Hungry House and MegaBite, two tech-enabled, multi-brand fast casual restaurant platforms, have merged to form the united international entity, BiteLabs

The merged entity’s goal is to bring its chef-inspired, digitally forward fast casual offering across the Americas

NEW YORK, March 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Hungry House a New York-based fast casual restaurant platform that connects authentic and innovative chefs with bold menus to communities of adventurous eaters, is merging with MegaBite , based in Lima and Mexico City, a multi-brand platform bringing curated, chef-backed cuisine to market through various delivery channels and its own app. 

Together, the two companies create an international, multi-brand fast casual player with 13 locations in three countries: USA, Mexico and Peru. With a combined annual revenue over $6M, the joint entity will double down on continued growth across the verticals of in-store retail, first-party delivery, and third-party delivery partnerships with UberEATS, GrubHub, DoorDash, and Rappi in Latin America. Both companies will continue to operate as vertically integrated players to maintain their mutually high levels of food quality and hospitality that are core to the brand of their new entity, BiteLabs. “We believe that Hungry House and MegaBite, operating together, have the potential to be the most innovative, tech-enabled, multi-brand fast-casual restaurant group across the Americas. We’ll continue to bring our vision of chef-backed fast casual restaurants with a dynamic in-store experience, and a robust native app, to diverse audiences passionate about great food. This will uplift choice for the consumer with groundbreaking, high-quality culinary brands developed in partnership with today’s most exciting chefs and provide a range of choice for the consumer facilitated by algorithmically personalized options,” says Pedro Neira, CEO of MegaBite and the newly created entity. Notably, Neira added, “We are definitely not a ghost kitchen platform. Given that our customers can reach us with in-person eating in our restaurants, via pickup, through third-party apps, as well as online through our own native apps and websites, I would say our business model mirrors more that of Sweetgreen, CAVA, and Shake Shack. The only difference is that we are serving multiple brands in our locations and not just one.”

The merger creates an immense opportunity for expansion, as Hungry House provides the joint entity with expertise in business-to-business catering service, while MegaBite offers extensive expertise in data-driven, food delivery optimization across its multiple sales channels. The deal also creates exciting synergy with the talent of the combined C-Suite leading the next chapter of growth for the company. Neira added, “Joining my own experience as a serial entrepreneur now developing my fourth startup, Andrew’s deep culinary operations experience, and Solamon’s background launching and scaling hyper-growth tech companies across the Americas, creates a highly complementary co-founding team. We will aim not only to significantly increase our revenue performance, but also work toward world-class unit economics across our soon-to-be 15 locations in a retail-forward model, collaborate with our inspiring chef partners, and delight our curious diners from the US to Latin America.”

The transaction solidifies Hungry House and MegaBite’s momentum at a compelling time in the fast casual segment. Both companies have since 2021 been building in the same space as leading players like Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, Kitopi and Cavawhich provided a compelling signal in the fast casual market when it celebrated its $318M IPO in 2023, and whose share value quickly doubled weeks later. The joined companies will not build in the ghost kitchen space, but instead expand by building upon a multi-brand, in-store retail and multi-channel approach similar to that of Wonder, which recently secured an additional $100 in funding from Nestlé. The growth and expansion of Hungry House and MegaBite, and the current merger, have been facilitated by Wilshire Lane Capital, Carao Ventures, SNR VC, McK Hospitality, Alaya CapitalAmarena VC, and independent investors like Russ Rosenband, Atit Jariwala, and Andrew Balogh.

This news builds on the exciting growth of Hungry House’s existing NYC footprint. The company recently launched a newly updated location in Manhattan on January 22nd. Previously Pure Grit BBQ (now a Hungry House portfolio brand), the new location stands for culinary collaboration, and brings together innovative, chef-inspired flavors through a single multi-brand culinary platform, available in person and online. The launch of the new restaurant, in the heart of Manhattan’s Flatiron District, also featured a special announcement about Hungry House’s upcoming partnership with chef and online personality Emily Fedner, of Food Lover’s Diary, featuring an Eastern European-influenced dumpling menu, now available at both Hungry House locations in Manhattan & Brooklyn for pickup and delivery.

Founding Team:

  • Pedro Neira. Formerly the CEO of MegaBite and now the CEO of the joint entity BiteLabs, serial entrepreneur and Endeavor Entrepreneur, Advisor at Magma Partners, former CEO of Mi Media Manzana, the biggest dating app in Latin America and founder of the real estate portal Adondevivir.com, acquired by Tiger Global Management.
  • Andrew Corrigan. Andrew, also a Co-Founder, will be acting COO and Head of Culinary Operations at BiteLabs. He was a former Regional Area Director at fast-casual leader DIG (formerly Dig Inn) and an executive chef across many of New York City’s leading fine dining establishments. Andrew holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.
  • Solamon Cruz Estin. Co-Founder and Head of Growth, Solamon was a former first-300 employee at Uber and UberEATS, where he launched the company’s operations across four countries in Latin America in both the rides and food delivery businesses. He is a repeat founder and has also held roles as a Country Manager in multi-brand delivery franchising at CloudKitchens, and as a Sr. Manager in New Verticals at DoorDash.

About the Hungry House-MegaBite joint entity, BiteLabs
By joining forces, Hungry House and MegaBite will become one of the most attractive international options for digitally enhanced, chef-driven, multi-brand fast casual dining. The joint entity will serve three key geographies, with expansion plans into other relevant markets in the Americas over the course of the next two to three years. Moving forward, the company envisions continuing to launch tech-enabled, multi-brand fast-casual restaurants where guests can sit and eat onsite, order for pick-up or delivery via a native app and various third-party channels, and also locations that can serve the B2B markets with the same variety and quality that it serves the B2C market.

About Hungry House
Hungry House was originally founded in New York City in 2021 by food tech entrepreneur Kristen Barnett and currently operates two locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with imminent plans in the works for additional locations in New York and other cities. It has collaborated with cutting-edge modern chefs–such as Emily Fedner, Alvin Cailan (The Burger Show, First We Feast), Woldy Kusina, Tony Ortiz (Chile Con Miel), Pure Grit BBQ–offering a portfolio of diverse cuisine known for its explosive flavor and emphasis on selection, quality ingredients and convenience. Based on the expansion of its retail and delivery experience and a recent intent effort into the world of NYC catering, Hungry House tripled its annualized revenue in 2023.

About MegaBite
Also founded in 2021, MegaBite is one of Latin America’s leading delivery-focused multi-brand restaurants, with its own platform that accepts orders via multiple digital channels, branded websites, and third-party apps, all connected to kitchen software and hardware. The company currently operates 16 food brands in Latin America’s rapidly expanding delivery market, and runs delicious, chef-tested menus across multiple delivery apps as well as its own fast-growing native app. It has six active locations in Peru, and seven in Mexico, and is backed by some of the most respected restaurant groups in the Americas, such as McK Restaurants, the group behind internationally acclaimed acclaimed restaurants and bars such as: Osaka, DonDoh, Ko Asian Kitchen and Carnaval (top 50 in the world). Prior to the merger, MegaBite grew its revenues at a 14% MoM average during its first 32 months of operations.

About Wilshire Lane Capital
Wilshire Lane Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in the rapidly growing PropTech category. Based in Los Angeles, Wilshire Lane Capital works with dynamic founders to build large technology companies that intersect with the enormous real estate industry. Notably, Wilshire Lane Capital was an early backer of multi-brand food delivery market leader Kitopi, which was last valued at over $1.55 billion in its Series C extension in 2022.

About Carao Ventures
Carao Ventures
 is an early-stage VC firm investing across spanish-speaking Latin America, but primarily focused on the small and medium sized economies in the region. Based in Costa Rica, Carao Ventures partners with the best Seed-through-Series A founders that aim at tackling some of LatAm’s biggest challenges and digitizing multibillion dollar industries, while operating from the region. The firm builds diversified portfolios per fund, containing startups that operate in a range of industries and multiple countries, and providing local and international investors with a measured, regional exposure to the accelerating technological transformation of LatAm.

SOURCE BiteLabs



Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hungry-house-and-megabite-two-tech-enabled-multi-brand-fast-casual-restaurant-platforms-have-merged-to-form-the-united-international-entity-bitelabs-302085356.html
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