The line between food and tech is increasingly blurring. The Feed is a series of in-depth conversations from Matt Newberg of HNGRY (hngry.tv) and food industry insiders who are leveraging technology to shape the way we eat.
040- Rescuing retail food waste to improve accessibility with Josh Domingues of Flashfood
Josh Domingues is the Founder & CEO of Flashfood, a mobile marketplace that connects shoppers to discounted produce and fresh food from local grocers that would have normally been thrown out. If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest global emitter of greenhouse gasses behind the US and China. In this episode, we’ll chat about the inflationary pressures that are challenging food accessibility, how Flashfood is changing consumer behavior, and how grocers are leveraging the platform to drive more traffic to their stores.
May 13, 2022
039- Inside the world's first molecular beverage printer with Matt Mahar of Cana
Matt Mahar is CEO of Cana, the world's first molecular beverage printer (or Star Trek beverage replicator). The startup is creating its own "app store" of beverages, allowing anyone to download tea, coffee, juices, sodas, and cocktails for 29 cents to $2.99 per drink without any packaged waste. In this episode, we’ll chat about the science behind Cana’s secret sauce, the immense environmental impact of the bottled beverage industry, and the long tail of potential beverage creators. The future is now.
April 29, 2022
038- Building the next-gen KFC of ghost kitchens with Alex Munoz-Suarez of Fuku
Alex Munoz-Suarez is the CEO of Fuku, a seven-year-old quick service fried chicken sandwich concept birthed from David Chang's Momofuku group. Fuku is now live in over 20 locations nationwide through a mix of ghost kitchens, stadium concessions, and corporate-owned locations. In this episode, we’ll talk about Fuku’s opex-light virtual licensing partnerships with Franklin Junction and Family Style, the entrepreneurial DNA inside Momofuku, and the lessons learned from David Chang’s 2016 vertically integrated delivery service Ando.
April 22, 2022
037- Investigating next-gen alternative foods with Larissa Zimberoff of Technically Food
Larissa Zimberoff is an investigative journalist focused on food tech and author of Technically Food: Inside Silicon Valley’s Mission to Change What We Eat. Larissa has dug deep into startups like Just, QOA, Upside Foods, and AppHarvest for publications like Bloomberg, Fast Company, and Wired. In this episode, we’ll discuss Larissa’s critical eye towards trends like cell-cultured meat and ugly produce, what she’s most optimistic about, and her recent dinner series that hosts meaningful conversations amongst industry leaders.
April 15, 2022
036- Your friendly neighborhood ghost kitchen with Atul Sood of Kitchen United
Atul Sood is the Chief Business Officer at Kitchen United, one of the leading ghost kitchen providers in the US with 13 live facilities. The startup has recently partnered with Simon Property Group and Westfield to open next-gen food courts within their malls as well as Kroger to allow shoppers the ability to mix and match from different virtual and physical restaurant brands in a single takeout or delivery order. In this episode we’ll talk about how ghost kitchens can disrupt the marketplace model, the importance of pickup, and how retailers and real estate owners are leveraging Kitchen United’s technology and labor.
April 08, 2022
035- The AWS of automated fast casual with Stephen Klein of Hyphen
Stephen Klein is the Co-founder and CEO of Hyphen, an automated makeline for salads, bowls, tacos, and burritos, reducing total restaurant labor costs by nearly 50%. Thanks to its pricing model that charges restaurants as low as 70 cents per meal, the startup is transforming the fixed cost of kitchen labor into a variable "AWS for restaurant labor." We’ll chat about what sets Hyphen apart from other articulated robots, how it plans to expand into new categories, and the future creator economy around food as the marginal cost of production falls to pennies per dish.
April 01, 2022
034- Empowering next gen TikTok chef influencers with the co-founders of Provecho
Zeke DeSantis and Conrad DeMasi are the co-founders of Provecho, a link-in-bio recipe product for the next generation of chef creators building their audiences on social media. On TikTok alone, there are nearly 60 billion views for content tagged #FoodTikTok, but no easy-to-follow recipe guide nor a streamlined way for culinary influencers to monetize their recipes through branded sponsorships. In this episode, we’ll dive into the startup’s two-sided marketplace between chefs, CPG brands, and consumers, what Instacart’s TikTok partnership means for its strategy, and the startup’s vision to become the link between online recipe discovery and home cooking.
March 25, 2022
033- Owning the end-to-end restaurant marketing funnel with Brendan Sweeney of Popmenu
Brendan Sweeney is the Co-Founder and CEO of Popmenu, a direct end-to-end platform that provides a website builder, online ordering platform, delivery aggregator, and more to over 6,000 small and medium sized restaurants. We'll chat about how the team used its outsider mindset to identify major whitespace for restaurants, the impact of first-party reviews on SEO, and the need for consolidation and competition in the space.
March 18, 2022
032- Omnichannel ordering for physical and digital brands with Nabeel Alamgir of Lunchbox
Nabeel Alamgir is the Co-Founder and CEO of Lunchbox, an omnichannel white-label ordering solution for virtual and physical brands like C3, 16 Handles, and Fuku that has raised over $70mm to date. In this episode we’ll talk about the accelerated consolidation in this space from players like DoorDash and Olo, how Lunchbox is able to retarget customers from third-party delivery apps over to direct channels, and the future of virtual brands and the metaverse.
March 11, 2022
031- Cashierless convenience stores with Michael Suswal of Standard AI
Michael Suswal is the Co-Founder and Chief Business officer of Standard AI, an autonomous checkout startup that’s raised over $250mm for its AI-based computer vision technology. In this episode we’ll talk about why Standard chose to retrofit vs. compete against existing convenience stores, how c-stores plan to leverage Standard to compete against Gopuff and DoorDash, and the role of the retail experience amidst the growing demand for delivery.
March 03, 2022
030- Building a faster next-gen food conglomerate with Chaz Flexman of Starday Foods
Chaz Flexman is the Co-Founder & CEO of Starday Foods, a next-gen food conglomerate that leverages best practices from the software industry to quickly test, launch, and iterate on CPG brands like All Day seasonings and Gooey Snacks. In this episode, we’ll chat about the processes that enable Starday to launch new brands for less than 250k in six months, how it approaches online and offline retail, and how the company likens itself more to a Ford than a Unilever.
February 14, 2022
029- Building the rails for instant commerce with Dan Folkman of Gopuff
Dan Folkman is the SVP of Business at Gopuff, the market leader in delivery of instant needs. Since its start on college campuses in 2013, Gopuff has evolved from selling convenience goods to a selection of over 4,000 unique items ranging from prepared food to liquor, produce, and beauty products, and it’s just getting started. In this episode, we’ll dive into what sets Gopuff apart from newer 15-minute delivery players, its new advertising business, the capital expenditures it has invested into its network over the last eight years, and much more.
February 07, 2022
028- Transforming the modern drive-thru with Alice Crowder of Krystal
Alice Crowder is the CMO of Krystal, a 300-unit regional QSR operating across the Southeast. The iconic Georgia-based slider chain was acquired out of bankruptcy by Fortress at the beginning of the pandemic and has since transformed itself through the launch of new AI-powered drive-thrus and celebrity-branded locations from former Giants player Victor Cruz. In this episode, we’ll dive into how Krystal A/B tests dynamic drive thru menus, launches new menu items, and is optimizing the drive-thru and off-premise experience.
January 21, 2022
027- Automating the pizza industry with Clayton Wood of Picnic
Clayton Wood is the CEO of Picnic, an automated pizza station that can improve foodservice labor costs by as much as two-thirds, doubling to tripling four-wall EBITDA margins. Picnic is currently being used on-premise at stadiums and will soon be powering delivery for national pizza chains, convenience stores, grocers, and much more. In this episode, we’ll chat about what makes the pizza industry a unique place for automation, lessons learned from the first wave of startups, and how operators are looking to scale brands using this technology.
January 14, 2022
026- Food as virtual "drops" with Kristen Barnett of Hungry House
Kristen Barnett is the Founder & CEO of Hungry House, a next-gen quick serve concept that curates a rotating selection of virtual brands from up-and-coming chefs and food influencers. In this episode, we’ll talk about the early days of Kristen’s experiences at Zuul and Dig (fka Dig Inn), the challenges behind customer acquisition, and her outlook on the ghost kitchen landscape.
January 07, 2022
025- Building virtual restaurant brands with former Nextbite VP of Brand Development Liz Moskow
Liz Moskow is the former VP of Brand Development at Ordermark/Nextbite. In this episode we’ll talk about what it takes to create a virtual brand, how technology companies are deploying these brands across thousands of independent restaurants, and the pitfalls caused by a lack of transparency that has spread wide throughout the industry.
December 17, 2021
024- Fixing the restaurant labor shortage with Jordan Boesch from 7Shifts
Jordan Boesch is the Founder & CEO of 7Shifts, a Union Square Hospitality-backed labor management platform for restaurants. In the episode we’ll talk about how restaurateurs are leveraging his technology to improve working culture and their bottom line. More importantly, we’ll dive into how the best operators are managing to attract and retain talent amidst a shortage of 1 million workers.
December 10, 2021
023- Optimizing virtual brands for restaurant chains with George Jacobs of Acelerate
George Jacobs is the Founder & CEO of Acelerate, an order aggregator and licensor of seven virtual brands. Jacobs has spent 28 years in the restaurant industry from working at his family’s pizzeria to joining the founding team of DoorDash Drive. This past summer, the startup announced a $14.4mm series A from Sequoia. In the episode, we cover the early days of DoorDash, the role of marketplaces, what distinguishes Acelerate from competitors like Nextbite and much more.
December 03, 2021
022- The flywheel of omnichannel retail with Mike LaVitola of Foxtrot
Mike LaVitola is the Co-Founder & CEO of Foxtrot- a corner store that lives in our neighborhoods and on our phones. What started out as an online warehouse has evolved into an all day cafe and lounge that stocks 1,500 highly curated SKUs from 150 different suppliers. We chat about the flywheel of omnichannel retail, the future of CPG discovery, the role of ultrafast delivery, and much more.
November 12, 2021
021- 3rd party food delivery regulation with Andrew Rigie of NYC Hospitality Alliance
Andrew Rigie is the Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance. Andrew was a driving force behind the recent set of NYC legislation that regulates restaurant delivery commissions charged by third-party marketplaces as well as data sharing provisions. We chat about how the regulations shifted from temporary to permanent, the externalities of fee caps, and the latest set of legislation designed to improve the brutal working conditions for bikers in the city.
October 15, 2021
020- Scan & pay restaurant payments with Christine De Wendel of Sunday
Christine de Wendel is the Co-Founder and CEO of Sunday, a new QR-based payment platform that is looking to improve the guest and server experience at restaurants, hotels, bars, and cafés across the world. We chat about everything from the complex merchant payment system in Europe and the US, what it takes to be a consumer-facing wallet, and how Sunday will enable restaurants to leverage valuable customer data to grow their business.
October 05, 2021
019- The original 30-minute omnichannel grocer with Barnaby Montgomery of Yummy.com
Barnaby Montgomery is the Co-Founder & CEO of Yummy.com, one of the first online grocers to deliver in 30 minutes or less since 2002. We chat about everything from unit economics of newer quick commerce players to inventory curation and the tradeoffs between full time drivers and gig workers.
September 11, 2021
018- Fungi-based meat enhancement and replacement with Paul Shapiro of Better Meat Co.
Paul Shapiro is the Founder & CEO of the Better Meat Co, a startup with the second largest mycoprotein fermentation plant in the world. Imagine walking into a Shake Shack and ordering a burger blended with fungi-based protein to form a patty that contains 50% less meat. That’s what Paul and his team are working to build with foodservice and CPG brands for poultry, seafood, and beef products as they also sell their proprietary Rhiza strain as an ingredient for pure meat alternatives.
August 24, 2021
017- Bringing Domino's tech to 50k independent pizzerias with Ilir Sela of Slice
Ilir Sela is the Founder & CEO of Slice, a dedicated marketplace and end-to-end ordering solution for over 16,000 independent pizzerias nationwide. Instead of 20-30% commissions of DoorDash and Uber Eats, Slice charges restaurants a flat $2 fee for any order above $10. We chat about everything from the $47bn highly fragmented pizza landscape to the startup’s expansion into building its own POS system and payments solution inside the four walls.
August 12, 2021
016- The power dynamics of online grocery with David Bishop of Brick Meets Click
David Bishop is a Partner at Brick Meets Click, a decade-old consulting and research firm in the e-Grocery space. Each month, David runs a survey that is considered one of the industry’s most prominent benchmarks tracking monthly online sales across delivery, pickup, and ship-to-home. We chat about everything from Amazon’s grocery strategy to the fight between third-party marketplace and traditional grocers.
July 27, 2021
015- 10 Minute grocery delivery with Ashwin Wadekar of Gorillas
Ashwin Wadekar is the Chief of Staff at Gorillas, a new pure-play small basket grocer that delivers items in less than 10 minutes from over 115 dark stores. We chat about everything including the shift in consumer behavior from weekly stockups to on-demand purchasing, Gorillas’ full-time labor model, and sustainability when it comes to food waste and e-bikes. If you’re curious about the battle of convenience and on-demand grocery, this conversation is for you.
June 30, 2021
014- Hyperlocal, personalized meal solutions with Ellis McCue of Territory Foods
Ellis McCue is the CEO of Territory Foods, a hyperlocal marketplace of personalized, chef-driven meals. Territory has created a distributed network of commissaries in 24 cities across the country that deliver pre-made dishes cooked by restaurants and chefs to customers who don’t want to sacrifice wholesome, healthy food for convenience. We chat about everything including the rise of the micro-chef, the sustainability of delivery, and how Territory leverages 90,000 data points on consumer preferences to inform its weekly menus.
June 07, 2021
013- Vertically integrated food delivery with Chris Baggott of ClusterTruck
Chris Baggott is the Founder and CEO of Clustertruck a fully-vertical delivery service that serves over 80 dishes across multiple cuisines throughout the Midwest. Prior to ClusterTruck, Chris sold Compendium Software to Oracle and took ExactTarget public before it was eventually acquired by Salesforce. We chat about everything from how ClusterTruck is able to coordinate its kitchen-to-doorstep time of less than 10 minutes to a host of consumer-facing issues plaguing other delivery companies today.
May 22, 2021
012- Dark store grocery with Pradeep Elankumaran of Farmstead
Pradeep Elankumaran is the Co-Founder and CEO of Farmstead, a same-day online only grocer that delivers a selection of 1500 fresh items at a fraction of the cost of its competitors. As online grocery penetration reached 10% of the total trillion dollar spend in the US, Farmstead is helping traditional brick and mortar grocers open up new delivery hubs that can fulfill 2,000 delivery slots per day. That’s over 13 times what an average store can currently handle. We chat about everything from the rise of GoPuff to leveraging AI to reduce food waste as we cover the current state of this highly essential industry.
April 09, 2021
011- The original cloud kitchen with Jaydeep Barman of Rebel Foods
Jaydeep Barman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mumbia-based Rebel Foods, The World's Largest Internet Restaurant with 320 ghost kitchens in three continents powering over 26 native and third-party brands like Wendy's. Founded in 2011 as Faasos, a QSR biryani chain, the startup quickly saw most of its sales go towards delivery with 73% of customers reporting having never visited a store. After realizing that the e-commerce revolution that occurred in books and travel would soon hit food, Faasos quickly pivoted to what is now known as the ghost kitchen model.
February 18, 2021
010- Leveraging AI in fresh grocery with Matt Schwartz of Afresh
Matt Schwartz is the co-founder and CEO of Afresh, an AI-powered merchandising and ordering operating system helping grocers save 100s of billions of dollars caused by food waste, inventory shocks, and online order fulfillment headaches within this trillion dollar industry. This was a really engaging discussion about the legacy technology that grocers have relied upon for decades and the trickle down effects when it comes to providing consumers with fresh, nutritious food that doesn’t go bad by the time it makes it to the fridge. Be sure to stay tuned to the end where Matt talks about his ideas for the grocery store of the future and his perspective on Amazon Fresh. Check out the intro song, "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
January 26, 2021
009- The future of convenience stores with Frank Beard & Sam Polk of Everytable
Frank Beard is a retail consultant, speaker, and writer who is a thought leader in the convenience store space and Sam Polk is the CEO of Everytable, a retailer of pre-prepared meals whose mission is to make nutritious, delicious food accessible and affordable in every community. 93% of Americans live within a 10 minute drive of a convenience store, making them incredibly attractive real estate. In this episode, we explore ideas around healthy grab-and-go meals, electric vehicle charging, food delivery, and curbside pickup from these last-mile hubs. Intro song: "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
January 19, 2021
008- The next generation of alt protein with Darcey Macken of Planterra
Darcey Macken is the CEO of Planterra Foods, a fungi-based protein subsidiary of JBS, the largest meat processor in the world. In this conversation we discuss why fungi-based proteins are the next wave of the plant-based revolution, how consumers are making decisions about them, and peel back some of the controversies surrounding the factory farming practices of its parent company. Intro song: "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
January 04, 2021
007- The growth in pickup with Stas Matvinyenko of Allset
Stas Matviyenko is the Founder and CEO of Allset, a contactless, pickup-only marketplace and order ahead technology solution for local restaurants. In this episode we dive into why major delivery marketplaces like DoorDash and Grubhub aren't optimized for pickup or QR ordering, the impact of delivery fee caps on the industry, and the explosive growth of pickup amidst the pandemic. Intro song: "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
December 21, 2020
006- QSR 3.0 with Michael Lastoria of &pizza
Michael Lastoria is the Co-Founder & CEO of &pizza, a 40-unit pizza chain that recently announced that it will ensure a $15 minimum wage for all employees by 2022. We sat down to talk about everything including the future of livable restaurant wages, suburban expansion, and what lessons fast casual can learn from old school QSRs. Intro song: "It's the S" by Great Ghost: https://spoti.fi/2Yfq1Qv
December 16, 2020
005- Promoting diversity in food with Rahanna Bisseret Martinez
Rahanna Bisseret Martinez is an Oakland-based 16-year-old Top Chef Junior alum with experience at four Michelin starred restaurants. Matt sat down with Rahanna to discuss how black voices can be amplified within food media and the current state of diversity within the greater food ecosystem. Check out Rahanna's latest recipe: https://www.allrecipes.com/article/cooking-projects-to-entertain-kids/
July 23, 2020
004- Personalized nutrition and the gut microbiome with Richard Sprague
Richard Sprague is a veteran technologist from Apple and Microsoft who has done over 600 microbiome tests using skin, nose, and fecal samples over the last six years. His fascination with his gut microbiome has led him to start Personal Science, a personalized nutrition project to help people discover their ideal diet by helping them track their glucose responses to doctor-prescribed meals. We speak with him about the future of gut microbiome testing and personalized diets that are projected to become a $64bn market in the next two decades.
June 25, 2020
003- Grocery of the future with Bill Stenger of KNAPP group
Bill Stenger is the Director of Food Solution for Knapp North America, the automation partner for Takeoff Technologies which was recently dubbed a Technology Pioneer in the grocery microfulfimment space by the World Economic Forum. Microfulfillment is a disruptive new technology that reduces labor and last-mile delivery costs associated with online grocery by creating small automated warehouses on the back of existing retail stores. We cover everything from consumers’ shopping preferences during the pandemic to Amazon’s suburban strip mall grocery strategy.
June 25, 2020
002- The necessary evil of delivery apps with Alex Canter of Ordermark
Alex Canter isn't just the founder of an online delivery management platform, he's also the fourth generation of the famed Canter's Deli in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. We talk about everything from the potential Uber/Grubhub acquisition to the harsh realities currently facing the oversaturated restaurant industry. If you're curious about where the future of dining is heading, this is a must-listen conversation.
May 19, 2020
001 - Plant and Cell-based Food Innovation with Big Idea Ventures
On our debut episode, we speak with Andrew Ive and Christian Cadeo of Big Idea Ventures, a VC fund and incubator dedicated to plant and cell-based proteins and ingredients, about the consumer and entrepreneurial landscapes across the US and Asia.
May 13, 2020