Last year when Coca-Cola led a $10 million investment into delivery software brand Omnivore it marked the biggest, flashiest big-food brand jumping into the delivery landscape to date. Months after the big news, California-based Omnivore is positioning itself as an agnostic asset to restaurant operators trying to decide whether to deliver and cater, how many brands to work with if they do, and how to connect it all in a way that doesn’t cause headaches in the back of the house.
Splitting his time between New York City and San Francisco, Omnivore’s CEO and Co-founder Mike Wior, said he and his team are still working to determine which of the many different opportunities to follow in this fast-changing delivery tech industry.
Part of that strategizing has included what he called “reset” conversations with Omnivore’s largest clients, including hitting on the intent of not just functioning as a tech supplier but also a partner helping restaurants choose the most beneficial delivery program among a growing array of choices for providers and software.
“We’re really trying to have a reset conversation with the big restaurant chains,” he said, adding that his company somewhat boldly shares its opinion with clients without “shoving any particular technology down their throat.”
In the wake of the big investment, Omnivore said the funds will be used to accelerate current development and refinement of products designed to reduce friction for restaurant brands and POS companies. Its menu of services includes digital ordering, payment, third-party delivery integration, reservations, rewards, labor and analytics.
In the months ahead, the brand is looking to focus on data warehousing and central menu management, which are both intended to reduce the effort and expense of delivery operations. Part of that focus includes addressing the ongoing debate of who owns the valuable customer data, be it delivery providers or the restaurants that are feeding aggregators’ end users.
Wior said he doesn’t see the complexity of the restaurant software integration changing any time soon when asked to outline potential threats to the brand’s market position. He cited the example of one major restaurant chain using a total of 74 delivery providers throughout its turf in the United States. While that is an extreme example, it represents the ongoing struggle for restaurant operators—and large brands in specific—to make the right decisions for their delivery programs.
No matter how the industry shifts, like if DoorDash bought Postmates, big chains banding together to create their own delivery platform or another few billion falling from the sky, Wior feels comfortable knowing Omnivore will always have work to address since, he said, no POS provider is “ever going to own a majority of the industry nationally, especially globally.”
From his perch, that means that this need to digitally connect delivery providers and restaurant computer systems is a headache that’s here to stay—to the benefit of these new-world delivery technology players.
Asked to predict when the investor spigot may slow in the delivery space, Wior said we’re nowhere near that glass ceiling just yet. Whether it’s future consolidation or totally new players jumping in, he suggested there are still big players hanging out on the sidelines.
“There are a ton of restaurants getting involved in this,” he added. “There’s a ton that still haven’t shown their hands yet, so there’s a lot of room to grow.”
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