Innovation That Matters

Bite Ninja moves the administrative work of staffing drive-thrus to its platform, providing future-proofing for restaurants. | Photo source Bite Ninja

Startup moves drive-thru workers off-site

Work & Lifestyle

A startup has developed a platform that allows drive-thru workers to take customer orders remotely

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Spotted: The combination of Brexit and the challenges brought about by the ongoing pandemic has led to a shortage of hospitality workers in a number of countries and regions. While increasing staff wages is one solution, startup Bite Ninja has another proposal: remote staffing for drive-thrus and counters.

The concept works by providing restaurants with a pool of gig workers (which they call “ninjas”) who are managed and scheduled by Bite Ninja, instead of the restaurant. These workers are able to take orders remotely, using the Bite Ninja platform. Restaurants pay Bite Ninja, who will assume responsibility for the cost of recruiting, hiring, training and retaining their team. 

From the customer’s perspective, ordering, paying and collecting the food at a drive-thru or counter works more or less as normal. Customers interact with a remote worker whose face appears on a screen, and an in-store worker delivers the food. Bite Ninja trains its workers to upsell, arguing that the increase in order accuracy and upsell rates can even pay for the service.

Bite Ninja claims that its system can “future proof” the hospitality industry, by allowing a proportion of workers to be located anywhere – guaranteeing consistent staffing. The company has raised over €570,000 in pre-see funding from investors Y Combinator, AgFunder and Manta Ray.

Although gig working is a controversial and growing trend, a number of innovations are helping to reduce some of the exploitation involved and are finding ways to improve the system. At Springwise, we have followed this trend in recent innovations such as a platform that turns gig workers into small business owners and one that gives freelancers paid time off and pensions. Innovations like these could end up delivering a fairer gig economy. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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