Costa Anastasiadis from Zeus Street Greek, which launched in 2014, is no stranger to the QSR sector and tech systems. Before he co-founded Zeus Street Greek, which is now in WA, NSW, Queensland, Victoria and ACT, he launched Crust Pizza in 2001 with his cousin, Michael Logos which was later sold to the Retail Food Group.
Crust was on the crest of the tech wave when it launched, creating massive turnover, from a tiny Annandale shopfront, via phone and online orders before the first apps launch in the last 2000’s. There are now franchises spread across Australia.
Keeping on top of tech for Zeus today is Costa’s brother Terry. Terry says tech is not a one size fits all, with the volumes sold here tiny in comparison to the US and UK. To suit the local market Zeus has both delivery and pick-up at some venues, while others remain pick-up only.
Meanwhile, Costa has invested in a Sydney-based gluten-free bakery, Choices, and is looking at technology to change the manufacturing landscape in the growing gluten-free baking space.
More than 100 restaurants in the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs have signed with MealPal, a new subscription lunch service which launched last year. In Sydney it includes Sumo Salad, Guzman Y Gomez, Fratelli Famous, Chicken Confidential and Zeus Street Greek while Melbourne’s offering covers Belles Hot Chicken, Sumo Salad, PappaRich, Mr. Burger, PokPok Junior, Crisp and Famish’d. It’s aimed at busy CBD professionals who usually buy their lunch and end up spending $10-15 per day on a single meal.
Consumers choose from two packages which are valid for 30 days – either 20 lunches at $7.49 each or 12 lunches for $7.99 each – so a total of $149.80 or $95.88 per month. Orders must be placed through the app from 5:00pm the night before or by 9:30am and collected from the restaurant between 11:30am and 2:30pm, during a preselected 15-minute window.
When it comes to delivery, former Crust franchisee Johnny Timbs has launched Yello, which includes the Last Mile Delivery Partner. Yello helps businesses provide a “last mile” delivery service to their customers. Businesses can choose to use the Yello platform to either manage their own fleet or book a courier for a shift or a single delivery, which includes food.
Lachlan Ward, from Melbourne’s St Ali and Sensory Lab, has used the Skip app for more than a year now. They provide free marketing support, on-site staff training and 24/7 support for the app which aims to attract new customers and encourage regular orders/customer loyalty at his Cafés.
Mobile ordering app Hey You, developed by Beat the Q Posse Group and backed by Westpac’s venture capital arm, allows users to order food and drink from Sydney Cafés and book transportation via Uber X. Partners include coffee roasters Pablo and Rusty’s and Toby’s Estate plus Malaysian restaurant Ipoh on York.
Restaurants have their own apps too
The LinQ Restaurant, at Sydney’s Shelbourne Hotel, offers a pre-order service to help manage lunch orders for those on a limited time frame or for those with large group bookings. It has a downloadable menu, shared among guests before arriving and allowing them to order by 10am on the morning of their booking so they are not left in a queue, waiting to order at the restaurant.
On a smaller scale, at Sydney’s Merrylands RSL club, F&B operator Maze Group recently launched Furphy’s Coffee Lounge in the reconfigured venue which now has a service window facing the street.
Maze has introduced an app which patrons can download, enabling them to order coffee and breakfast dishes from the lounge to pick up on the way to their train commute to Sydney’s CBD.