2020’s Hottest Restaurant Technology

Here at Hazlnut, we believe restaurant technology is the future. We took a look at all of the advancements made in 2020 and will integrate the best of them into our products to provide cutting edge apps and online ordering. We are here to shine a spotlight on some of those advancements and see how they can help businesses grow.

Kiosks

One advancement that has been gaining popularity and we are starting to see everywhere is self-service kiosks. They are incredibly popular due to how easy they are to use. With kiosks, customers can place their entire order by themselves, which means the restaurant can focus their staff in other areas. Kiosks also can improve order accuracy since the customer adds the modifiers themselves. Since multiple people can order at once with multiple kiosks wait times will be reduced.

Chat Box

Speaking of chat boxes, the digital communication in the restaurant industry is on the rise. Facebook has integrated chat on pages with average response time displayed to the customer. There are going to be questions from customers at home who have turned to online ordering. Deploying a chat option on a restaurants website and social media is a way to cut down the time your employees are on the phone. Questions like hours, location, and contact info will be automatically answered with a chat bot. With Hazlnut you can program it to give them the link to your online ordering page and have it tell the customer about your app.

Tabletop Ordering

Many foodservice advancements are based on limiting contact between customers and the restaurant staff. Servers won’t have to go to tables to take orders when restaurants utilize tabletop ordering. This is an option for when a full sized kiosk won’t work, like at a restaurant with table service. Every restaurant has different needs, so there are different tabletop options. Tabletop kiosks will be ready at the table when the customer is seated to take their order. Another option is to have the customer use the hardware almost everyone has in their pocket, cell phones. Using a branded mobile app like the ones we develop here at Hazlnut, a customer can order food to the table right from their own phone. Details on how that can be set up can be found here.

Robot Chefs

One technology advancement that we find really cool and just want to talk about is robot chefs. One of our sales reps has a background in baking and first was introduced to the concept by the Unifiller cake decorating machines. They are impressive machines that are designed for commercial output of baked goods that have a made from scratch touch. More recently, Samsung has made a pair of arms that hang from the ceiling and act as a sous chef. These are currently for home use but with the way the restaurant technology is advancing it will be no time at all before all kitchens have robotic sous chefs to increase kitchen productivity.

At Hazlnut we look at what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly to provide the best products. Analyzing trends from past years is a way we focus efforts into what to develop. Looking ahead is important too, so stand by for what restaurant technology we are looking forward to in 2021.  

Jacksonville Startup Hazlnut Raises $3 Million in Series A Funding to Accelerate Growth

Hazlnut, a SaaS company that provides restaurants with their own branded apps and online ordering platforms, announced today that it has raised $3 million in a Series A funding round. Atlanta Ventures led the investment, along with PS27 Ventures Rhea Fund.

Jon Birdsong, a partner at Atlanta Ventures, said Hazlnut was the right company to invest in because, as soon as they crossed paths, “[Atlanta Ventures] immediately knew they were a team who obsesses over the customer, solves their gravest problems, and provides a preeminent user experience.”

Hazlnut is on a mission to help local, independent, and regional restaurant brands thrive. They do so by providing a software template for web-based, app, and in-store ordering solutions. The cost of hiring web and app developers is a greater investment than most restaurant owners can afford. Hazlnut offers development, onboarding and on-going support at an affordable monthly rate. 

The restaurant industry has proven to be tougher than ever for smaller brands thanks to the increasing competition, the rise of third party delivery providers who take a large chunk of every sale, and the overall complexity of managing multiple technology solutions. With Hazlnut, your local favorites can offer online and mobile ordering solutions, a full scale loyalty program, and Panera-like kiosks for guests who want an interactive menu with high resolution images and robust descriptions. 

“With software, if you can envision it, you can build it. We come in and help lift up small businesses to help them compete with bigger brands like Panera and McDonald’s. It’s rewarding seeing local businesses rise to the competition,” said Dick Sikes, Co-Founder and CEO of Hazlnut.

The company had previously closed a seed round funded by PS27 Ventures in 2018 of  less than $200,000. Jim Stallings, CEO of PS27 Ventures, is excited to see Hazlnut grow exponentially.

With this funding, Hazlnut is not wasting any time to grow aggressively. They are looking to fill key roles such as Head of Software Engineering, Sales Director, and Director of Marketing, as well as growing their sales, service, and engineering teams. 

About Hazlnut

Hazlnut is an all-in-one ordering solution that helps companies develop deeper relationships with their customers through beautifully designed websites and custom branded apps.

If you know a restaurant owner who is in need of an online ordering and loyalty solution, let us know! 

About Atlanta Ventures

Atlanta Ventures empowers entrepreneurs to start, grow, and scale.

Create Companies / We co-found companies via the Studio with driven founders in a collaborative environment

Fund Founders / We partner with companies seeking early stage funding

Equip Entrepreneurs / We provide content, tools, and events to empower the startup community

About PS27 Ventures

PS27 Ventures invests in early-stage companies that are driving dramatic changes in high-growth markets. ​​We invest in early stage startup ideas and businesses, supporting their growth with a broad range of expertise from a team of highly regarded professionals. Bringing selected startups into our accelerator, we work side by side with them to grow their business and help them realize their true potential. 

Our team of experts takes a hands-on approach, helping startups succeed. 

About the Rhea Fund

The PS27 Rhea Fund is a 20 million dollar venture capital fund focused on early-stage technology companies. Rhea Fund is seeking to invest in early-stage solutions in SaaS, HealthTech, FinTech, Sustainability, and E-Commerce companies that can scale rapidly. Rhea Fund also has an interest in founders who are women, veterans, and people of color.  

For more information about the Rhea Fund please email us at info@ps27ventures.com.

Your Newest Employee: Hazlnut Restaurant Kiosks

Restaurant kiosks are the self-ordering solution your business craves. As people go back out to restaurants and return to some level of normalcy, restaurant operations have become stressed to a near breaking point.

16 months have passed since COVID-19 impacted daily lives forever. As people go back out to restaurants and return to some level of normalcy, restaurant operations have become stressed to a near breaking point. Meet Hazlnut, a company that is helping to bring new-age technology to small businesses across the country.

Meeting a Demand for a Market Heavily Impacted by COVID-19

As restaurants struggle to hire serving staff, Hazlnut provides a solution that is helping brands win big through the use of restaurant kiosks. Seamlessly integrated with popular point of sale systems, Hazlnut helps deepen customer relationships by managing lines, increasing front of house efficiency, and providing a custom dining experience that can keep up with demand without the hassle of hiring a new employee. Kiosks allow customers to place their own orders so, managers can reallocate staff to more pressing tasks like food prep. When a customer places their order through a kiosk, there is also an increase in order accuracy.

“With software, if you can envision it, you can build it. We come in and help lift up small businesses to help compete with bigger brands like Panera Bread and McDonald’s. It’s rewarding seeing local businesses rise to the competition,” said Dick Sikes, Co-Founder and CEO of Hazlnut.

The timing is just right for such a product as well.

Restaurant kiosks are gaining in popularity, and customers are starting to prefer them. In fact, certain customers prefer them. Customers like interacting with kiosks as they tend to present the menu in a clearer way (with high resolution pictures) and restaurant owners can ensure that any ‘add-on’ mods are charged for appropriately.

John & Angie, Franchisees at Larry’s Giant Subs (Florida) said, “Already planning to purchase more for our other locations!”

Hazlnut connects restaurants directly to customers through e-commerce, online sales, and point of sale systems such as Clover, which is used in millions of restaurants worldwide. This saves time for employees so that they don’t have to pick up the phone as often and can focus on who they are serving in-stores. Wait time decreases and every order can be filled faster.

Optimize your business with an integrated kiosk, website, and branded app today by Scheduling a Demo with Hazlnut. To follow their story, visit Hazlnut.com.