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Delivery-only ‘not profitable,’ so Ando goes dine-in

Delivery-only restaurants will be viable—eventually. They just don’t have the infrastructure behind them to make them profitable today.

That’s the message from Andy Taylor, CEO of Ando, the once delivery-only New York City concept from Momofuku’s David Chang that transformed this week into a traditional fast-casual operation.

“The algorithms are not there yet,” Taylor says. “You don’t have that critical mass yet. They’re doing single deliveries, which means it’s slow and it’s expensive. We’ll get there. I don’t know when that’s going to be.”

In the meantime, year-old Ando morphed this week from delivery-only to a 12-seat fast casual that now offers breakfast as well as dinner specials that are only available to customers who come into the restaurant.

“Delivery-only is not profitable,” Taylor says. “We don’t want to wait to figure that out. I don’t want to put my business on hold for another business to figure that out.”

The reconcepted Ando exists in the same location as the delivery-only iteration. Employees who were previously baggers and expediters have been given customer service and health and sanitation training to interact with consumers, Taylor says.

The revamped Ando has grab-and-go items in a refrigerated case, as well as hot items for order behind the counter.

The restaurant is currently running a free delivery promotion. When it ends, delivery will be a flat fee of $2.99.

“The food is there, the demand is there,” Taylor says. “The last piece is the logistics—getting food from A to B … Somebody will solve it. There’s a lot of money behind solving it.”

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