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Blackbird is a new loyalty, membership, and payments technology company. We are at work developing and building new products, focused on creating software that establishes and enhances connectivity between individual restaurants and their guests. You can expect us to use a mix of web2 and web3 inventions to make it all work.
The last three years in the restaurant industry have been remarkable, to be sure. Much has happened. There was plenty of warranted doom and gloom, but there were encouraging revelations and developments, too. Particularly, we note the incredible, unyielding enthusiasm of restaurants’ most devoted customers. In the early pandemic days, they purchased merch and meal kits. Then they were asked to sit outside in all forms of weather, and they did. Now, they are back in the house, often jumping through reservation hoops to be there.
None of this has led to a thriving industry, though. From a total revenue perspective, at this point we are projecting 2022 to be more or less level with 2019, but that is before adjusting for inflation. With consumer optimism mixed at best, it’s probably a reasonable expectation that the next one to two years will be a grind.
Interestingly, in terms of same-restaurant recovery, i.e. restaurants that were opened and have reopened, cover volume ranges from 92% in New York State on the low end to 96% or 99% in places like Florida and California, respectively. Overall, New York State is down 25%; Florida is up 15% and California is up 4.62%. When we look at individual cities, places like New York and San Francisco are down 36% and 37%, respectively, while other markets have fared way better. Miami and Austin are up 33% and 31%, respectively.
All of this is to say that the great restaurant industry — that you may love as a consumer or be a part of, or both — remains un-fixed. But restaurants are in better shape than they think. Blackbird’s strong belief is that increasing revenue per customer while lowering operating costs is what technology companies that serve restaurants should be focusing on. Which is exactly what we plan on doing. Counter to how 99% of restaurant technology is being designed today, we are going to restore 1:1 connectivity between restaurants and their guests.
This will be fun. Thanks for following along.
Founder + CEO
Blackbird Labs, Inc.
Thanks for reading! Blackbird will launch in select restaurants later this year. In the meantime, if you dug this, please give it a like! We’re also on Twitter and would love to hear from you there.