The global pandemic threw a sting into the plans of restaurants around the world two years ago when diners stayed home, causing many restaurants to switch their businesses to a pick-up or delivery service.
Roberto Cibrian and David Villarreal both had experience working with restaurants in Mexico and realized that many restaurants were not ready to quickly change their operations, so they took the opportunity to help them.
“There are a range of food technology solutions out there in Latin America and the United States, but it ended up turning operations in both the front and back of the house into a mess,” Cibrian said. The pandemic has been a crazy experience. Not many people knew what was going to happen, but the downside was that restaurants would close.”
With a focus on reversing this trend, they created Monterey-based Parrot in April 2020, and in 2021 launched their ParrotConnect point of sale program for restaurants to enable them to digitize and take advantage of the home delivery boom to accelerate growth.
Cibrian told TechCrunch that many restaurants were balancing an average of three delivery apps with 15 different menus at each location. Connection issues and menu errors often cause restaurants 10% to 15% of orders to arrive wrongly or late when pushed from apps to the restaurant’s POS software so they can be made.
Instead, ParrotConnect provides a way for restaurants to unify all of these fragmented processes, including table service and online orders – into a single management portal where users can run functions such as menus, kitchen management, payment methods, and reports.
The company works with more than 60 collaborators on the product and now has more than 500 restaurants across Monterrey, Mexico City, and the Riviera Maya using ParrotConnect.
On Monday, the company announced that it has secured $9.5 million, led by F Prime Capital, to continue developing ParrotConnect and expanding its presence in Mexico. The new capital gives the company a total of $11.7 million in funding.
Parrot is the latest company to raise capital as part of a broader trend of companies helping restaurants thrive in this new digital world, including Zak, and is also developing restaurant point-of-sale technology, the Sunday payment system, and restaurant management software company MarginEdge.
Since its beta launch in January 2021, Cibrian said, it now works with more than 500 restaurants — all of whom are paying customers. It has 60 employees currently having started in 2021 with 10 employees. The company has focused on helping restaurants grow, and Cibrian said it’s too early to reveal revenue numbers. ParrotConnect plans start at $73 per month for businesses with a single point of sale.
“We are investing heavily in the product because we want to provide the right expertise,” he added. “The restaurant industry is an old industry, and it is always finding its way out, so we are happy to help them do that with technology. We are fans of the industry and how creative they are to make things work. Delivery has played a huge role in saving a lot of restaurants during this time.”