As restaurants’ labor challenges continue, a range of solutions are emerging to tackle the issue in creative ways. Bite Ninja, for one, a Memphis-based tech startup offering a remote work solution for select restaurant jobs, announced Tuesday (Aug. 23) that it had raised $11.3 million in a post-seed bridge funding round, bringing its total funding to $15.4 million.
The company promises access to its workforce of “Ninjas,” United States-based workers at locations of their choosing, to appear on screens by quick-service restaurants’ (QSRs) menu boards to remotely assist customers at drive-thrus and front counters.
"Bite Ninja is currently powering some of the most notable quick service restaurants from coast to coast, providing operators with access to more than 12,000 qualified 'Ninjas' ready to serve customers and fill open shifts," Will Clem, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. "We're excited to push forward with the growth including targeting expansion overseas."
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The news release noted that the company currently has agreements with “five of the top 20 quick-service chains,” with more expected before the end of the year. The focus on quick service makes sense, given that these restaurant’s customers are more open to efficiency-oriented initiatives that could potentially lower the level of customer service.
In fact, research from the May/June edition of PYMNTS’ Digital Divide study, “The Digital Divide: Technology, The Metaverse And The Future Of Dining Out,” created in collaboration with Paytronix, which draws from a survey of around 2,500 U.S. adults, finds that 58% of grab-and-go restaurant customers think more restaurant technology means better customer service. In contrast, just 29% of dine-in consumers think the same.