Restaurant search engine, FoodBoss aims to be something like Kayak for online food ordering — the place where you can search across different services and apps to find the lowest prices and fastest delivery times.
One limitation is the fact that the service was limited to third-party services like Uber Eats and Postmates, with no way to order from the restaurant itself — until recently, with the launch of a new feature called Restaurant Direct.
FoodBoss co-founder and CEO Michael DiBenedetto said that restaurants are placing an increasing emphasis on accepting delivery and pickup orders directly, both to save on the fees they pay to third-party services, and also to have a direct relationship with their customers.
“The main problem is they spent all this money to build out the [ordering] infrastructure, but they don’t necessarily know that they have to spend marketing dollars to drive consumers to their site or app,” DiBenedetto said. “That’s where we’re really helping.”
Restaurant Direct may present some additional technical hurdles because it will require FoodBoss to integrate with a variety of ordering systems. DiBenedetto said the company will be connecting through APIs in some cases and can also work directly with restaurant IT departments.
He emphasized that FoodBoss will remain agnostic about how you order — the goal is just to show you all the options, and to highlight the ordering method that best matches your priorities.
“At FoodBoss, we’re focused on making sure we’re helping third parties and [restaurants] have a lower overall marketing cost,” DiBenedetto continued. “Everybody wants to be profitable in delivery.”
The first restaurant available through Restaurant Direct is Lou Malnati’s in Chicago, with plans to add Sbarro in multiple markets next year. In a statement, Lou Malnati’s president, Heather Stege, said, “The challenge for restaurants is being able to serve customers through the users’ preferred channels, while still providing them with exceptional food. FoodBoss helps simplify that by offering multiple options, including our own, to attract customers.”