BurgerFi is Witnessing a Delivery Explosion

    Delivery sales jumped 154 percent in August.

    Fast Casual | November 2020 | Ben Coley
    BurgerFi chicken sandwich.
    BurgerFi
    In total, BurgerFi earned $11.5 million from delivery based off of more than 476,000 orders.

    BurgerFi’s investment in technology is continuing to pay off as the better burger brand saw an 80 percent increase in delivery sales volume and 55 percent uptick in order volume in the third quarter.

    The 125-unit chain, which will go public following a $100 million merger with OPES Acquisition Company, saw delivery sales soar at least 75 percent in each month of Q3—76 percent in July, 154 percent in August, and 91 percent in September.

    In total, BurgerFi earned $11.5 million from delivery based off of more than 476,000 orders. That exceeds the pace of Q1 and Q2 combined when BurgerFi served 428,000 delivery orders and generated $10.9 million in sales.

    “BurgerFi has continued to dominate the ‘better for you’ segment with outstanding quality,” president Charlie Guzzetta said in a statement. “We are currently developing best-in-industry advances in technology, optimizing our digital ordering channels to ensure our service is not only outstanding, but safe and meets all guests’ individual preferences.”

    The restaurant has a relationship with each of the major third-party delivery partners and has the ability to originate orders on its own app through Olo. BurgerFi also opened its first ghost kitchen in Miami through a partnership with REEF Technology. It won’t be the last one either; 15 more are planned in major markets such as Seattle, Houston, Nashville, and Indianapolis.

    Here’s how delivery sales have grown year-over-year in recent months:

    2019 versus 2020

    • January: 41 percent
    • February: 30 percent
    • March: 35 percent
    • April: 51 percent
    • May: 111 percent
    • June: 65 percent
    • July: 76 percent
    • August: 154 percent
    • September: 91 percent

     

    In September, BurgerFi announced that it signed letters of intent for more than 30 units, which will be a mixture of traditional and nontraditional. Eighteen of the new locations will be inside the brand’s home state of Florida. The other states include Kentucky, New Jersey, Connecticut, Tennessee, Maryland, Oregon, and Texas.

    A month later, Julio Ramirez was tapped to lead the brand as CEO. He came to BurgerFi with more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including past stops at Burger King and his own consulting company, JEM Global, Inc.

    “Strategic and focused development and organic growth are key to expanding successfully,” Ramirez said. “Our deliberate growth plan enhances digital guest experiences, provides an eco-friendly footprint, leverages our team members’ proactive attitude towards service, and has a single-minded operational focus on delivering great tasting hand-crafted food.”

    BurgerFi expects revenue in Q3 to be between $9 million and $9.2 million, compared to $8 million in Q2 and $8.2 million in the year-ago period. The chain has opened seven restaurants year-to-date; six more are preparing to open before the end of 2020.

    The company also debuted its new Spicy Fi’ed Chicken Sandwich, which is now available systemwide. The item is made with all-natural, cage-free, hand-breaded boneless chicken breast from Springer Mountain Farms; ghost pepper honey; and jalapeño-infused pepper chips.

    “BurgerFi is a remarkable partner for OPES and we believe it will prove to be an attractive public company given its unique positioning within the rapidly expanding ‘better burger’ space,” said Ophir Sternberg, chairman and CEO of OPES. “We look forward to consummating the business combination and expect BurgerFi to continue to show tremendous shareholder value.”