Today in restaurant and grocery tech news, Illinois-based fast-casual chain Portillo’s files with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in advance of its initial public offering (IPO), while Wendy’s smartphone promo suggests contextual commerce intentions down the line. Plus, a hugely popular food celebrity launches a virtual bakery brand.
As Portillo’s prepares for its upcoming IPO, the opportunities and threats associated with the rapid acceleration of the digital shift loom large. On Monday (Sept. 27), the Illinois-based fast-casual chain, which operates over 60 locations across nine states, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to go public via IPO.
Wendy’s Canada announced Monday (Sept. 27) that, to promote its new app, the restaurant is holding a contest to give out 20 Wendy’s-branded smartphones with a “Wendy” voice assistant. While the phone itself may be a publicity stunt, the inclusion of a voice assistant that responds to the spoken phrase “Hey, Wendy” suggests that the company is looking into voice-activated integrations.
Buddy Valastro, a celebrity baker made famous by the series “Cake Boss,” among other reality shows, announced Tuesday (Sept. 28) that he is launching a virtual bakery brand, Buddy V’s Cake Slice, through ghost kitchen solution Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC).
In today’s bring-it-to-me economy, consumers are not willing to wait around to get their food. Ali Ahmed, CEO of mobile store startup Robomart, speaks with PYMNTS about how, by bringing the store to the consumer, the company can significantly reduce the time between the consumer’s need arising and that need being fulfilled.