A new Buffalo-based restaurant database and food delivery app is launching in Buffalo. The founders of ‘appétit‘ – Steve Ambrose of YUMedia and Bob Heil of SLA Solutions – are both considered hospitality veterans. The idea behind building the site, which is in direct competition with national big guns such as Door Dash, Uber Eats, Open Table, and Yelp, is to provide restaurant owners with a less expensive delivery alternative, especially at a time when every dollar counts.
This app reduces costs for restaurants dramatically and makes the process simple and easy to use.
Considered an “all-in-one management solution for the hospitality industry,” appétit delivers a lot more than just food. The app handles delivery, take-out, curbside orders, and even table reservation services. As for the restaurateurs, the app allows them to effortlessly upload and manage content such as videos and images, while promoting specials and providing menu updates.
appétit allows customers to:
- Make reservations, like they would with Open Table,
- Order food from the restaurants they love, like with Door Dash or
- Schedule take-out, like they would from a restaurant’s website
Essentially, it’s an all-in-one stop for restaurants and customers. It also makes it easy to choose dining options such as “Outdoor Dining” or “Kid-Friendly.”
Currently, a plethora of local restaurants have signed up for the service, which is currently waving memberships fees for restaurants as well as 0% on every sale.
“I like it because I know that the money is staying in WNY,” said Mike Shatzel, owner of Coles, Colter Bay, ABV, Thin Man, The Terrace, and Liberty Hound. “You pay a small monthly fee, whereas GrubHub takes 30% of the sale (20 percent and 10 percent advertising). If I have a good day on a Friday, I will be paying a national delivery service the same as what I would be paying appétit for an entire month. Paying a small monthly fee is much better. Just think about how much it costs for labor, goods, and packaging – at 30%, you might actually lose money on a bad day. Paying 90 bucks a month to appétit is 3 bucks a day – the first order covers that. At that point, we can actually make some money.”
Shatzel told me that the appétit app service conducted a practice launch this past Friday at Colter Bay. The first order went all the way to Hamburg, and was a success. Now, appétit will be hiring drivers and getting more local restaurants onboard.
So far, some of the restaurants that have signed up include Aroma on Bryant, Coles, Colter Bay, SATO, SATO Ramen, SATO Brewpub, Thin Man, Street Asian Food, Cantina Loco, Noble Root Wine & Spirits, Café Godot, Deep South Taco, Fat Bob’s, Allentown Pizza, Dos on the Lake, Hooked, Butera’s Craft Beer and Pizza, and Falley Allen.
“I really hope that Buffalo restaurants get behind this,” said Shatzel. “If you think about the margins, keeping the money in Buffalo, and supporting our own, which is what we do best, then this service will be great for the city.”
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As far as customer fees, “The delivery fee for customers is based on mileage like all the other apps. It’s on par – and sometimes cheaper – than than the big companies.”