New York City-based Hungry House and Latin America-based MegaBite have merged to form the international entity, BiteLabs.

The merger of the multi-brand restaurant platforms will scale both companies’ chef-inspired, digital-forward brands across 13 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Peru. 

Founded in 2021, Hungry House works with chefs and top culinary talent, providing a platform for brand discovery and execution of signature dishes for delivery and pickup out of its Manhattan and Brooklyn locations. Additionally, the company offers a robust catering program fueled by these creator’s menus.

Also founded in the same year, MegaBite is a multi-brand restaurant platform that brings chef-backed virtual brands to market through various delivery channels and its app. The company has several locations in Mexico and Peru, including in areas such as food halls.

BiteLabs Head of Growth Solamon Cruz Estin, CEO Pedro Neira, COO Andrew Corrigan.

With a combined annual revenue of over $6 million, the joint entity will double down on continued growth across the verticals of in-store retail, first-party delivery, and third-party delivery partnerships with Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Rappi in Latin America.

“We are both companies that have been working on cracking the multi-brand, fast-casual business model for the last few years,” said Pedro Neira, CEO of MegaBite and the newly created entity. 

According to the companies, the deal creates an opportunity for expansion, as Hungry House provides expertise in B2B catering while MegaBite brings forth experience in data-driven, food delivery optimization across its channels. 

“It made a lot of sense to combine the company and get the best of both worlds,” said Neira. 

Both companies will continue to operate as vertically integrated players, “to maintain mutually high levels of food quality and hospitality that are core to the brand of BiteLabs,”—according to a statement. 

Several synergies played a pivotal role in the merger. This includes a necessity to offer high-quality food. 

Chef-backed cuisine

Since its inception, Hungry House has worked with chefs who have turned to social media, offering an opportunity to help scale their culinary creations to new audiences and execute operations on their behalf without the overhead of opening their own brick-and-mortar locations. 

The latest, was partnering with chef and online personality Emily Fender of Food Lover’s Diary, to offer a European-influenced dumpling menu. 

“That’s something very close to my heart,” said Andrew Corrigan, co-founder of Hungry House and now the COO and head of culinary operations at BiteLabs. “Where I see creativity happening is in the chefs that have left those spaces and go into social media to be creators themselves, to work in fast-casual and really try to do something different,” he explained. 

“If you were a chef five to 10 years ago, the only way that people could eat your food is if you set up a restaurant,” added Neira. “Now we have a different model, where you can create a menu and we are the operator.” 

Together, the companies will cross-pollinate its brands to offer consumers a wider variety across markets—such as the recent debut of MegaBite’s ‘Poke for the People’ brand in NYC. 

“BiteLabs was created to provide a cross-disciplinary and expert source of leadership to ensure each brand gets the best support the industry can offer,” said Corrigan. 

Data will change the customer experience 

The two companies also share a vision that “data will change the customer experience for restaurants.” 

MegaBite brings forward a robust tech stack and engineering team, with the ability to create in-house apps, as well as provide tech management of digital menus and marketing.

“They’re lightyears ahead of us,” said Corrigan on the technology front. “It’s been a huge win and gain for us.” 

By utilizing customer data, BiteLabs will offer consumers a range of choices facilitated by algorithmically personalized options. 

Looking ahead, Neira says the goal is to further advance personalization technology and offer customizable options tailored to consumers.

In addition, the deal also brings together a combined C-suite talent pool, which includes Neira, Corrigan and Solamon Cruz Estin—co-founder of Hungry House and now the head of growth at BiteLabs.

“Joining my own experience as a serial entrepreneur now developing my fourth startup, Andrew’s deep culinary operations experience, and Solamon’s background launching and scaling hyper-growth tech companies across the Americas, creates a highly complementary co-founding team,” said Neira. 

The combined companies say the initiative is to not build in the ghost kitchen space, but rather expand by building upon a multi-brand, in-store retail and multi-channel approach similar to that of Wonder, which recently secured an additional $100m in funding from Nestle. 

The growth and expansion of Hungry House and MegaBite, and the current merger, have been facilitated by Wilshire Lane Capital, Carao Ventures, SNR VC, McK Hospitality, Alaya Capital, Amarena VC, and other independent investors.