Lunchbox is the software built by restaurateurs for restaurants.
By Evelyn Deal, Photos courtesy of Lunchbox
In the world of business, everything is rapidly becoming more digitized. It seems as though the whole world is at the tip of one’s fingers. Banking, photography and even grocery shopping can be done with a couple of swipes and taps. But what happens when the digital movement begins to spill into the restaurant scene? For anyone who has spent a day in the service industry, the answer is simple: create software that understands the customers and benefits the people who run it.
Our studio team has helped a lot of restaurants design packaging inserts to put into Uber Eats bags to encourage customers to order on their website next time.Corinne Watson
Meet Corrine Watson, the director of content and brand at Lunchbox, an online program that “offer[s]a collection of modern and creative products for restaurants [to]help them launch online ordering, phone applications, loyalty programs, marketing and more.” To put it simply, Lunchbox is the opposite of third-party online food ordering and delivery services. It helps the restaurant directly. Watson produces educational content that teaches restaurants about trends and the best ways to approach their marketing, online ordering, menu design and social media.
The Trouble With Third Party
Third-party programs such as Uber Eats, Grubhub and Doordash may cause more harm to restaurants than people realize. The problem with ordering through third-party programs is that the restaurant cannot cater to its customers. These programs act as a barrier between the consumer and the restaurant, and often sell consumer data for their own benefit. “They keep your customer data,” Watson explains. “For a restaurant struggling during the pandemic, all they know about their online ordering is the name and the order, nothing else. They can’t remarket to them because they don’t have their email or cell number. So it’s a bit of a monopoly.”
This is where Lunchbox comes into play. The company works directly with restaurants to help them advertise and build their own in-house ordering so the restaurants themselves can reap the rewards. But Lunchbox doesn’t stop there. The ability to understand the customer is one of the biggest problems the restaurant industry faces. Lunchbox helps restaurants build their online presence through advertising, branding and design. “After all, the more you know about your customers, the more you can tailor your products, your pricing and your advertising to them,” Watson explains.
The method of ordering food online was already on a steady incline; however, the pandemic has expedited that process significantly. If temporarily shutting down restaurants wasn’t detrimental enough to the business, using third-party programs put the final nail in the coffin. “Most people who order from Uber Eats and Grubhub don’t know that it isn’t good for the restaurant,” Watson reveals. “They just want their order. It’s on the restaurant to educate their diners about ordering first-party instead of the third-party. Our studio team has helped a lot of restaurants design packaging inserts to put into Uber Eats bags to encourage customers to order on their website next time.”
Lunchbox: Aiming for Real Change
Those behind Lunchbox understand the need for sustainable change within the restaurant industry. In fact, they have customers all over the United States. “We do a lot of events and advertising on both coasts, and in Austin and Dallas,” Watson elaborates. However, Lunchbox contributes much more to the food industry than just helping restaurants advertise and create an online presence.
Lunchbox is an advocate for women in restaurants. “Half of the students at the Culinary Institute of America are female. But at prominent U.S. restaurant groups, women only occupy about 6.3% of head chef positions,” Watson explains. Such a small percentage of women holding leadership positions doesn’t sit right with the Lunchbox team. To combat this, the company publishes an annual list compiling the Top Women in Food to call attention to the women who are trailblazers in the food industry.
Despite its newfound success, Watson knows Lunchbox is just getting its foot in the door. “We’re still a startup, so we have a lot to figure out,” she explains. “We raised our Series B financing in February of this year; we’re using that money to build more products and serve our customers even more.”
Lunchbox has helped numerous restaurants and will continue to do so. But the company hopes to expand their horizons into other types of delivery, like grocery. Watson stays optimistic. “By the time this goes to print, we will likely have acquired another company, which is really exciting for our customers too.”
Learn more about Lunchbox on their website.