Crave Hospitality Group wants to change the way customers experience delivery and takeout. When restaurants shifted to delivery and takeout only, both chefs and restaurant owners felt pain points associated with the changes. Now, chefs and restaurateurs are thinking twice about investing in traditional brick and mortar restaurants. Crave wants to let chefs do what they do well: come up with innovative menus and execute them; while they take care of the consumer journey, which is where many restaurateurs struggle.
“As those third-party delivery services were getting more and more popular, they were also creating more and more problems for restaurateurs. They didn’t really own the experience and they weren’t committed to delivering the food with integrity necessarily. They represented convenience to the end consumer and that was about it,” said Jason Trinchero, Client Management with Crave.
By controlling the ordering, packaging and delivering, Crave aims to prevent all of the problems that typically happen to those ordering food off-premise.
“We have to make sure that dish, when it comes off the line, arrives to the guest with some integrity,” said Trinchero. “We’re trying to do the delivery version of a fine dining experience.”
In order to achieve that goal, Crave has selectively procured delivery materials to keep food fresh from kitchen to customer.
“You could have the greatest chef in the world prepare a filet mignon and pull it off the line and if you put that thing in a cardboard box and drive it for 25 to 30 minutes, it’s not going to land well. It’s going to be disappointing to that guest. We worked very hard in every aspect of our operational deliveries and the Cambro has been a key facet to all of that,” said Trinchero.
Crave relies on our GoBoxes to keep food at the ideal temperature until what they call “mobile servers” are able to deliver to each guest.
“We tried a lot of different things. In the end, Cambro did a number of things well for us. One, it has to preserve temperature. It has to keep the hot stuff hot and the cold stuff cold; it does that very, very well. Secondly is, we’re trying to offer a premium feel, trying to make everything about us have a luxe feel to it. Cambro has a nice aesthetic. We really like the black box that we use, we think it has a really nice look, there’s nothing embarrassing about pulling that Cambro out of a car if a guest gets a look at it,” said Trinchero.
While customers may forgive late food, they are less likely to be understanding when it comes to food temperatures.
“I can’t overstate the importance of the temperature of the food in this overall experience; it kind of starts and ends there. If we screw that up, none of the rest of it matters. There’s an expectation we set in the way we present our brand and present our service that forces us to deliver on that first and foremost. Every aspect of our operation is about preserving the thermal integrity of the dish,” said Trinchero.
Thanks to the GoBox, Trinchero says they have virtually no complaints about cold food, even when drivers are late for reasons beyond their control.
Located in Boise, Idaho, Crave has 17 kitchen spaces that can produce 1,000 to 1,200 orders a day when they’re at capacity. Crave’s kitchen spaces are designed in a U-shape around a 120-foot conveyor belt.
“The food travels up the conveyor belt to our expediting area, which is basically where we collate all the orders. One of the hooks for Crave is you as a family or you as an individual can order from multiple concepts in a single delivery,” Trinchero. A few months ago, Joseph Shumaker, founder of Foodspace, described the ability to order food from multiple concepts at once as an up and coming trend in our blog 3 Ways Foodservice Changed During Covid-19. Crave strongly believes in this idea and is planning to open 12 facilities by the end of 2022 and to have a presence in 100 cities within the next 5 years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.