What’s a Cloud Kitchen? Amazon’s Next Move to Revolutionize a Major Shopping Sector

Jeff Bezos likes to say, “Your margin is my opportunity.” Like with Whole Foods and grocery, Amazon moves into new verticals and applies its logistics-first approach to carve out margins, then undercut competitors. It is even getting into shipping, in a move to own its delivery infrastructure.

The next local conquest could be restaurants. For Amazon, it’s not just about serving food, but doing so in a way that aligns with its forte: delivering things to your home. The biggest clues and synergies lie in its established delivery and logistics playbook as well as its recent $575 million investment in Deliveroo.

Enter the cloud kitchen.

Google’s Fake Listings Problem Gets More Attention—and May Spur Regulation

Blumenthal to Mihm: It seems to me that Google could take the fake listings issue off the table by seriously investing in cleaning up the fake listing and fake review issue. I just don’t think that they think that way.

At a minimum, as the company that has the monopoly in the local space, Google faces the expectation and responsibility to provide a service that truly serves the public and businesses. And they seem to forget that.

Google Antitrust: Is It Enough for Yelp?

Mihm to Blumenthal: I’m not averse to the idea of the government regulating Google’s practices in Maps or local search, but it feels like rewarding Yelp in particular is not going to bring consumers any particular benefit, nor will it meaningfully benefit small businesses, as Elizabeth Warren seems to indicate is a primary goal of her plan.

If anything, Google has gone out of its way to help small businesses compete in its search results with the introduction of the local pack and the Venice update, whereas small businesses continue to rate Yelp as poorly as any company in tech.

Allset Redefines Its Position in the Mobile Ordering Space

Standing out in the mobile ordering space isn’t easy. GrubHub, Uber Eats, Door Dash, and dozens of other mobile ordering platforms are competing for business in what’s already become a tight market. So how does an outsider break into the business, and break away from the competition?

For companies like Allset, the answer is to create entirely new services that competitors aren’t offering.

Foursquare’s Location-Based Loyalty Metrics Point to Best Practices for Casual Restaurants

Brushing aside customer surveys and other imprecise measures of customer loyalty, location intelligence firm Foursquare released a location-based report this morning that evaluates best practices and practitioners in loyalty among casual restaurant chains. 

Most importantly for future considerations, the report suggests that brands can improve loyalty in all four of the areas that contributed to its index.

Toast Raises $250M, Securing Lead Position in Restaurant Management Software

Restaurant management software provider Toast announced $250 million in additional funding on Monday, valuing the firm at $2.7 billion and cementing its lead position in the SaaS market for restaurants. TCV and Tiger Global Management led the Series E round.

AI Technology is Getting within Reach for Small Restaurants

Rodion Yeroshek: The majority of restaurant businesses, especially the small ones, remain slow adopters and non-adopters of AI technology. People may think that the introduction of AI in small restaurant operations is nothing more than jumping on the bandwagon. However, research on the impact of AI on the world economy by McKinsey Global Institute warns the naysayers. The research predicts that by 2030 active adopters of AI technologies could double their cash flow, while non-adopters could lose up to 20% of theirs. This is a hint for restaurant managers who plan to stay in business for the next 10-15 years that it’s time they embrace AI tools or prepare to lose a big part of their market share for good.

Heard on the Street, Episode 20: Local Reviews Tactics from a Travel Giant

Even in a hyper technology-driven world, one of the most influential forms of local marketing remains word of mouth. But of course that universal principle has taken on new digital formats, including social influence and good-old local business reviews. Reviews optimization is the name of today’s game. We spoke to TripAdvisor Restaurant Division Lead Mark Goloboy on the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast to find out how his company is innovating in reputation and identify best practices for businesses.

Want to Know How Long the Wait For that Hot New Restaurant Is? There’s a Google Integration for That

Building on the Reserve with Google offerings that have made the tech giant’s SERPs the new homepage of local businesses, Google seems to be adding a feature that allows people searching for local restaurants to sign up for a waitlist. Busy folks with a penchant for busy eateries rejoice. 

Review Strategy Is Key to Restaurant Success, Says TripAdvisor Restaurants Marketing Leader

What’s one of the secrets to a coveted top spot on a TripAdvisor Restaurants list? Respond to every review within 24 hours, said Mark Goloboy, the marketing leader for TripAdvisor Restaurants, at a panel during Brandify’s 2018 conference. Responding to reviews effectively can make the difference between showing up on the first and fourth pages of the site.

Street Fight Daily: Amazon’s Push into SMB Territory; Ad Tech Growing Half as Fast as Mar Tech

TODAY IN LOCAL & DIGITAL MARKETING AND MEDIA… Amazon Furthers Embrace of SMBs with Storefronts… Ad Tech Now Expanding at Half Rate of Mar Tech… How Restaurants Are Using Big Data to Boost Loyalty and Stay Competitive…

With SimpleOrder Acquisition, Upserve Digs Into Back-House Operations

In a year that’s been marked by consolidation across the hyperlocal marketing space, Upserve’s recent acquisition of SimpleOrder should come as no surprise. It mirrors another hyperlocal acquisition announced just this week: full-suite marketing company Cheetah Digital’s purchase of loyalty specialist Stellar Loyalty.

How Savvy Restaurateurs Make the Most of Online Ordering

“What increasingly separates top-performing restaurants from the pack is their ability to transform insights from data into strategies to grow,” says Liam Oliver, director of products for Valassis Local Solutions. “Savvy restaurateurs drive incremental revenue by designing promotions that raise the average order value.”

How Restaurants Can Leverage Behavioral Data in Saturated Markets

A new white paper released by the real-time consumer-intelligence firm Sense360 found that a fraction of a percentage point in market share, gained or lost, can mean the difference between hitting targets and financial ruin for restaurant operators.

TripAdvisor Pushes Further Into Restaurant Space with Local Ad Product

Having already tackled travel and hotels, TripAdvisor is continuing to go after the restaurant vertical, today launching a new product aimed at independent restaurants and restaurant groups. TripAdvisor Ads marks the company’s first product designed to allow restaurants to reach customers through cost-per-click sponsored ad placements.

TripAdvisor Study Shows Room for Growth in Restaurant Marketing

According to the new survey, more than eight in 10 restaurateurs in the United States believe they should be doing more to promote their businesses, but only 17% say they’ve hired a dedicated employee to handle marketing tasks and just 1% use an outside marketing consultant.

Report: Delivery Apps Don’t Cannibalize Restaurant Visits

Sense360’s analysis found no evidence that delivery apps lead to significant drops in restaurant visits. The analysis also found that consumers who download delivery apps tend to have higher incomes, and visit fine dining restaurants 2.5x more frequently, than those who haven’t downloaded these apps.

6 POS Systems Designed With Restaurants in Mind

Forty-three percent of restaurant industry professionals say they plan to upgrade their restaurant technology within the next year, and 22% say they will in the next six months, meaning this could be a major period of growth for POS solutions focused on the restaurant industry.

5 Predictive Ordering Platforms for Restaurants

One area where restaurant owners struggle is inventory management — that is, predicting how many diners will show up at a given time and how much food they’ll consume. But many restaurant owners don’t realize that a number of hyperlocal platforms are already offering solutions to help with this issue.

#SFSW16 VIDEO: Rethinking Restaurants — Local Tech Remakes an Industry

Restaurants are a particularly large and important vertical in local, and as such they’ve long been a testing ground for a variety of digital products. Now a new generation of companies is starting to use local marketing and delivery services to rethink what a restaurant is and how we think about our dining experiences.