Gupta, the CEO of UrbanPiper, has announced that Arpan Desai, the Chief Technology Officer of Ordermark, will be joining their company. In addition, a significant portion of Ordermark’s product and engineering team will reportedly transition to UrbanPiper, supporting the company’s expansion efforts in North America, as reported by NRN.
UrbanPiper specializes in providing a range of restaurant tools, including workflow automation and delivery platform integrations, as highlighted by NRN. Gupta revealed plans to establish an office in Culver City, California, signaling the company’s strategic growth objectives. However, the fate of Nextbite, its leadership, and its partnerships with virtual brands remains uncertain following the acquisition, and Nextbite has not yet provided a response to requests for comment.
Ordermark, originally established in 2017, secured an impressive $120 million in Series C funding in 2020. Nextbite operated as Ordermark’s virtual restaurant business. Subsequently, in 2021, Ordermark and Nextbite merged and rebranded as Nextbite, as reported by NRN. Despite recent workforce reductions, Nextbite has continued to forge partnerships with renowned restaurant companies, collaborating with IHOP in March and Nathan’s Famous in April.
The potential winding down of Nextbite would represent the latest contraction in the virtual restaurant landscape. Wendy’s, for example, decided to close its Reef Kitchens less than two years after initially planning to open 700 units. Butler Hospitality, a company specializing in hotel foodservice and ghost kitchens, also ceased operations last year.
Meanwhile, other restaurant chains have opted to incorporate virtual offerings into their traditional menus. Applebee’s, for instance, integrated menu items from its virtual brand Cosmic Wings into its in-store offerings last year. Although Cosmic Wings remains an option for franchisees, it is currently active in approximately 400 Applebee’s locations.