A new virtual restaurant links independent pizzerias under a brand-new brand.
Ok, stick with me, this ride is a little wild.
In January, a virtual restaurant concept called @pizza launched exclusively on Uber Eats. It’s born of most major internet trends of the last five years: Crowdsourced restaurant recommendations; celebrity; influencers; social media; food delivery.
@pizza isn’t a brand new restaurant, it’s a brand new brand. It’s made up of 150 existing pizzerias across the country who have signed on to operate under the @pizza name exclusively for delivery on Uber Eats. And it’s expanding fast; in a couple weeks, the number of partner restaurants will stretch closer to 250. Participating restaurants don’t have to relinquish their own name, business, or delivery listing to become an @pizza restaurant. In fact, the name of each restaurant is displayed within its Uber Eats @pizza listing.
“This project, and this company started from [asking], okay, how do we really create a system that helps independents level the playing field,” said Lawrence Vavra, founder and CEO of @Restaurants, the company behind @pizza. (It’s also the company behind Pizzaoki, the virtual concept created years ago with DJ Steve Aoki.) Large restaurant chains have lots of leverage with big delivery companies, he said, which, in turn, can potentially harm small businesses who can’t access the same favorable terms. Uniting a lot of small restaurants under the umbrella of one large, national chain can create better economics for those independents, he said.
So… how are those economics?