…Take Tarheel Takeout, which started serving UNC-Chapel Hill students in 1996 and has expanded into Takeout Central, serving customers across the Triangle. Wes Garrison, co-founder of Takeout Central, says companies like Amazon are already on his radar – whether they’re offering services in the Triangle yet or not. And he is beefing up Takeout Central’s arsenal. It starts with the customer list, he says, pointing to recent acquisitions of Valet Gourmet and Triad Takeout, which expanded Takeout Central to Asheville, Knoxville and the Triad.
…But a restaurant entrepreneur’s real weapon against companies like Amazon and GrubHub is customer service, he says. “A customer will call in and ask if we can do something special … ask what they can get for a group for a certain budget. Can you do that on Amazon? With just an app?”
…“You can’t compete on price when someone comes into your market with millions of dollars,” he says. “You can only compete on customer service.”
Valuations – and the investor oversight that comes with them – bring challenges, he points out. As Takeout Central is bootstrapped, it can be more “methodical” in its growth strategy than some of its peers, he says.