BurgerFi, Gopuff partner for late-night delivery

BurgerFi food truck sits under palm trees.

Written by Jack Ivins

Late-night burgers and fries are on the menu through a partnership between BurgerFi and Gopuff. It is the first partnership between Gopuff, the quick delivery grocery service, and a restaurant. In Tallahassee, Fla, customers can order burgers, fries and other items between the hours of 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. The orders are processed at a BurgerFi food truck and delivered through Gopuff Kitchen.

“Customers enjoy going into our restaurants for the experience,” BurgerFi CEO Ian Baines said. “It’s friendly, fun and relaxed. However, we do understand that delivery offerings are also important to many of our customers — especially during weekdays — and we’ve found new ways of meeting that demand.”

90-day testing period

The deal is an interesting alliance. BurgerFi was founded in 2011 in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla. in a former Burger King restaurant. The company competes in the high-end burger sector with Five Guys, Habitat and other burger chains. Focusing on quality meat and service, BurgerFi has grown to 118 restaurants domestically and internationally including 25 corporate-owned restaurants and 93 franchised restaurants. Gopuff, on the other hand, has grown quickly through money from Soft Bank and others.

It was started by a couple of students at Drexel University who wanted late-night snacks. The company delivers packaged food items quickly in nearly 100 cities from micro-fulfillment centers. But recently Gopuff has started to expand into the fresh food space. Last year, it launched a ghost kitchen initiative and seems to want to integrate consumer goods and fresh food under one roof. The alliance brings the two fast-growing companies together. Gopuff gets to test the waters in prepared foods, and BurgerFi gets access to Gopuff’s delivery network. BurgerFi said the food truck in Tallassee is a pilot project. The testing is expected to last 90 days.

Focus on technology

Baines said the innovative idea is part of BurgerFi’s commitment to changing the face of the restaurant business.

“We are also committed to evolving the fast-casual dining experience with a focus on technology and innovation,” Baines said. “This year alone we have launched three initiatives with plans of launching many more. Among the most notable are our new in-car ordering feature through a partnership with Mavi.io and our state-of-the-art self-ordering kiosks, which have performed so well during their pilot phase that we are already planning on expanding into additional markets. We’re confident that these and any upcoming strategies will help us stay ahead of the evolving consumer preferences and combat widespread labor shortages.”

Gopuff currently controls as much as a quarter of the convenience delivery market, trailing only DoorDash, putting BurgerFi in a unique position to capture the attention of Gopuff’s loyal customer base. It will be interesting to see the response from BurgerFi’s food truck performance because should it succeed, late-night burgers may quickly be headed toward new cities. None of BurgerFi’s direct competitors in the fast-casual dining space, such as Shake Shack, have a similar system in place.

“Our partnership with Gopuff is tangible proof that BurgerFi is at the forefront of innovation,” Baines said. “In fact, we are the company’s first-ever restaurant partner. The COVID-19 pandemic forever changed the restaurant business and we, as a company, rose to the challenge. We deeply value our customers, and that’s why we always want to reach them where they are.”

BurgerFi said it will listen to customer feedback and decide whether to expand the late-night delivery effort. Late-night delivery might have wide appeal in college towns or areas where young people are looking for a midnight snack. Convenience is the key selling point.

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