Delivery unicorn Gopuff, now valued at $15 billion, says latest $1 billion raise will fund enhanced tech, global growth, and hiring of top talent

Gopuff cofounders Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola
Gopuff cofounders and co-CEOs Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola.

  • Gopuff is an “instant-needs” delivery operator that sells 4,000 items from booze to baby goods.
  • The company told Insider it is profitable in “100% of markets older than 18 months.”
  • The ultra-fast delivery unicorn, available in 850 US cities, announced a $1 billion funding round.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Delivery unicorn Gopuff, born as a fast delivery service geared for college students looking for late-night snacks and smoking supplies, announced a new $1 billion funding round on Friday, growing its valuation to $15 billion.

The latest round- led by new investors such as Blackstone, Guggenheim Investments, Hedosophia, and Adage Capital – follows a $1.15 billion round in March, which at the time, valued the company at nearly $9 billion.

The fast-growing Philadelphia-based delivery operator has now raised a total of $3.5 billion.

Read more: Gopuff is getting into food delivery. Here’s why the ultra-fast delivery operator is letting customers bundle ready-to-eat meals with their grocery order.

Much of those VC funds have been raised in recent months as the company aggressively grows its delivery footprint in the US. As of July 9, online grocery firms globally have received about $14 billion in venture backing since 2020, according to data from PitchBook.

Gopuff bills itself as an “instant-needs” delivery operator whose 4,000-item product mix includes snacks, baby supplies, cleaning products, beer and wine, and over-the-counter medications.

Since November 2020, the company has more than doubled its fulfillment centers from 200 to more than 450 sites delivering to 850 US cities. This week, Gopuff launched delivery in San Diego, California.

Also in July, the company launched a fresh-food delivery operation dubbed Gopuff Kitchen. The company is using mobile kitchens set up near its micro-fulfillment warehouses to cook made-to-order delivery-only meals and drinks such as specialty coffee, breakfast sandwiches, chicken fingers, tater tots, and salads. This allows customers to bundle grocery orders with hot meals.

Gopuff has also been on a buying spree. Over the past few months, the delivery operator bought BevMo, Liquor Barn, the UK delivery startup Fancy, and Bandit. It has also struck a delivery partnership with Uber.

With $1 billion in new funds, Gopuff said it will continue to accelerate its expansion in North America, the UK, and Europe. It also plans to hire “top talent” and focus “on enhancing its technology to continue to deliver an exceptional customer experience,” the company said.

Read more: These 13 ultrafast-delivery companies have raised over $7 billion and are bringing customers their groceries in as little as 10 minutes

Unlike third-party delivery companies like DoorDash, Gopuff said its direct-to-consumer business model is profitable. The company told Insider it makes money in “100% of markets older than 18 months.”

Delivery times in most areas are between 20 and 40 minutes, with 24-hour delivery available in most of Gopuff’s markets.

Gopuff’s operation “has only just scratched the surface,” Scott Minerd, global chief investment officer of Guggenheim Investments, said in a statement.

He added, “Gopuff has quietly built a very strong business and solidified itself as the leading player, continuing to define this evolving category.”

Do you work for Gopuff? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (714) 875-6218 using a nonwork phone, email at nluna@insider.com or Twitter DM at @FastFoodMaven

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Deliveroo shares jump as trading opens to retail investors, while hundreds of riders begin protests in the UK over low pay and working conditions

Deliveroo rider
Goldman Sachs bought $103 million in Deliveroo shares to boost its stock after a disappointing IPO.

  • Deliveroo shares rose Wednesday as the company opened trading to retail investors.
  • On the same day, about 400 riders are staging protests in the UK as they call for higher pay and benefits.
  • Goldman Sachs bought $103 million in Deliveroo shares to boost its stock after a disappointing IPO.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Deliveroo shares rose 4% on Wednesday as the company opened trading to retail investors, a week after going public on the London Stock Exchange to institutional participants only.

The food-delivery group’s shares opened at 288 pence ($3.96), giving it a market value of £5.2 billion ($7.2 billion). That is down from the £7.6 billion ($10.5 billion) valuation its IPO was priced.

Further turbulence is expected for Deliveroo’s shares as about 70,000 retail investors begin trading their stock.

Separately, some 400 Deliveroo riders are staging socially-distanced strikes on the same day that it opened up trading to amateur investors.

Protests over what they describe as poor working conditions and low pay will take place in London and four other cities in the UK, according to a statement by the trade union Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain.

The riders are revolting less than two weeks after The Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that some riders earn as little as £2 ($2.76) per hour for delivering food to customers, far below the minimum wage.

“I’m going on strike for my basic rights and those of all the other riders struggling to get by and support families on Deliveroo poverty pay,” Greg Howard, a Deliveroo rider and chair of the union’s couriers and logistics branch, said in a statement.

Howard said he has seen work conditions at Deliveroo decline for years. After working through the lockdown, he said he became infected with the coronavirus and got “very little support” from the company. On its site, Deliveroo says it offers a relief fund for infected riders.

Another rider, Ethan Bradley, told the Big Issue: “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make the rent next week, or pay the bills. Many riders have family, have dependents and have kids to feed,” adding that security of earnings “would mean so much to them.”

A Deliveroo spokesperson told Insider that the “small self-appointed” union does not represent a majority of riders who tell the company they value its flexibility and an ability to earn over £13 ($17.9) an hour.

“We are proud that rider satisfaction is at an all-time high and that thousands of people are applying to be Deliveroo riders each and every week. Riders are at the heart of our business and today we are beginning a new consultation with riders about how we should invest our new £50 million community fund,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Shares in Deliveroo tumbled by more than 30% at its stock market debut on March 31, when only institutions were allowed to participate. The Financial Times said its IPO has been dubbed “the worst in the history of the London market.”

The food-delivery group may have waited too long to capitalize on the IPO frenzy for COVID-19 stock winners.

Goldman Sachs, one of Deliveroo’s underwriters, bought shares worth £75 million ($103 million) to boost its stock after its IPO dwindled, the FT reported on Tuesday.

The result of Deliveroo’s IPO was deflating for many investors in UK tech, according to Christian Nentwich, founder of financial tech firm Duco. He told Insider that although there are lots of good arguments about whether the IPO’s pricing was rightly set over workers’ rights and future business risk, “frankly, no one cares in other companies, outcomes matter.”

“Protests about dual-control structure, about the strategy of burning cash to fuel growth, and so on, are irrelevant – companies can simply list elsewhere,” he said.

But brands are as strong as their weakest link and for Deliveroo, problematic worker practices are its biggest challenge, said Sophie Lord, executive director of strategy at brand consultant firm Landor & Fitch.

“Major investment houses are looking at ESG seriously and have made it clear, they won’t tolerate a failure to engage. Whether the brand now has the lifeforce to overcome the scrutiny, time will tell – as will its share price,” she said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Deliveroo’s IPO flopped this week. The UK startup may have waited too long to cash in on the IPO frenzy for COVID-19 ‘winners.’

Deliveroo rider delivery rider
A Deliveroo rider.

  • The timing of Deliveroo’s IPO may be one key reason why investors shunned its landmark offering.
  • Appetite for food-delivery companies is fizzling out now that vaccination drives are going strong.
  • Deliveroo doesn’t have the scalability of a bigger US tech company like Uber, one market analyst said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Shares in British food-delivery startup Deliveroo tumbled as much as 30% on its first day of trading this week, even after the company priced its shares at the lower end of its IPO range.

This marked an unfavorable start for one of Europe’s biggest IPOs in a decade.

It seems like Deliveroo may have waited too long to cash in on the IPO frenzy for firms that managed to make the most of the “COVID-19 economy,” such as US peer DoorDash. The drop is linked in part to bad timing.

“Timing is everything in the IPO market,” Robert Johnson, finance professor at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business, told Insider. “While food delivery is popular in the COVID world, there is a strong likelihood that the service will have lower demand in a post-COVID world,” he said, adding that Deliveroo’s investors were looking to take advantage of its potential to benefit from the stay-at-home environment.

But that attitude appears to be changing as investors emerge from the pandemic, he said.

Separately, insurers including Aviva, Aberdeen, and Rathbones said they wouldn’t invest in Deliveroo because its riders do not get the minimum wage, sick leave, or holiday pay. That in itself made for poor promotion.

Aside from its workers-rights crisis, the poor performance of similar stocks like HelloFresh and JustEat seems to have had an effect on Deliveroo.

“The market is pricing in the impact of the successful UK vaccination campaign, which will lead to a return to restaurants later this year and this will have a negative impact on this entire business model,” said Alexander Graf, cofounder of e-commerce tech firm Spryker.

The Amazon-backed company initially saw a lot of fanfare over its IPO. But instead of a contingent of investors rushing in to drive its price higher, the stock slumped. That translates to a paper loss for those retail investors, including its customers and top drivers, who were unlucky enough to have been tempted in and paid the IPO price, said David Morrison, senior market analyst at Trade Nation. The stock may have recovered, but “this is undoubtedly a flop by anyone’s standards,” he said.

Morrison said this may not have happened to a similar company debuting in the US because UK investors perceive companies differently.

Deliveroo aims to paint itself as a tech disruptor just like Uber, he said. But to many, it’s a company with a young workforce dashing around on unlit bikes at night with boxes on their backs in the posher neighborhoods around London.

“That doesn’t seem very high-tech to me. Unlike Uber that has scalability, Deliveroo probably won’t work outside a big metropolis like London,” Morrison said. “Also, it has plenty of competition from the likes of Just Eat and Uber Eats. Finally, it doesn’t make money. While that’s also been the case for other tech companies, such as Uber and Amazon, what will Deliveroo’s future be like once lockdown ends?”

Read the original article on Business Insider

We’ve love Goldbelly for sending food and treats to loved ones, and right now you can get Easter and Passover favorites delivered

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • You can order food gifts from iconic eateries all over the US via Goldbelly and have them delivered nationwide.
  • We’ve used it to send bagels, lobster, pizza, and cupcakes to loved ones and have always had a good experience.
  • Right now you can order treats for Easter and Passover from some of the country’s best restaurants.
goldbelly review
You can find tons of delicious desserts on Goldbelly.

We all know the old adage: The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. And most of us would agree it’s true.

Food is more than sustenance – it’s nostalgia, comfort, a common denominator in a world of difference. A bite of a tender lobster roll transports you back to road trips to Maine. The chewiness of a New York bagel beckons memories of lazy Sunday morning rituals from when you lived in the city. A whiff of a hot, gooey, cheesesteak will always be associated with cheering on the Phillies with your dad.

As we pack up and move on with our lives, we’ll continue to crave these nostalgic bites. Whatever the connection, wouldn’t it be lovely if you could experience your favorite meals from local, regional eateries no matter where you are?

Enter: Goldbelly.

It’s an online marketplace offering up some of the best bites from iconic food establishments all around the United States – and it’s the ultimate gift for food lovers, or honestly, yourself.

What is Goldbelly?

Every region has its own delicacies – Philly cheesesteaks, New York bagels, Kansas City barbecue – and Goldbelly is on a mission to make these local foods available to everyone, regardless of location.

Goldbelly partners with famous food purveyors and eateries all over the country – like Magnolia Bakery, Lou Malnati’s, and Pat LaFrieda -and helps deliver some of their most popular dishes to hungry consumers nationwide. You can find everything from wood-fired pizza to saucy pulled pork and ribs, and even entire Thanksgiving dinners with fully-cooked turkey and sides.

There are also meal kits and monthly subscriptions for different types of foods like pizza or bagels, as well as subscriptions to foods from different cities. All proceeds from a City Subscription goes toward delivering Goldbelly care packages to healthcare heroes across the nation.

How Goldbelly works

Head over to Goldbelly and you’ll be met with a page filled with drool-worthy pictures of delicious eats from all over the country. Goldbelly helps you find what you’re looking for in a variety of ways. Choose by category of food, what’s popular at the moment, iconic shops, or check out one of Goldbelly’s curated gift guides.

Once you find what you’re looking for, it’s just like ordering anything else online. There is also an option to add a gift message and recipient information, which makes Goldbelly packages extra giftable. Shipping time and price is dependent on the product and where it’s coming from. Since Goldbelly works with independent vendors, it’s understandable that shipping would be varied.

Review of Goldbelly

We’ve tested Goldbelly on several occasions, here are our experiences.

Remi Rosmarin, reporter: “After visiting a friend in Seattle in July a few years ago, I was looking for the perfect thank-you-for-hosting-me gift.

Of course, there are always flowers, candles, and edible arrangements, but nothing felt personal enough for a friend who had gone out of her way to plan a wonderful weekend on the West Coast. As coincidence would have it, I came across Goldbelly the day after I returned. While in Seattle, my friend had mentioned her only real complaint about the city was that there are no good bagels (sorry, Seattle), so I figured, why not send them?

I perused Goldbelly’s curated guide to “Best Gifts from NYC“, knowing there had to be some great bagels inside. I landed on a package from Ess-a-Bagel – a New York institution and a personal favorite – which included enough bagels and fixings for six. The box cost $89.95 for six bagels, a 1/2 pound nova lox, and a 1/2 pound of any type of cream cheese. You can also add more cream cheese, lox, and spreads for an added price. I ordered it on Tuesday morning and it was delivered to my friend’s doorstep the next day on Wednesday afternoon.

Even though I was able to test this service for free, it’s clear that Goldbelly provides a pretty good value. A typical nova bagel sandwich at Ess-a-Bagel costs $13.25, but the Goldbelly price isn’t much higher, clocking each bagel and lox combo in at just about $14.20. Of course, there is also a delivery fee to consider, and you may get a heavier helping of lox and schmear at Ess-a-Bagel, but that’s beside the point. This delivery brought serious smiles to an East Coast transplant who had a hankering from some New York bagels, and for that, I’d definitely gift it again.”

Goldbelly
We were impressed with fresh lobster rolls from McLoon’s Lobster Shack.

Jada Wong, senior editor: “Goldbelly is great when you’re missing certain foods or want to deliver a special treat for someone’s birthday. It’s a delicious and practical gift for yourself or someone else.

So far, I’ve ordered fresh Maine lobster meat for homemade-ish lobster rolls from McLoon’s Lobster Shack and deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s when my husband and I were craving dishes due to cancelling trips during the pandemic, and cupcakes from Carousel Cakes for my dad’s birthday.

Prices are comparable to if you’d gone to the restaurants, though they seem pricey up first because items are usually in bundles and packs. You can’t just order one pizza – you have to order a pack of two or four.

The lobster meat prices were similar to online grocery store prices, but with the added benefit that the meat was fresh from Maine. We ordered two pounds of lobster meat and that was enough to make six rolls with generous piles of meat. If you get a 4-pack of deep-dish pizzas at Lou Malnati’s through Goldbelly for $95.99, each one comes out to $23.99 instead of the $22.40 they’d usually cost at the restaurant. These prices don’t include tax or shipping of course, but those won’t nearly be as expensive as a flight to Chicago or Maine.

All the orders arrived safely in padded styrofoam boxes, and in the case of the lobster and pizza, in boxes surrounded by ice packs so they were still fresh. There were easy-to-follow prep and cooking instructions for the lobster and deep-dish pizza, and the results were delicious.”

The bottom line

Nowadays, we’re comfortable with buying so many items online. If you can buy a mattress and have it delivered to your door, you should be able to do the same with bagels and lobster rolls.

Goldbelly has definitely filled a niche for food-lovers everywhere. While there’s nothing like eating the real deal in person, Goldbelly can get you pretty darn close.

Order from Goldbelly here

Read the original article on Business Insider

Deliveroo slumps 30% at its London trading debut after pricing shares well below the lower end of IPO range

Deliveroo CEO Will Shu
Deliveroo CEO, Will Shu.

  • Deliveroo shares tumbled 30% at its market debut by opening well below the price of its IPO.
  • The firm’s shares fell to as much as 271 pence per share, below its offering price of 390 pence.
  • Deliveroo began trading on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday under the ticker “ROO.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Deliveroo fell as much as 30% in the food delivery-startup’s public trading debut on Wednesday, marking a downbeat start to the biggest initial public offering in London in a decade.

The company’s shares were trading at an intraday low of 271 pence ($3.78) per share, lower than the offering price of 390 pence ($5.35). The price recovered to 313 pence ($4.31) at 8:45 a.m. London time.

“Deliveroo has gone from hero to zero as the much-hyped stock market debut falls flat on its face,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould. “It had better get used to the nickname ‘Flopperoo’.”

The UK-based company had priced 384.6 million shares at 390 pence per share, the bottom of its marketed range between 390 pence and 410 pence ($5.65), hoping to target a valuation of 7.6 billion pounds ($10.5 billion). But it’s the first of London’s top five deals this year that wasn’t able to open at its highest targeted valuation, shedding more than 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) in market value on its trading debut.

Analysts say its IPO took a turn for the worse when multiple fund managers said they wouldn’t back the business due to concerns about working practices, spooking many that applied for its shares and possibly racing to dump them.

“It reflects the cautious approach big funds have shown to the stock amid concerns about working practices and governance,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com. “A lot of the big UK funds are not on side, which was failure number one.”

Amazon-backed Deliveroo, which trades on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ROO, raised 1.5 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) via proceeds from investors. It could have raised 1.77 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) had the company priced its shares at the higher end of its IPO range. But its offering was priced at the lower end because of a drop in shares for food-service firms such as JustEat and Delivery Hero on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a spokesperson.

The company grew to the point of launching on the stock market partly thanks to the exploitation of its workers, said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx. “Now, said exploitation is one of the main reasons behind its sour start to life as a public company,” he said.

It approached its market debut uniquely compared to other IPOs. Only institutional investors are able to participate in Deliveroo’s market debut on March 31, but private investors buying into its 50 million pounds ($68.6 billion) community offer can participate once unconditional trading begins on April 7.

Deliveroo was founded in 2013 by former banker Will Shu and his childhood friend Greg Orlowski. The British firm offers food, groceries, and alcohol for delivery on demand via an app, and ferries goods out to consumers through a network of gig-economy riders.

Its IPO will be a test for the UK tech startup industry, where valuations for unprofitable, high-growth companies have become increasingly bullish, even as public investor appetite for riskier businesses remains largely untested.

The company faces stiff competition in the sector from direct rivals Uber Eats and Just Eat, plus niche grocery delivery apps such as Gorillas, Getir, and Weezy.

Deliveroo primarily makes money by charging its restaurant and grocery partners a commission on each order, up to 35% in some cases. Though hoping to permanently benefit from an uplift in takeaway orders during the pandemic, the firm remains loss-making.

The firm reported a £225.5 million ($311 million) pre-tax loss for the full-year 2020, a narrower loss than the £317.7 million ($438 million) it lost in 2019. Revenues were up 54% to £1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) from 2019.

Other revenue streams include its subscription programme for regular consumers who want lower delivery fees; food procurement deals; licensing out its “Editions” dark kitchens to restaurant brands; and its “Signature” marketing platform.

Its listing is also closely watched thanks to its dual-class share structure, which sees Shu retain control over the firm in a model similar to US listings. The CEO will be granted 20 votes per share, while other shareholders will receive one vote per share.

The IPO is set to make Shu a wealthy man, since he plans to sell approximately $36 million in shares, leaving him with a stake in the company worth around $662 million.

While Deliveroo has indicated that demand from institutional investors exceeded supply in the run-up to its IPO, a number of big firms publicly stated they would not back the company.

Aviva, Rathbones, Legal & General, and others variously cited Deliveroo’s lack of profitability, and the reputational and financial risk posed by the fact its riders are gig-economy contractors rather than workers entitled to a minimum wage.

That comes after the Supreme Court ruled in February that ride-hailing giant Uber needed to reclassify its drivers, also deemed contractors, as workers and pay them holiday pay and a minimum wage.

The IWGB, a British union representing gig economy workers, said it was organizing a strike of Deliveroo riders on April 7, when unconditional trading begins.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are joint global coordinators on Deliveroo’s IPO, while Bank of America, Citigroup, Jefferies, and Numis Securities are join bookrunners.

Insider breaks down everything investors need to know about Deliveroo’s IPO – from its dual class structure to who’s making money and who’s shunning it.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Pennsylvania prosecutor making $60 per hour got demoted because of his DoorDash side gig – where drivers make $17 per hour

GettyImages 1293837008 NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 30: A door-dash delivery driver waits near a restaurant on December 30, 2020 in New York City. The pandemic continues to burden restaurants and bars as businesses struggle to thrive with evolving government restrictions and social distancing plans which impact keeping businesses open yet challenge profitability. (Photo by NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 30: A door-dash delivery driver waits near a restaurant on December 30, 2020 in New York City. The pandemic continues to burden restaurants and bars as businesses struggle to thrive with evolving government restrictions and social distancing plans which impact keeping businesses open yet challenge profitability. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images))
  • A Pennsylvania prosecutor was demoted for delivering food for DoorDash during his work hours.
  • His boss called it “indefensible, thoughtless, selfish, and so stupid.”
  • The prosecutor, Gregg Shore, told KYW Radio that his reasons for working for DoorDash were personal.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

District attorneys typically serve citizens by building legal cases against people accused of crimes, but one prosecutor in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, got demoted this week for serving residents food – as a DoorDash delivery driver.

Gregg Shore, who had been second-in-command at the Bucks County district attorney’s office, got caught driving for the food delivery service during hours he was supposed to be doing his job as a prosecutor, KYW Radio reported Thursday.

In 2019, Shore earned $125,435 – roughly $60 per hour – as first assistant district attorney, according to public records.

DoorDash CEO Tony Xu told The New York Times that delivery workers earned an average of just $17 per hour in 2018 – but the company doesn’t pay for the time workers spend waiting to claim orders, and some drivers say the base pay can be as little as $3 per hour.

Shore told KYW Radio that his reasons for working for DoorDash were personal and that he drove mostly at night.

“What he did was indefensible, thoughtless, selfish, and so stupid, it’s senseless,” Bucks County district attorney Matt Weintraub said in a press conference Thursday.

“I don’t know why he did this, only he has the answer, and I’ll admit to you that I’m very angry and I’m upset… this is the reason for his demotion,” he added.

Weintraub said Shore will be demoted to deputy district attorney, adding that while it would be “easier and politically expedient” to fire Shore, it “was not necessarily the right thing to do” given Shore’s otherwise positive track record.

Jennifer Schorn, who had been chief of the office’s trials and grand jury divisions, has been promoted to first assistant to fill Shore’s role, Weintraub said.

During the pandemic, the surge in demand for food delivery has been a boon for executives, early investors, and employees of companies like DoorDash, which opened at $182 per share – 78% above its asking price – during its IPO in December despite an unprofitable business model.

But delivery workers haven’t seen the same benefit, and have long complained about low pay, tough working conditions, and even wage theft – DoorDash paid $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the food delivery company of stealing drivers’ tips.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How ghost kitchens’ business models could threaten the future of traditional dine-in restaurants

Pasta Cooking in Industrial Kitchen.
Dark kitchens were already gaining popularity before the pandemic.

  • Dark kitchens are gaining popularity, enabling restaurants to cut costs during the pandemic. 
  • Spanish broadcaster RTVE estimated 25% of home food deliveries now came from dark kitchens. 
  • If the trend continues, traditional dining establishments will likely find it difficult to recover.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the food industry forever and brought new trends with it.

Among them are “dark kitchens” or “ghost kitchens.”

Dark kitchens consist of premises where food is prepared for home delivery or collection but do not have a dining area or waiters.

The business’s customer service and dining area rental aspects are removed, cutting costs and enabling a direct relationship with consumers.

The concept was already gaining popularity before the pandemic, taking over fast-food chains and supermarkets.

Many restaurants also share premises and facilities to cut costs even further.

Over the last year, dark kitchens have grown exponentially in popularity.

Grocery giant Kroger announced in October that it was opening more dark kitchens to meet surging delivery demand, and Chipotle outlined plans to open its first dark kitchen in November, although the chain has been using digital kitchens within its restaurants for some time.

In many ways, dark kitchens have been the saving grace of the pandemic, allowing restaurants to continue operating despite restrictions that ban diners from visiting their establishments.

25% of food deliveries during the pandemic come from dark kitchens, according to Spanish broadcaster RTVE.

It’s not just restaurants that are catching on – it’s delivery giants too.

Food delivery firm Deliveroo, now worth $7 billion, said it would spend its latest funding win of $180 million partly on investing in dark kitchens.

This will enable them to increase their profit margins hugely as they will no longer be dependent on delivery commissions from restaurants.

However, there are concerns that dark kitchens could threaten traditional dining establishments, as they cannot compete with the larger profit margins, quicker deliveries, and lower prices offered by dark kitchen restaurants.

If they do not return in numbers equivalent to pre-pandemic levels, it will be difficult for restaurants to recover from the losses incurred over lockdowns and closures will be inevitable.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to place an Uber Eats group order and let everyone pick out their own order for a single delivery

Group ordering food on phone
Uber Eats group orders can save you from sharing your phone.

  • Uber Eats’ group order feature lets different users add items to a single order, and have it delivered to a single location.
  • Every person who wants to add items to a Group Order needs to have an Uber Eats account.
  • You can place a group order through the Uber Eats mobile app or the desktop website. 
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Whether it’s getting food from your favorite local restaurant or getting groceries from the store, mobile applications like Uber Eats have been in high demand recently. And for the times you’re not eating alone, splitting the check can be relatively easy with Uber Eats’ group ordering tool. 

The feature lets you send a link to everyone in your party, allowing them to add their order using their own devices. The order can then be paid for by one person, and sent to a single address.

It’s great if you don’t want to pass your phone around to everyone in the room. Just note that everyone involved will need to have their own Uber Eats account.

Here’s how to place a group order on the Uber Eats mobile app and online. 

How to place an Uber Eats group order on the mobile app

1. Open the Uber Eats app.

2. Select a restaurant using the app’s Home dashboard or the search tool. 

3. Once you’ve decided on a restaurant, click the group order button in the top-right hand corner.

UberEatsGroup_Image1
A silhouette of a person represents the group order icon.

4. Determine your delivery address and order spending limit. Then tap “Share group order.” 

UberEatsGroup_Image2
A spending limit will prevent you from being charged beyond a specific amount.

5. A window will appear with mobile sharing options. Share the group order link via text, social media, or email with each member of your group. 

6. After all orders have been submitted, tap “View cart.” 

7. Next, select “Go to checkout.”

Uber Eats Group Order 4
Go to checkout on your Uber Eats order, but only after everyone has finished adding their items.

8. Uber Eats will then ask you to confirm everyone has submitted their order. Choose “Continue” when you’re ready. 

Uber Eats Group Order 5
Ensure everyone has added their items to the cart before locking in your Uber Eats order.

9. After verifying the items and price, hit “Next.”

Uber Eats Group Order 6
Check your payment method before placing your Uber Eats group order.

10. You’ll be asked to select a tip amount, and how you want to pay. Once you’re ready, tap “Place order.” 

How to place an Uber Eats group order through the website

1. Go to Uber Eats on your favorite browser and log in. 

2. Select a restaurant using the app’s Home dashboard or the search tool. 

Uber Eats Group Order 7
The search bars on the app and website are in different places.

3. Choose the restaurant you want to order from. 

4. In the restaurant’s banner image, click the “Start group order” icon. 

Uber Eats Group Order 8
This icon is located above the restaurant description on the far-right.

5. Use the “Edit” buttons to adjust your spending limit or delivery address. 

6. Click “Create order.” 

7. A box will appear with a link. Share it via text, social media, or email with each member of your group. Share the link to allow others to add to the Group Order. 

8. After all orders have been submitted, you can begin checkout and place your order. Just remember that once you head to checkout, you can’t edit the group order without starting from scratch.

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What is ChowNow? How the food-ordering service differs from its competition

Food delivery online
ChowNow charges restaurants a monthly fee without a commission on orders.

  • ChowNow is a food-ordering app and subscription service for restaurants that doesn’t receive a commission on orders like other popular delivery apps.
  • Restaurants that pay for the monthly service get the benefits of being on a delivery app, plus a dedicated marketing team to set up an app and website, among other features.
  • For customers, the ChowNow app is similar to ordering apps from services like UberEats or GrubHub.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Food delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash seem nearly ubiquitous in the restaurant industry – if you’re running a restaurant and you want people in the area to know about you, getting on at least one of these apps is essential for your exposure.

These apps, however, take a cut of what restaurants earn – even if you order pickup and not delivery. Most of them take 20% to 40% of each order, which is, in many cases, nearly the entire profit margin on the food they’re selling.

The people behind ChowNow saw this trend and worried that it would take down the small, local restaurant as we know it, and decided to do something about it. ChowNow is a service that sets up food delivery for restaurants on its own app (available on Android and iOS), like other food delivery service apps. However, the company doesn’t charge a percentage for it.

What to know about ChowNow

Unlike UberEats or DoorDash, ChowNow doesn’t stop after putting a restaurant on its app. It does more – it helps make it easy for a restaurant to have its own ordering app, and an easy-to-use order function on its website.

Instead of taking a percentage of each order, ChowNow structured its service as a paid monthly subscription – the base cost is $149 a month, with a one-time $399 setup fee per location, but these prices go down when a business signs a contract for a longer period. Its annual plan is $119 a month with a $199 initial setup fee, and the two-year annual plan is $99 a month, with the same discounted setup fee.

On top of helping a restaurant set up its own ordering app and website, ChowNow also offers a wide range of other services to customers, including comprehensive training, an iPad for order consolidation, an ongoing marketing strategy, and 24/7 support.

What is Chownow   1
A comprehensive overview of all the services that come with a ChowNow plan.

One thing to note about ChowNow is that it is not actually a delivery service. ChowNow does not employ its own delivery drivers – it is, more or less, a marketing team and middle man. Instead, the company gives restaurants the option to hire and use their own delivery drivers for orders that go through the site. 

If restaurants don’t want to hire delivery drivers, though, they’re not out of luck – ChowNow has partnerships with some of the delivery services they are competing with, including Postmates, DoorDash, UberEats, in different areas. ChowNow isn’t trying to drive these companies out of business – just reimagine how they function so the process works for everyone.

ChowNow can help customers, too

As a customer, using ChowNow doesn’t have to be that different than using other ordering apps. It works more or less the same, but when you use it instead of one of the other apps, you’re doing your part to help local restaurants keep more of what they earn.

When you download the ChowNow app, it looks a lot like any other ordering app you may be familiar with. You enter your location, and it shows you a list of available restaurants in your area, and you can tap on them to see their menu. From there, you just add items to your cart, check out, and wait. 

What is ChowNow 2
Despite ChowNow fees being different from other ordering apps, its interface is similar to the apps from other food-ordering services.

If that’s all you use ChowNow for, then you’re still helping your local small businesses – plus, you might be helping yourself out, too. Because of the high commissions on apps like GrubHub and Postmates, many restaurants increase their prices on the app in order to compensate for what would otherwise be a net loss. So when you use an app that charges restaurants a fee, you could end up paying more for your food than you need to. 

However, customers can also look at the ChowNow app as a map to new restaurants – ideally, they would try a restaurant once, and, if they decide they really like it, simply go and download that restaurant’s app, rather than adding it to a list of favorites. This puts customers in a position to get bonuses and deals that the company may be offering.

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DoorDash prices IPO at $102 per share, will raise $3.4 billion

doordash delivery driver
  • DoorDash priced its shares at $102 apiece on Tuesday ahead of its IPO, CNBC’s Leslie Picker reported. That comes in well above the expected range.
  • The offering is expected to raise $3.4 billion, and it gives the food-delivery company a valuation of $32.4 billion.
  • DoorDash lifted its pricing range on Friday to $90 to $95, from $75 to $85. Its new pricing sets the company up to be one of the year’s biggest debuts.
  • DoorDash is set to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “DASH.”
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

DoorDash priced its shares at $102 each on Tuesday ahead of its highly anticipated initial public offering, CNBC’s Leslie Picker reported. The final pricing comes in well above the expected range.

That pricing will allow the company to raise $3.4 billion when it begins trading on Wednesday, according to a regulatory filing. It also gives the firm a $34.2 billion valuation, based on common stock outstanding, and $38.7 billion on a fully-diluted basis. It will mark one of the year’s largest market debuts.

The pricing brings DoorDash well above the roughly $15 billion private valuation it achieved earlier in 2020, which was already a major increase from the $1.4 billion it was worth in 2018.

DoorDash is poised to become the highest-valued food-delivery company when it debuts on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is set to trade under the ticker “DASH.”

Read more: Goldman Sachs says buy these 25 stocks it expects to pay big dividends that will keep growing over the next decade

DoorDash lifted its IPO price range on Friday to $90 to $95, from $75 and $85 per share. Its latest target sets it up to be among the year’s five largest offerings.

IPOs from DoorDash, Airbnb, Wish-parent ContextLogic, and others are set to drive the busiest December on record for public offerings. US listings have already raised a record $156 billion in 2020, according to Bloomberg data, partially fueled by the year’s blank-check frenzy.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan will serve as the offering’s lead underwriters.

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Market wizard Chris Camillo grew his trading account by $9.7 million in 2020. Here’s the simple strategy he’s using to mint millions.

The most effective stimulus bill will boost unemployment benefits and PPP in order to drive economic growth, JPMorgan says

One gauge of stock-market valuation has reached its highest point since the dot-com bubble – and exceeds levels seen before the 1929 crash

Read the original article on Business Insider