparing great food and entertaining guests.”
Boelter Blue customizes and sets up each restaurant’s app. Then with just a few clicks, Boelter Blue customers can pre-set or send on-the-go messages and photos directly to customers’ phones and connect customers to existing online services including reservations, menus, ordering, delivery, and loyalty programs. The app includes an easy-to-navigate dashboard so restaurants can measure real time results and trends to see how they’re doing.
“What sets this apart is our service extends well beyond launching the app,” said Dan Holen, co-founder, Boelter Blue. “To help our customers stay top-of-mind, it’s important we help them deliver the right marketing content, at the right time, to further entice customers through the doors.”
According to the National Restaurant Association, nearly a third of consumers say technology influences their decision on where to dine out or order delivery/take-out. It’s certainly made a difference for some of Boelter Blue’s initial users.
Today, Ando, the popular delivery-only New York restaurant from famed Momofuku chef David Chang, shut down operations, as it's been acquired by UberEATS. The restaurant had been working with UberEATS since it launched in 2016, and now it will be full…
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If one of the best-run restaurant groups in the country walks away with a 12 percent margin, imagine your how your local restaurant is doing.
Americans will spend $ 260 billion on takeout this year — and most savvy restaurant owners understand that, as so many consumers place orders via mobile, offering digital ordering is a must for a successful run. That’s why giants like Grubhub, Seamless and UberEats have popped up, promising to work with restaurants to deliver their food to hungry paying customers.
But the thorn in the side of this burgeoning market is the business model — because, frankly, it’s not sustainable. The majority of restaurants already operate on some pretty thin margins, and building their businesses atop the shoulders of the delivery industry is only a recipe for failure.
Let me tell you about the delivery industry today. While it may seem like it’s in its relative infancy — thanks to increased attention on the first string of venture capital-backed upstarts — delivery has been around for decades. The only difference is that restaurants handled it on their own, employing a small fleet of couriers to run pizzas to family homes in their private vehicles. We’ve all seen the Honda Civic with the glowing “Domino’s” sign on top.
To their credit, companies like Postmates, Grubhub, and UberEats recognized the potential for overhaul. Most restaurants have a hard enough time staying in business as it is (something like 80 percent of restaurants fail in the first five years) — if someone could come in and handle a difficult section of the business for them, why would they say no?
That was a few years ago. Now these delivery companies have built their businesses on the backs of restaurants, gaining billions of dollars in from venture capital firms to provide courier services, customer acquisition and advertising.
But today, the system is in a dangerous place.
Something’s gotta give
Recently, at the TechTable Summit in New York, Kevin Boehm, co-founder of Boka Restaurant Group (they’re behind some of the most successful spots in Chicago) spoke about just how severe this issue really is.
According to Boehm, unlike many establishments in the country, Boka Group actually owns many of the properties at all of their restaurants and thus have very few real estate costs. Despite this, the group’s profit margins are around 12 percent — which isn’t much. If one of the best-run restaurant groups in the country walks away with a 12 percent margin, imagine your how your local restaurant is doing.
The tech companies behind delivery aren’t doing any better. If fact, their margins are much worse. UberEats, which The New York Times recently called the “surprise success of Uber,” is only profitable in 27 of the 108 cities where it’s offered — meaning they are actively losing money in approximately 70 percent of their markets. That’s with Uber taking 30 percent to 40 percent of every order from the restaurant and charging the customer a $ 5 delivery fee.
So with profitability in, let’s say, 30 percent of their markets, money has to come from somewhere. To date the negative margins have been covered by investor dollars — but when that money runs out and relationships become fraught, something has to give. The combination of an industry that has very thin margins (restaurant) with an industry that has upside down margins (delivery) is not a wise nor healthy combination.
Ultimately, with restaurants having no margin to spare and delivery companies like Uber, Postmates, and DoorDash all losing money while charging higher and higher fees, we’re on a path that will end badly for many. The current situation is not sustainable.
Where do we go from here?
Delivery is most successful when localized. Restaurants with their own drivers — or contracting with smaller local courier companies — can better control their businesses and aren’t forced to pay unnecessary fees. And with a rise in minimum wage coming Jan. 1, this could very well be the “straw that will break the delivery industry’s back,” as it were.
Restaurant delivery was never designed to become a standalone multibillion-dollar industry. The recent delivery model has only been sustainable up until this point thanks to venture capital money. Now investor appetite for funding delivery companies is going away, just as courier wages are going up.
As the foundation starts to crumble, restaurants and the people who love them need to be prepared for what’s to come. Operational costs and commissions are going up, and these delivery companies will need to offset costs somewhere — most likely, that will look like hiking up customer delivery fees. If we’re not prepared to pay the price, we’ll have to become our own delivery drivers.
And for the restaurants grappling with this market — be wary of building too much of your business on the shoulders of these venture capital-fueled delivery companies. Because eventually, they will run out of gas.
Chris Webb is the CEO of ChowNow, an online ordering system and marketing platform for restaurants. At just 19 years old, his interest in markets and trading led him to start his career at Bear Stearns and then Lehman Brothers. While working in the financial sector, Webb made a founding investment in the now popular Tender Greens restaurant chain in Southern California. His experience with Tender Greens brought to light the gap in the market for online ordering solutions for local groups and independent restaurants. From that discovery came ChowNow, which today powers online ordering at more than 9,000 restaurants across the country and recently launched its own app. Reach him @ChrisChowNow.
It's midday, your stomach is growling and you haven't brought a packed lunch. You could go outside and queue for some Pret a Manger, or — if you live in east London — you could try Deliveroo's new Lunchbox service. It's a £6 meal de…
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