Ordermark kitchen printers set to be shipped
As the coronavirus shut down hundreds of thousands of restaurants across the country, one company has been at the forefront of facilitating the eateries’ last chance to keep their businesses running: online ordering.
Even prior to the virus outbreak, Ordermark, an online ordering management platform for restaurants, was already a startup with great traction. Only three years since its inception, it counted Which Wich, Papa Johns, Buffalo Wild Wings, Subway, and thousands of mom and pops restaurants as its clients. Restaurants in 48 states across the U.S were using Ordermark’s product, a printer which aggregates and organizes online orders from various food delivery platforms (like Uber Eats or Grubhub). For the first time, the company was onboarding clients from outside the U.S., expanding its restaurant network in Toronto. In the process, Ordermark, cofounded by Under 30 honoree Alex Canter who also serves the company’s CEO, had raised north of $30 million.
At the moment, given that online orders are the sole stream of revenue for restaurants, many of them try to get as much volume as they can, and be present on all delivery platforms. As a result, demand for Ordermark’s service has exploded.
“Typically we would be adding 300 new restaurants per month to our platform,” Canter says. “In March, we ended up setting up over 1000 new restaurants, and April is on a similar pace.”
In addition to the volume, Canter said these months have been especially busy for the company simply because the urgency of these restaurants to go live “went through the roof.”
“It’s the difference of keeping their doors open or not,” he says.
Alex Canter, cofounder and CEO of Ordermark
As a fourth generation owner of the famous Jewish eatery Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles, started by his great grandfather in 1931, Canter himself grew up around kitchens and chefs. As time went by online ordering was starting to become popular, and he witnessed first-hand the arduous process of accepting online orders from a myriad of different food delivery services, each with its own hardware and training.
“I wanted to take a step back and reimagine the whole online ordering experience,” Canter says.
The solution? A platform that aggregates orders from the different online ordering companies, standardizes that incoming information, and prints it out into a ticket from one kitchen printer, thus eliminating the multiple screens and the variety of hardware equipment.
Today, LA-based Ordermark aggregates orders from over 50 different online ordering companies, including Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash. It works with over 5000 locations, 70% of which are eateries that have 25 locations or less.
According to Canter, so many restaurants becoming digital for the first time is the restaurant industry’s space of the e-commerce revolution — and it is happening at a rapid pace.
Prior to the coronavirus Ordermark had a marketing team and sales team which has now, Canter says, switched from outbound to taking orders to respond to restaurants frantically calling and asking for the product to be installed. “We have all these restaurants that are saying ‘I thought I didn’t need it before, now I need it desperately, how quickly can you get me up and running?’ ”
Ordermark’s kitchen printer
Mary Mcknabb, co-owner of Inga’s Alpine Tavern in Denver says that her restaurant used to largely rely on in-person customers, and only started using Ordermark due to the shutdown. Since they closed the doors, Mcknabb and the other two co-owners laid off all the employees and they are now personally cooking the meals.
“This is basically our lifeblood, if we didn’t have the delivery we’d probably be going out of the business” Mcknabb says. “Since we got it, none of us have taken a salary, and if we didn’t have the delivery, we’d be wiped out.”