, Australia

With a commission-free model, Kneaded looks to challenge the delivery status quo

Founder Keira Czarnota discusses how the project is supporting local businesses and how it can be a “compelling” solution for QSRs.

Kneaded, the Australian Good Food Guide-backed delivery startup taking on third party aggregators with a zero commission model, is already expecting around 5,000 restaurants to sign up by the end of the year.

Whilst initially targeted at smaller and family-owned businesses, founder Keira Czarnota is urging more quick-serve and fast casual restaurants to join the new Aussie-owned solution, arguing it is a “compelling” solution that solves “heaps” of challenges around delivery.

The platform currently has around 1,000 venues at the moment but is seeing about 100 restaurants signing up every week.

“If we had a lot of those groups joining, that number would explode. I think you'd get to 10, 15,000 really quickly,” he told QSR Media. “We’ll get you more customers, we’ll deliver more money into your bottom line. And we guarantee it.”

Instead of a commission, restaurants featured on the Kneaded platform pay a $99 monthly fee. Partners will then receive all profits from orders daily.

“We're trying to build back that direct relationship between the customer and the venue,” Czarnota explained.

Businesses also have the option to either do the deliveries themselves or tap taxi company 13Cabs for delivery, which is expected to roll out this April.

Offering an omni-channel experience
Restaurants will also get more visibility on Google, courtesy with an integration through the WowApps tech platform. Customers also have a means to order online through the eponymous search engine or via Maps.

Kneaded is also backed by a 100% money back guarantee from the Australian Good Food Guide. Eligible venues in VIC can also apply for a $1,200 government grant that enables them to access the platform for 12 months as a partner of Business Victoria's Small Business Digital Adaption Program.

“We're a partnership between all these government and industry heavyweights that are joining forces. And because they're all jumping into this fight, we're able to deliver a total solution that no one else can.”

A solution, he says, that seeks to give an omni-channel experience.

“We provide the opportunity for the customer to engage with the venue in whichever channel they want,” he said. “If they want to do it via AGFG, they can. If they just want to go to their phone — which is what everyone's on these days — and use Google, they can do it.”

Czarnota cited Schnitz as one of the restaurant chains with a number of venues onboard, and confirmed they are in talks with Retail Food Group-owned Crust. He also teased a “big partnership” with an industry body.

“There are really good conversations going on...it makes you challenge the status quo,” he said.

Czarnota’s idea of starting Kneaded was triggered by unfortunate circumstances, sharing that he digged around the challenges surrounding hospitality after learning about a restaurateur that died by suicide when his business during the pandemic.

“I had no idea that hospitality has amongst the highest failure rates of any industry in Australia, I had no idea that the profit margins were amongst the lowest of any industry in Australia,” he recalled.

In developing the project, Czarnota said commissions were amongst the top concerns cited, based on “thousands” of conversations with venue owners. Other challenges he hopes the project would address include delays and potential tampering of orders, citing 13cabs’ security cameras as a means to do so.

Being able to support local businesses also means less money going offshore to multinationals, he added.

Bigger basket sizes, tech integrations eyed
Czarnota and his team are now looking for means to help restaurants grow basket sizes, revealing that a majority of partner venues are seeing consumers spend around the $50 mark.

Further integrations with other tech platforms are currently underway.

Kneaded also tapped a public relations firm assigned to help them get their messaging across multiple channels.

“We have to be very strategic, almost like that guerilla approach. Wwe need to make sure if we spend $1 in marketing, we get as wide and as far as possible. There's definitely some clever stuff in the wings,” he said. “The message is compelling and the solution is compelling.”

Photo credit: Kung Fu Burger/Australia Good Food Guide Facebook

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