Visionary Behind ClusterTruck Spins Off Delivery Software

Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor, Restaurants

Co-Founder Chris Baggott and CEO Meredith Sandland today announced the launch of their new venture, Empower Delivery. Born from ClusterTruck, the vertically integrated virtual restaurant and ghost kitchen, Empower Delivery is a software company that enables delivery-centric restaurants to profitably and sustainably serve off-premise demand.

75% of consumers prefer to order delivery direct from the restaurant, according to HT's 2021 Customer Engagement Technology Study.

The Empower Delivery system includes capabilities for the main ingredients in a restaurant delivery order: the consumer, the kitchen and the driver.  With native first-party ordering, loyalty and marketing, the consumer journey is seamless.  With smart fire times, KDS (Kitchen Display System) orchestration and expo station management, kitchens operate quietly and efficiently.  With a driver app tuned to keep drivers busy, food is delivered promptly at low cost with happy drivers.

ClusterTruck’s Message to MURTEC Audience: We’ve Figured Out Delivery So You Don’t Have To

The Empower Delivery system solves the complexity, the cost, and the poor experience that delivery-optimized and ghost-kitchen restaurants face.  Empower Delivery is an end-to-end solution for food delivery, controlling the entire process.  With access to the full picture, the system uses data from each part of the process to inform decisions that optimize everything.  This holistic architecture has a significant impact on quality, speed, food and labor costs. 

Empower Delivery logo

"Chris Baggott and his team have been consistently building a digitally native solution to the changing consumer demand for off-premise, restaurant-quality meals. The system that enabled ClusterTruck to achieve its results is inspiring to all restaurants, and the opportunity to lead industry-wide access to the software that powers it is incredible," said Sandland. "Consumers want the convenience of digital ordering and delivery fulfillment, and their options today make them sacrifice value, time or quality to access that convenience."

At MURTEC Executive Summit 2021 in Orlando, Florida, Baggott shared how he tapped his experience as a software innovator and accidental restaurateur to develop his vision for ClusterTruck. This came after observing how unsustainable an incremental approach to delivery was for many restaurants.  The software that has been the key to ClusterTruck’s success is now available to restaurant groups who want to take control of their off-premise delivery business. 

“The restaurant delivery market is starting to mature towards more purpose-built, delivery-centric kitchens.  Restaurants are realizing the opportunity to make more money while delivering a best-in-class experience and better value to their guests.  For hospitality-focused restaurateurs, this is the tool that enables them to serve their fans on delivery occasions without sacrificing their brand or guest relationship,” said Baggott.  “Restaurants deserve to make money on their delivery efforts.  Consumers deserve fast, fresh, hot food at a low delivery fee.  Drivers deserve a great gig.”   

ClusterTruck COO Brian Howenstein, who is joining Empower Delivery as Chief Product Officer, said, “We had to go back to first principles to make delivery a profitable business–not just incremental. To truly revolutionize delivery we had to build our own kitchen, because nothing like this had been built before. Building the software system from the ground up allowed us to enable a business that wasn’t previously possible.”  

The software has been battle-tested at ClusterTruck, delivering over three million orders during the last six years.

Chris Baggot left
Tech Veteran Chris Baggott, left, and Meredith Sandland, right, join forces on new venture, Empower Delivery.
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