With new ghost kitchens popping up on every corner, the “Virtual Kitchen Revolution” is officially sweeping the nation - and Tomlinson Brands is one pioneer leading the charge.
Tomlinson isn’t just a brand; it’s a ghost kitchen universe. They’re home to 8 different brands and concepts, with a virtual gourmet grocery also under development. Whether it’s a basket of beignets, a handful of fried chicken, or tasty mint tea, there is great thought, love, and care present in all of their concepts.
Tomlinson Brands are a virtual food hall - a new concept built for the 2020s. With one sit-down location, they host many different selections through Bbot’s food hall-friendly online menu. Guests scan the QR codes at the table, ordering from a multitude of cuisines without being limited to one specific brand.
So how did Tomlinson increase their average monthly sales by $32K in 2020 and grow enough to start acquiring even more brands? We chatted with Aley Oberdorf, a delivery driver turned Operations Manager, to learn more about how Tomlinson Brands has grown to success.
Juggling dine-in, pickup, takeout, and delivery
Virtual food halls are a great way to save money on real estate and create diverse food options but come with their own set of challenges. A large part of revenue relies on delivery, and Tomlinson saw slow pickup times and low order requests by depending on third-party delivery services.
With such a diverse group of brands, their ability to gain return customers through delivery was struggling. After all, much of guest loyalty comes from brand identity, and with such a wide array of options, how does a ghost kitchen universe create that essential voice?
Tomlinson Brands wanted more brand unification between concepts for more orders and faster delivery.
“We saw slow delivery times. Sometimes we would just wait and wait for someone to show up and take the occasional order that came through. It was not great,” Oberdorf said.
With authenticity in mind...
Tomlinson Brands adopted Bbot’s innovative ordering solutions to create a more consistent, branded menu set, creating a Tomlinson food universe on par with Marvel’s Cinematic counterpart.
Tomlinson Brands maintained full autonomy over its brand by customizing their online ordering platform and at-table QR codes. As time passed, they achieved a 60% increase in delivery requests from 2020. This hike was a huge part of revitalizing their concepts for a business that had been patiently waiting for orders to come in.
With this new demand in their sights, Tomlinson Brands also integrated Bbot with their pipeline, speeding up their ordering process and getting orders out faster than ever. They are now able to personalize and design multiple fulfillment methods, enabling them to take orders for curbside pickup, take out, and delivery.
“We saw a decrease in how long it took for orders to come out of the kitchen and get delivered across the board,” Oberdorf said.
This 20-minute decrease in delivery time added up to higher reviews, more re-orders, and happier customers. Tomlinson has better control over their entire delivery system, putting the power back in the hands of the operators.
Decrease in delivery times, increase in revenue
Tomlinson Brands continues to thrive as we move through the pandemic, adding to their universe with more brand concepts. Stephen McRae, Chief Operating Officer, remains optimistic about the future of Tomlinson and has big plans for what’s next.
“We’re excited to be able to grow and add on to our existing brands. It’s been great seeing where we’re going and how easy it’s been to get there.”
With the support of Bbot’s contactless ordering and delivery solution at their fingertips, this dream is becoming a genuine possibility. Oberdorf, hired after the Bbot adoption, can’t imagine a world in which Tomlinson Brands doesn’t rely on the QR codes and online menus they’ve come to rely on.
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