Innovating Technology Into the First Meal of the Day

August 10, 2021
Barbara Castiglia

Food is serious business. Now, on The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia will invite insiders on the front lines of food to share their expertise, strategies, and forecasts for navigating the ever-changing restaurant industry.

 

While having a robust to-go strategy is imperative for almost all restaurants now, many full-service locations weren’t prioritizing until the pandemic. The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia chatted with Paul Macaluso, President and CEO of Another Broken Egg Café, about their transition. The concept is elevated brunch, which serves high-end dishes and has a full bar for handcrafted drinks.

Macaluso has been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years, working in various settings, including years with Yum Brands. He joined Another Broken Egg Café only months before the pandemic.

Business was good, and growth was exploding with franchises, but disruption was ahead. They didn’t have a safety net around off-premises. “When I came in, I asked what do we do for takeout and delivery. The answer was not much, as they thought the food doesn’t travel well, so it was only 2-3% of the business,” Macaluso recalled.

Thus, when shutdowns began in March 2020, the company closed all locations except a few in Florida to try new to-go structures. They already had good packaging in place, but there was more work to do. They began to build an online ordering platform, partnering with third-party delivery and working on how the food would travel. “Our chefs and operations teams were working on the right organization or product, making sure it traveled well, and doing test deliveries to make adjustments,” Macaluso explained.

Their ingenuity and dedication to the details paid off. “By September, we were reopening cafes for dine-in and getting back to the same in-store numbers, but also seeing to-go remain strong at 15%, which was double digit positive compared to 2019.”

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