Customer Stories

Mother Road Market sees a 48% increase in monthly sales

Lee Arbel
VP of Customer Experience

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mother Road Market aims to recapture the heyday of the famed Route 66 with more than neon signs. Oklahoma’s first food hall brings guests together under one roof with unique food vendors, shops, and even cooking classes.

We sat down with Jeff Thompson, Director of Food and Retail Strategy, to discuss the food hall’s search for the perfect technology to improve the guest experience and grow the business.

How Mother Road Market works

Mother Road Market began as a non-profit food hall created by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation. The marketplace aims to “reduce barriers associated with big ideas” and empower entrepreneurs in the Tulsa area. Operators can sidestep large investments in brick and mortar operations instead of using the small shop models within Mother Road Market for their concepts.

The non-profit food hall runs a program where vendors benefit from reduced rent, and the landlord takes on higher monthly costs such as utilities and tech. 

“Mother Road Market focuses on good food, unique retail, and offering Tulsa a vibrant space for the community to gather,” Thompson says.

Multi-vendor marketplace challenges

In food courts worldwide, four sources of friction continue to plague guests: 

  1. Long ordering lines
  2. Choosing between different vendors (or waiting in several lines)
  3. No split payments for groups
  4. No options for tabs or re-ordering without waiting in line again

Reducing friction in the ordering process makes it easier to keep sampling vendors, benefiting both guests and operators. Mother Road Market was no exception to this laborious ordering process. With so many incredible vendors to choose from, they needed a solution to speed up and simplify their ordering process.

Pre-pandemic, Mother Road Market launched their first version of digital “table-side” ordering. They quickly discovered the platform was difficult for guests to navigate. The product worked 95% of the time, but the other 5% left customers with negative impressions.

“Our solution wasn’t simple to use or elegant in its design, which turned guests away from reordering.”

When COVID-19 hit, Mother Road Market suffered much like the rest of the restaurant industry — shutdowns, lower customer traffic, and a lack of a reliable online ordering system hurt their business. They needed an alternative solution to keep the marketplace afloat.

Online ordering saves the day

Mother Road Market pivoted to a virtual food hall when the pandemic hit, adapting to industry changes and going where their customers were — their own homes. The multi-vendor marketplace adopted Bbot’s online order and pay solution. Bbot was the only platform that checked all their boxes and solved their most significant pain point: guests could now order from multiple vendors in one place.

“The guest experience is best with Bbot. We tried other software and demoed all the others, but from closing shop without Bbot pre-COVID-19 to now, we have nine vendors live and are adding four more.”

Upon turning on Bbot in late September 2020, Mother Road Market saw immediate results. By the end of September, weekly sales for all vendors were up 48% compared to August’s weekly average. October was even better — the first week brought Mother Road Market 53.7% more sales than an average week in September.

The future of food halls

These days, customers dine again in person, but Mother Road Market aren’t resting on their laurels.

Mother Road Market’s diners can take a cooking class in the demonstration kitchen or participate in a beer tasting at The WEL Bar! On warm summer days, guests recline on the food hall’s back patio with ample seating, live music, and Route 66-themed mini-golf.

Check out Mother Road Market’s website to discover more about the marketplace, vendors, and how you can get involved.

Want the to see the same numbers for your business? Fill out the form below to get connected with one of our specialists today.

Start your journey to better revenue

See why thousands of operators just like you trust Bbot for their contactless order and pay.

Get a demo