A Restaurant In Your iPhone?

The Lempert Report
May 05, 2016

It's possible with a new company called Maple

Imagine a restaurant with no waiters, cash registers or even tables. In fact, you can’t even go there. It’s called Maple, has four kitchens, each about 3,000 sq. feet, located in NYC and delivers your meals to you by bicycle – 50 bicycle couriers per kitchen. 

While take-out is not a “new” invention, nor is using app technology to order, what is new is that Maple just broke their own record and served 1,100 meals in one hour. Compare that to Chipotle, who serves 300 meals in an hour at its best locations, which is the gold standard for casual restaurants.    

 Think about Uber for a moment, obviously Maple did and just like the Uber logistics, Maple plots their delivery routes efficiently, but is still faced with problems: the ability to only carry a limited number of orders, perishable meals, consistency and even some customers not home to accept the foods. 

How does it all work? One app shows cooks the predicted demand for orders (using simple machine learning techniques that base forecasts on past performance and menu mix), another app helps workers who plate dishes keep the system updated on the number of completed meals available, and a third app shows workers who bundle orders for delivery what to pack in which courier’s bags. And then there is the app that plots the optimal delivery route, calculates wait times and bundles orders to the same area. An app eco-system if you will.