âStarbucks, Chick-Fil-A, and Panera all have great app experiences. We want to bring this to our local restaurant customers â, Dick sikes, founder and CEO of Hazelnut said Hypepotamus.
For Sikes and his Jacksonville-based team, that means building white-label online ordering pages and mobile apps for local restaurants. Many of them can have multiple locations, but don’t have the budget to have an internal development team.
Restaurants use Hazlnut to engage with customers and create in-app loyalty programs, send push notifications, or create a stronger digital marketing campaign. This eliminates the need for a restaurant owner-operator to work one-on-one with marketing agencies, app developers, online order providers, and teams running a specific loyalty program.
COVID, of course, has attracted a new generation of customers as restaurants navigate physical space constraints, an increase in online orders and a labor shortage across the industry.
The Hazlnut team also sees their solution as a unique way to create better customer experiences beyond what is available through third-party ordering apps (while reducing the platform fees that restaurateurs have to pay).
âTraditionally, restaurants have to refer customers to Grub Hub or Uber Eats. These customers can open the app with the intention of ordering from their homes, and then they’re distracted when they see a barbecue or pizza place down the street, âSikes added.
The team told Hypepotamus they are on track to make a million dollar ARR this year. Building on that momentum, Hazlnut just cemented a $ 3 million Series A spearheaded by Atlanta Ventures. Jacksonville-based PS27 Ventures, which also supported Hazlnut’s 2018 selection round, also joined the round.
“When Hazlnut and Atlanta Ventures crossed paths, we immediately knew that they were a team obsessed with the customer, solving their most serious problems and delivering a great user experience. What started as a simple survey tool in 2016 has evolved into a complete mobile solution for franchises â, Atlanta Ventures posted regarding the investment. âOur enthusiasm and optimism after our partnership with Hazlnut is high, now is the time to strengthen our talented team and serve a much needed market! ”
While the team currently has eight full-time employees, the funding will help Hazlnut integrate with other point-of-sale systems while expanding its engineering, sales and marketing staff.