Technology advances have made significant strides in the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new generation of takeout & delivery revenue built on its shoulders. With these dynamic advancements in communication has come a new morphing of restaurant operations. This facilitated an ordering system that allow customers to enjoy a true dining experience marked by safety and efficiency.
By incorporating smart technology into their system, restaurants are actively striving and have the tools to meet the growing needs and expectations of the consumer. HungerRush is a company that assists restaurants in taking control of their operations to give their customers a memorable experience each time they dine in or out of the restaurant.
HungerRush was founded in 2003 and operated as an independent entity. In 2018, Houston, TX based private equity firm CapStreet acquired the restaurant and foodservice tech solution provider Reinvention and rebranded the company with the HungerRush name.
“This is when the fun really started,” Shannon Chirone, VP of Product Marketing at Hunger Rush, explained. “In December of 2020 we acquired Order AI, a company that came with a text ordering solution. In April of 2021 we acquired Ninefold, an online ordering solution and a cool automated white glove marketing product for their online ordering customers. We recently acquired Menufy which has a large customer base— about 12k customers— with a great online ordering product with fast efficient onboarding and a marketplace solution. These new assets to our company all came with great leaders and innovative talent. Our group efforts allow us to do 10x what we would be able to accomplish on our own.”
HungerRush has worked closely with the changing needs of the post-pandemic dining consumer. Customer expectations have drastically changed during the last two years and technology solutions have stepped in and become vital for businesses to adjust. “Our vision is one of a connected restaurant experience for the consumers,” shared Chirone. “We are not operating as a package of one-off technology solutions. Rather, we are working to bring everything together seamlessly so that all technology solutions are integrated into one platform. This allows customers to have a connected experience with the restaurant they are ordering from. It establishes that ‘VIP’ personalized human experience that brings customers back regularly.”
With that goal in mind, HungerRush has built a reputation with its client restaurateurs as a problem-solving solution’s resource. “We want to help restaurants bring that memorable experience to life, whether they’re dining from their own couch or on-site. We look to all of our acquisitions to build out an omnichannel and speak to our current or prospective customers in the same way with the goal to help them market their brand and expand their professional experience.”
In addressing the changing expectations of the consumer base, HungerRush notes that it is a change the entire industry around the globe faces. “We encourage restaurants to understand everyone has taken a great leap forward due to the changes the pandemic brought. Customers expect to order how they want, whether it’s via an app, text, or call. The more innovative the customers are the more excited they will be about new technology offerings so educating them on what your restaurant is using is smart. We have launched a text-ordering product that a lot of customers have taken advantage of from their couch. It drives their order straight into POS systems and restaurant’s kitchen to create a win for both parties.”
In thinking about the human experience and how customers want to order, HungerRush wants to exceed in meeting the expectations of customers. “Having a kiosk where you can place an order and receive it quickly, online-ordering, or texting in an order are all efficient ways people who work in the office or from home can get their meal in a systematic way. That customer who runs out during lunch hour for a quick bite still has the desire for that true customer experience but is in the driver’s seat for what they need at that moment.” With an integrated solution, restaurants can overall do more with their operations system and staff to accommodate more.
HungerRush’s marketing strategy looks to embrace targeted automated marketing that makes sense to their clients. “Our emphasis on marketing is on unlocking the ninefold product for our customers so we are integrating their product into HungerRush. We recently renamed our marketing platform to HungerRush 360 Marketing, and it is very customer-forward. Behind the scenes, we are helping restaurants create the promotion they want to advertise and then automate it for them. We use AI to deliver personal messages, automated drip campaigns, and restaurants can do what they do best; they’re in the driver’s seat in terms of creativity and then let us run that in the background.
As HungerRush continues to adapt and meet the new changes and desires of the industry, they continue to analyze what is currently working and where they want to be going. “We are leaning into what is working well and helping brands onboard that. We are currently running a pilot for a new talk ordering technology so are researching different ways we can make this happen.” HungerRush encourages interested customers to visit their website and dive into their demos.