Modern Market Eatery is well on its way to becoming an ecommerce company.
In recent months Modern Market Eatery has rolled out new tech solutions – enhanced online ordering, order and pay at the table, curbside -- and unveiled a new franchise prototype, added meal kits and more.
“We’ve leaned so hard into tech the last 3 years; COVID-19 validated those decisions,” said Anthony Pigliacampo, founder and CEO of Modern Market Eatery. The brand has developed its tech solutions, including its new ecommerce experience, in-house.
At MURTEC, Brian Anderson, Director of Technology of Modern Restaurant Concepts, shared the recipe for success behind Modern Market and its sister brand Lemonade Restaurant Group's channel management. The biggest lesson learned: “Get a centralized and standardized management solution and tech stack in place to make it easy to troubleshoot the system if you run into issues,” Anderson said.
Two weeks before the COVID-19 hit, the brand had updated its web ordering. The new design emphasizes CX including the visual experience. Items are easy to add to cart with a minimal number of clicks to complete the transaction.
Pigliacampo admits its not perfect; there were steps that had to be made to integrate with the POS. However, the current experience is inline with that of a high-end ecommerce brand.
Restaurants, in general, have a functional view of technology, he says. “They don’t think of the emotional aspect of it. The digital experience is as important or more important than the experience inside our four walls. Guests have a high expectation when it comes to experience.“
“Restaurant industry is similar to where retail was in 2005-2007. Go back in time, and brick and mortar retail is being challenged by digital. Restaurants are now at the same point. Digital is the future. Restaurant brands are becoming ecommerce companies whether they like it or not."
Modern Market is leaning in. “We instantly became an ecommerce company,” he says. Modern Market is striving to “be digital first in everything we do.”
The brand opened two locations this summer -- in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. In the past to drum up awareness about a new store’s opening, the brand would rely on direct mail of special offers. These days, the brand still uses direct mail, but now the offers are redeemed through digital orders.
“Grand Opening is no longer just about banners in front of our restaurants and people lined up at the door,” says Pigliacampo. “It is about the extended radius of off-premise diners who have easy access to try our delicious and nourishing food.”
Sales of the new location are on par with openings prior to COVID-19, with the majority of sales being placed digitally vs. in person. In fact, about 80% of the restaurant’s orders are digital, that’s up from 60% pre-COVID-19.