Tell us more about launching a virtual business concept?
Virtual restaurants are the best way to maximize revenue on 3rd party delivery platforms. We can be creative testing menu ideas and pricing without affecting our primary business’s menu. The 3rd party delivery services charge around 30%, so it’s important to figure that into your menu prices. By marketing a different virtual brand, you can ensure that the 3rd party services don’t cannibalize your existing business, so all sales are purely incremental. We’ve been there with 3rd party services trying to steal our customers.
We already had wings on the Classic Crust Pizza menu, so we didn’t have to add any equipment or make any operational changes to get our first virtual restaurant started. When we launched WingSpot AZ we raised prices to cover the 3rd party revenue share, and added a larger selection of sauces, dry rubs and piece counts. The virtual restaurant team at UberEats was very helpful in providing us with search data to help us create a menu that meets current market demand.
Virtual restaurants can lead to tablet chaos. We were managing with hand entering 3rd party orders for our main restaurant, but once WingSpot AZ started taking off it was clear that we were falling behind. In January we signed up for Ordermark and were able to consolidate from 8 tablets down to one tablet and one printer. They also make it really easy to add more 3rd party services and manage the menus across all of them. When BurgerSpot AZ launches next month, we will have 12 tablets, and 3 brands all automatically printing to one kitchen printer.