Earlier this year Praveen Kumar, founder of Seattle-based food tech startup FaveKitchens, created a delivery-only model to help family-owned restaurants survive—and grow—in a world that has become increasingly digital. Considering the events of 2020, the concept could not have come at a better time, allowing consumers to enjoy meals from their favorite local kitchens in the comfort of home. Not only is this concept designed to keep diners safe through an effortless digital delivery system, but it also helps build demand for restaurants navigating these uncertain times.
CEO Geetha Madhuri explains that as of now, the company she founded with her husband, Praveen Kumar, is trying to onboard four to six family-owned restaurants and multiple family-owned retailers (selling prepackaged foods). FaveKitchens stands out since its users can place mix-and-match orders that allow one household to enjoy various types of cuisine from multiple restaurants at once. The platform lets customers feel good about supporting community eateries, while restaurant owners have many of their typical business-related stressors alleviated.
“The most rewarding part,” Madhuri says, “is seeing these current chef-owners doing what they love to do, busy in the kitchen making great food, and not worrying much about front-of-the-house and business operations.”
“Since our model fits the current Covid-19 crisis,” she adds, “it is gratifying to see them make profits in the delivery/pickup-only market, instead of just surviving via national delivery apps and without dine-in customers.”
Kanyakanit Habsa and Charvanach Sermboonyasuk, owners of Belllevue’s Sukhothai Cuisine, decided to join FaveKitchens as an effective way to deliver their tasty Thai dishes (think pad Thai, various curries, and fried rice). They’ve been impressed by FaveKitchens’ “easy online ordering” system, among other perks. “The advertising is very effective,” they report. “The way that they reach out to future customers is very effective.”
The team from Kent’s Birrieria Apatzingan says their mission is “to take authentic Mexican food to other places and to grow.” Owner Oralia Yanez Lopez and Manager Erika Esmeralda Lopez reflect on how they’ve been affected by the pandemic, having had to shut down for two months earlier this year and now being unable to retain all of their staff. They are grateful to find support from FaveKitchens. “They offered this opportunity for us, so we took it,” Lopez says. “I think it’s very good to grow out there.”
Lopez adds that the platform offers a wonderful way for customers to order food safely, and they’ve appreciated getting “100%” support, including “top-to-bottom” assistance with a website that will help them grow in the market. “Hopefully we’ll be back like we used to,” she says.
All-Purpose Cake Co. owners Valerie William and Ivi Gabales decided to join FaveKitchens in June 2020, as a channel for reaching new audiences and demographics within the downtown Seattle area. The owners believe that cake should be enjoyed by everyone—and also bring joy—which is why they’ve created delectable “inclusive cakes” that anyone can indulge in, despite allergies or dietary restrictions. Having just launched in February, the owners admit that this year has been a roller-coaster ride. “We have been blessed to continue to survive and grow each month,” they say.
“FaveKitchens has been a great partner in supporting small startup companies such as ourselves and allowing us to focus on what we do best: make cakes!” The owners love that FaveKitchens has provided the opportunity to have their products paired with other restaurant meals, and then delivered to customers’ doorsteps. They have also found it incredibly helpful not having to manage business-to-customer tasks themselves, from the ordering to delivery processes.
“As Washington State moves back toward our second Covid shutdown,” they explain, “FaveKitchens allows customers access for ordering and doorstep delivery of our cakes. This is critical for us to continue to survive as a small business.”
Madhuri explains that there’s even more to come as FaveKitchens pursues its community goals. “We are beta testing a delivery model that we think could really help existing local neighborhood restaurants by making them as one with help of our cloud tech, instead of making them compete with each other,” she says. “We think this could put money back into our local economy instead of national delivery services.”
Seattle-area diners looking to support their local restaurants and get a variety of great meals can bookmark FaveKitchens.com. Use the coupon code “FAVETEN” to get 10 percent off your next purchase.