Los Angeles Canter’s Deli has been a Los Angeles staple since 1931 and still serves the classic fare that helped make the restaurant an iconic Los Angeles hangout.
But Alex Canter, the great grandson of the founder, said the restaurant business is in flux, with more and more customers ordering online from third party services such as Grubhub and Doordash.
The proliferation of these services has cut into foot traffic at restaurants – a trend the Fairfax deli has not been immune from, according to Canter, who works on business development for the eatery.
“Online ordering is no longer optional,” Canter said. “Any restaurant solely relying on foot traffic is going to lose customers to other restaurants on their block. If your restaurant is not listed on a third-party delivery app, you don’t exist to those customers.”
One-third of Canter’s business now comes from online ordering systems, Canter said, and the restaurant accepts orders from 14 different delivery companies.
Delivery services mean additional customers and revenue, but Canter said organizing and fulfilling orders from numerous apps is an operational nightmare for restaurant employees.
Canter saw an opportunity, and in January 2017 he founded Ordermark, which uses software to streamline delivery service orders into a single user interface for restaurants.
Canter announced last month $3.1 million in seed funding had been raised for the startup, which has 30 employees in its Santa Monica headquarters. More than 200 restaurant brands, including Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, Sonic Corp. and Johnny Rockets, use Ordermark’s software.
Canter declined to disclose the company’s revenue, but it is built on a subscription model. Ordermark charges restaurants $99 per month plus $.25 cents per order. They provide each client with a tablet for the front of the house and a linked printer that’s housed directly in the kitchen. Canter declined to say if the physical equipment came at an additional cost.
Canter said convenience is king and the online model will only grow. Canter’s Deli even started a delivery-only outpost in downtown, a trend people in the industry are calling virtual restaurants or ghost kitchens.
“Online ordering is incremental revenue,” Canter said. “The last dollar in is the most important.”
‘Uber for Babysitters’
Bill Simmons, founder of sports and pop culture website The Ringer, said on one of his recent podcasts that he wished there was an Uber-like service for babysitters. It turns out there is.
Santa Monica-based Bambino, founded by Sean Greene in May 2015, is an app-based marketplace that links babysitters to parents looking for childcare.
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