Crave Hospitality Group is reimagining food and beverage delivery with a forward-thinking idea – The Crave Collective. It’s a 15,000-square-foot facility in the town of Meridian, located just outside of Boise, Idaho.
The concept is geared around state-of-the-art kitchen suites for food/beverage businesses, each of whom has created a custom, designed-to-travel menu for delivery and pick-up orders only. The facility hosts 16 restaurant or foodservice partners, and a custom app makes it easy for customers to place orders.
Crave worked with each restaurant and foodservice business to determine and install the appropriate equipment for each concept. A conveyor belt runs down the center of the complex, allowing for maximum efficiency – so a finished order can go straight from the kitchen to the Crave expediters, who collect, double check, complete and deploy orders for delivery or pick-up for each of the 16 businesses.
Inside The Crave Collective (Photo: Courtesy of the Crave Hospitality Group)
The Crave Collective includes two covered drive-throughs for Crave’s “mobile servers” to receive orders. Diners who wish to pick up their orders from the Crave Collective partners can utilize its dedicated drive-through mobile order pick-up lanes, or they can also visit the Percolate Tea Bar for pick-up along with grab-and-go items.
The grand opening of the first Crave Collective location opened on Nov. 17, 2020.
Representing Top Culinary Talent
The Idaho Crave location represents some of the top culinary talent in their respective fields: Lincoln Carson, this year’s James Beard nominee for Outstanding Pastry Chef, opened Merite Bake Shop, and Tony Gemignani, 13-time World Pizza Champion and two-time Food Network gold medalist, opened Tony G’s Pizzeria. Three brands are from award-winning chef and restaurateur Michael Mina, including the fourth outpost of International Smoke, his popular collaboration with celebrity entrepreneur, television host, and New York Times best-selling author Ayesha Curry.
Tech entrepreneur Devin Wade, industry veteran Chef Scott Howard, and Boise restaurateur Barry Werner co-founded Crave in 2019 and plan to expand to 10 additional locations over the next two years. They realized that the emerging delivery services model was not a viable option for award-winning chefs and restaurateurs, preparing food from their kitchens or remote kitchens and having it delivered by a third-party because of the subpar customer experience.
“The model needed to be reimagined,” says Wade. “Ours was designed from the chef and restaurateur’s perspective with a shared responsibility for customer satisfaction. From our fleet of dedicated ‘mobile servers’ to our on-site Crave Concierge available to answer any questions throughout the ordering process, we have created a system that brings service and high standards back to the delivery experience.”
Crave Mobile Servers
While other delivery companies outsource their drivers, each of Crave’s “mobile servers” are employees of the company – paid approximately three times the minimum wage – and fully participate in its hospitality-focused culture. The drivers make one delivery at a time, ensuring that the food is en route for the least amount of time possible.
At The Crave Collective (Photo: Courtesy of Crave Hospitality Group)
Plans for 2021, 2022
For the future, Crave Hospitality Group is planning for four more Crave Collective facilities in 2021, followed by 10 more in 2022. Locations include Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah; the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex; Mesa and Chandler, Ariz.; and Denver, Colo.
Recently, Crave Hospitality Group closed a $7.3 million seed funding round led by StageDotO, a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage companies and provides the growth capital, guidance, and infrastructure they need to reach success. Other contributors include Meridian, Idaho-based investment firm and real estate developer Capital Eleven and undisclosed individual investors.
To learn more about Crave Hospitality Group, visit CraveHospitalityGroup.com.