What the Heck is a Virtual Brand?


How Future Foods Can Skyrocket Your Restaurant’s Delivery Sales Through Virtual Brands

If you’re a restaurant owner who’s new to the idea of a virtual brand, you’re probably really wondering what the heck is going on here

If Virtual Brands have been the last thing on your mind, we totally understand. As a restaurant owner, you’re probably still feeling whiplash from riding on the pandemic rollercoaster. In just a few years, there’s been a slighttttly overwhelming amount of change within the food industry—from shifting dining restrictions, to the transition towards majority delivery, then back to some dine-in, no dine-in again, vaccine mandates, no vaccine mandates, new third-party apps, but also your own DTC storefront, no work for your workers, then too few workers for the amount of work available.

Whether you’re just now taking a breath to reflect— or still dealing with the aftermath—one thing is clear: you deserve an easy win. Cue Virtual Brands, your restaurant’s golden ticket to making more money with the resources you already have. If you’re wondering what the heck is a virtual brand? You’ve come to the right place. 

Image of Four Breakfast Sandwiches and A Tall Glass of Orange Juice
Virtual Brand: Breakfast Beauties

Alright, stop saying heck – but you said virtual brands could be my restaurant’s golden ticket to more money? I’m in. So what is it?

Virtual brands are digital storefronts on delivery platforms like Uber Eats, Doordash, Caviar, Grubhub, and more. The fact that they are entirely digital storefronts on delivery platforms is where the name comes from. Virtual brands are called “virtual” because the customer can only see and order from these storefronts online. 

While the phrase “virtual brands” might sound a little bit too “flying cars, robot labor” futuristic—it’s happening right now—on a widespread scale.

  • In late 2021, Uber Eats estimated that the number of virtual brands on its platform was around 10,000 – triple that of in 2020
  • According to the Uber Eats, 15% of restaurants operated a virtual brand pre-COVID, and 51% operate one in 2021

Creating virtual brands for your restaurant will help you dominate delivery without investing too much money or time. A single restaurant can manage multiple brands from the same space, using their current ingredient list.

I already have a physical restaurant, why should I create a virtual one?

Today’s customers have no problem ordering food from places they haven’t tried before, so creating a new brand has multiple benefits.

  1. Dominate the delivery platforms. Having multiple brands means multiple appearances on platforms like Uber Eats, Postmates, Caviar, and Doordash. If you’re currently listed on these delivery platforms, you appear 1 time on each of them. But what if you could appear 2 or 3 times?
  2. Increase your sales. Along the same lines, 3 appearances on each delivery platform translates to 3x the reach and potentially 3x the orders and sales.
  3. Optimize your kitchen space. If your kitchen has enough capacity to prepare more food, why not take advantage of it?
  4. Limit waste and take advantage of your current inventory. You can create a virtual brand with the ingredients you already use to optimize your inventory.
  5. Experiment with your kitchen. Having an additional brand will allow you to try new concepts and dishes without changing what people love about your main brand.
  6. Multiply your ROI. The idea is to use the resources that you already have (space, staff, ingredients) to significantly increase the return on your investment.
Breakfast Spread with a Rooster on the Left Looking Over a Bowl, Orange Juice, and Breakfast Burritos As A Hand Pours Coffee Into a Cup
Virtual Brand: Sunny & Fine’s

I still don’t get it…  Where do I get started?

Let’s simplify with a scenario: Say you run a local Italian restaurant. You want to increase your delivery sales, but your restaurant keeps getting lost in a sea of other Italian spots on the third-party delivery apps. You start researching virtual brands and find Future Foods; a virtual brands platform designed to help restaurant operators increase delivery sales.

Okay but wait… what is Future Foods?

We’re a platform that crafts virtual brands based on eater data & trends. We provide restaurants like yours with a fully-developed virtual brand that will allow you to unlock a secondary income stream. Take the ingredients, employees, and space you already have and begin fulfilling more orders for more customers under more brand names with Future Foods. We’ll provide your restaurant with popular brands that make the most of your inventory and help you manage those brands as you go. 

Ok… back to our scenario

So your Italian restaurant signed up for Future Foods. After answering any questions, we (the Future Foods team) pair your Italian restaurant with our virtual brand, xx. We send you a tablet and menu and handle everything from customer support to marketing. You continue to run your restaurant as usual—same equipment, same shopping list. We send you a weekly check with all your earnings; you continue to make pizza (just more of it). 

Need more info? Let’s breakdown how Future Foods sets your restaurant up with Virtual Brands IRL

  1. We build brands. We create, manage, and grow the best virtual brands in the world
  2. You cook the food. We handle everything from customer support to marketing; you just cook
  3. They deliver the food. Delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and more deliver for you
  4. We pay you. We’ll send you a weekly check with all of your earnings; you never pay us

How will Future Foods make sure my virtual brand is successful?

1. We study the market of your region to make sure the brands you work with are right for your audience & locale.

Who you’re feeding and where you’re feeding them should and will have a massive impact on the types of virtual brands that are right for your restaurant. However, after looking over your inventory and matching you with potential cuisine types for your virtual brands, we’ll then take a look at whose ordering what within your region. Are they a fried chicken sandwich bunch? Are they vegan? Do they want a beer with that? A soda? Do they order delivery for breakfast? Late night? Analyzing trends on questions like these helps us identify which of our brands will be most successful for your restaurant’s potential customers within your region. 

Bagels with Cream Cheese and Egg
Virtual Brand: Brekkie Bagels

2. We run the marketing.

Let’s face it, running a restaurant is complicated. In 2022, you’re juggling a bustling dine-in business with an ever-growing take-out line, 3rd party delivery couriers & repeat customers. Now you’ve decided to partner with Future Foods to accept more orders & expand your reach and revenue. While you’re super busy and have tons of orders, you still want to find ways to increase your sales. You can ensure your virtual brands get the eyes, attention, and orders they deserve, by running promotions and marketing on the delivery apps. However, running in-app marketing on top of everything else you have on your plate? No thanks. But you decided to launch your virtual brands with Future Foods – so no worries, we’ve got you covered. The team at Future Foods runs, manages & optimizes in-app marketing for every single one of our brands for every single one of our customers. 

Our one tablet solution ensures you make fewer mistakes leading to better reviews & customer satisfaction. Imagine that by this point in our journey together you’re fulfilling orders for multiple brands on multiple apps – and making more money doing it. “But wait… doesn’t that mean more tablets? Like lots more tablets?” Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too. Our partner, Otter, will provide your restaurant with a single tablet solution to ensure that all your delivery apps, brands, and orders are flowing into a single tablet. That means less stress, fewer mistakes, and fewer missed & canceled orders – resulting in happier customers and better reviews! That’s a win, win (win, win, win).

3. You take home as much as you want to take home.

You take home as much as you want to take home. When it comes to paying at Future Foods, the bottom line is that you get to dictate your bottom line. If inventory, operations, & labor are expensive for you right now, you can charge a higher fee per menu item so that you can take home a higher percentage of money off each order. If inventory, operations & labor are running quite efficiently lately, lower the price to potentially increase your orders and decrease the amount you make off of each menu item. With Future Foods, you’re in control of how much you make off of your virtual brands. Does it get any better than that? … We think not. 

Vegan Breakfast Spread Featuring Peanut Butter Toast, Avocado Toast, Oatmeal and Granola
Virtual Brand: The Vegan Breakfast

See Your Delivery Sales Skyrocket with Virtual Brands Today

We hope we taught you what the heck a virtual brand is and why the h-e-double hockey sticks your restaurant should consider partnering with Future Foods to create some. What do you have to lose? We’ll provide the brands, marketing, order aggregation & analytics to make sure that virtual brands mean a boost to your customer base and your bottom line. Above all, we know you make great food, so let us handle the rest!

Click here to schedule a call to learn which of our mouthwatering virtual brands works best for your restaurant.