Applebee franchisee tackles hiring with app, Panda Express opens ghost kitchen
This week in restaurant tech: A few big chains are boosting tech savvy, Uber is investing in delivery bots, and DoorDash is working to uplift women-owned businesses.
Applebee’s largest franchisee is using a new way to hire hourly staff. Apple American Group has partnered with Landed, a mobile app that connects workers to restaurants, to help speed up the hiring process.
Prospective employees who use Landed create a video profile and are matched with employers using an algorithm that rates them on more than 50 variables, including communication skills and work experience. Apple American, which operates 444 Applebee in 26 states, started using the app in mid-2020. Prior to that, he used traditional recruiting tools like Craigslist and Indeed, Field Human Resources Manager Tina Meyer said in an email.
“Using an app to contact and communicate with candidates makes it much easier and faster for restaurant managers to view candidate profiles and set up interviews,” she said.
Since using the app, the time CEOs spend on hiring has fallen to about two hours per week, from 12 previously, Apple American said. On average, he hired two to three new employees per location each week using the platform.
“We’ve seen quality Landed candidates in places we normally struggle with,” Meyer said.
Landed CEO Vivian Wang said as the pandemic eases and restaurants begin to reopen, they are finding the need to recruit staff quickly.
“I expect the summer to be huge, I call it the big rehire,” she said.
Panda Express will open its first ghost kitchen. The location is expected to go live on March 19 in San Francisco. Panda Digital Kitchen will be the first outpost in the Asian fast food chain to focus solely on online orders.
The new location is an outgrowth of the chain’s growing delivery business, which has tripled since the start of the pandemic. It will be about a third the size of a regular Panda kitchen and will be equipped with new equipment that will help workers prepare food faster, the company said. The chain said it will continue to test new ways to reach consumers faster throughout the year.
Uber creates and invests in the robotics division of Postmates. The newly independent company is called Serve Robotics and will work on the development of autonomous delivery robots for urban areas. Uber contributed to an initial fundraising campaign led by venture capital firm Neo.
Service robots designed specifically to navigate sidewalks are currently being tested in Los Angeles. And while the company is no longer part of Uber, the delivery giant still sees robots in its future.
“We are excited about the potential of the Serve robots to help our partner restaurants grow their businesses and find new, convenient, safe and reliable ways to reach customers,” said Stéphane Ficaja, former general manager of the US and Canadian market. ‘Uber Eats.
Another Uber Eats executive is leaving the company. Daniel Danker, former product manager of the delivery company, tweeted on Monday He joined the Instacart grocery delivery service as vice president of purchasing and fulfillment. He had been with Uber for just under three years, according to his LinkedIn.
The news follows the departure last week from Stéphane Ficaja, the head of the American and Canadian market of Uber Eats. He was replaced by Sarfraz Maredia, head of Uber’s rides division in the United States and Canada.
The changes come amid two major acquisitions at Postmates and Drizly and a period of triple-digit revenue growth for Uber Eats.
PF Chang’s leverages technology for customer engagement. The Asian casual dining chain uses technology provider Wisely’s waitlist and reservation tool to create a smoother dining experience. Guests can reserve a table online, and Wisely’s host app will flag Chang’s rewards members, allowing staff to greet them upon arrival. It also uses Wisely’s order management platform to manage and communicate digitally with in-room and take-out customers.
“One of our top priorities is the implementation of technology that ultimately helps us connect with our customers, wherever they are and however they wish to experience PF Chang’s,” said the Director. PF Chang marketer Tana Davila in a statement.
DoorDash highlights women-owned businesses. The delivery company has launched a new platform within its app called Made by Women, intended to make it easier for users to discover restaurants and other women-owned businesses. Hundreds of these companies have opted for the new feature and can now be searched using the keyword “women prisoners”. The initiative also includes a loan matching program of up to $ 5,000 per business and carousels integrated into applications from women-owned businesses.
This coincides with a new DoorDash ad campaign featuring WNBA star Chiney Ogwumike.
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