How Restaurants Can Own Their Digital Ordering Footprint
Every disruption in an industry starts with a challenge and an idea. Nabeel Alamgir, CEO, and Co-Founder of Lunchbox, has always loved a challenge. He came to the U.S. 15 years ago, not speaking English. What happened next is an entrepreneurial story that everyone can celebrate. He began working at a burger joint run by his former history teacher. “I was drawn into the place and began asking my teacher about the restaurant. Then he said, ‘Do you want a job,’ and I said, ‘Absolutely,” he said.
Ten years later, Bareburger growth includes 50 locations in multiple countries. In Alamgir’s time at the company, he did a little bit of everything, eventually becoming the CMO and overseeing technology.
What made him fall in love with the industry? “It’s such an entrepreneurial business, especially for immigrants, and it was a place I could grow and be a big part of the process, not just a cog,” he noted.
He found himself getting comfortable at Bareburger and was ready for a new pursuit, helping any restaurant own their own online ordering footprint. “At Bareburger, we cut a huge check to Grubhub, enough to open a new location. And most restaurants only own a small part of online orders. Third-parties get the most,” Alamgir shared.
He began ideating with his co-founder about how they could bring to any restaurant what the big brands have—their own website, apps, ordering platform, loyalty programs, etc. Alamgir said, “It was expensive but not impossible. So, we started the company and haven’t looked back. We’re able to help any size restaurant get to a 50-50 split with online ordering, half direct and half from third parties as well as help them with marketing.”
The company started pre-COVID, not knowing how important online ordering would be to the industry. Restaurants shifted their marketing messaging, channels, and more in the pandemic. One thing that Alamgir said is the key to any restaurant marketing in any setting is the story. “Tell your story. It matters to customers and why they choose you. That’s what we tell our clients. With technology, marketing, and storytelling, restaurants can survive and thrive.”