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Today in Restaurant and Grocery Tech: Starbucks Eyes Cross-Brand Loyalty; Kurly Seeks $5.9B Valuation

Today in restaurant and grocery tech news, Starbucks’ CEO Kevin Johnson discusses the chain’s intentions to leverage brand partnerships to drive more value for loyalty program members, while South Korea’s online grocery startup Kurly estimates a $5.9 billion valuation following its summer 2022 initial public offering (IPO). Plus, Brian Ballard, SVP of Solution Delivery at technology firm TeamViewer, argues for the hybrid workforce future of eGrocery fulfillment.

Grocery Startup Kurly Seeks $5.9B Valuation After IPO

South Korea’s online grocery startup Kurly is estimating a value of $5.9 billion following its IPO. As TechCrunch reported on Friday (Oct. 29), Kurly declined to say how much it plans to raise through its offering, but said it is likely to go public in June of 2022.

Starbucks Looks to Double-Dip Loyalty With Blockchain-Enabled Cross-Brand Rewards  

On a call with analysts on Thursday (Oct. 28), Starbucks’ President and CEO Kevin Johnson shared an upcoming change to Starbucks’ loyalty program that could transform how rewards function across the restaurant industry: allowing other brands to link to the coffeehouse’s own program.

Swedish FoodTech N!CK’S Snags $100M for Worldwide Growth

Sweden-based FoodTech N!CK’S, which makes healthy snacks and ice cream, announced Thursday (Oct. 28) that it wrapped up a $100 million Series C fundraising round. This funding will fuel increased growth in Europe and North America, as well as product portfolio expansion and the doubling of its store count in 2022, according to a UK Tech News report.

Restaurant Roundup: Robotic Delivery Expands as eCommerce Comes for Breakfast

C3 partnered with robotic delivery company Coco for remote-controlled delivery fulfillment, while Waitr teamed up with Denny’s to grow its breakfast sales. Restaurant group Dig also announced the success of its recent Series F funding round, and KFC tapped a Nintendo of America veteran to come onboard as KFC’s new chief marketing officer and grow eCommerce sales.

Hybrid Robot/Human Picking Can Ease eGrocers’ Labor Challenges

The in-store picking model may have worked for grocers when online orders represented only a tiny portion of all shares, but the rise in adoption has made its flaws glaringly obvious. Brian Ballard, SVP of Solution Delivery at technology firm TeamViewer, argues in an interview with PYMNTS that grocers can equip their human employees with automated tools to create a more efficient “connected workforce.”

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