people who like to go out to restaurants, but there are also
days we are too busy or like to stay in our pajamas, watch
Netflix, and have a nice restaurant meal. These apps are
the best medium to provide what and when the customer needs.
Rowan: These food trends have not hurt our business
as of yet; however, we are considering using Skip the Dishes in the future, seeing as it has really become a popular staple in many consumers’ routines. Personally, I have used and
love the apps. They’re easy and provide a lot of satisfaction in
having a restaurant-quality meal brought to your door. I also
think the apps help restaurants and trucks stay competitive
through providing stronger customer service and experience.
Keeping the customer happy is essential to our success, and
an app can’t sell that.
Another biggie: cook at home services like Blue Apron.
Do you see these as a threat to the restaurant industry?
Lin: No. Eating out at a restaurant isn’t only about the deli-
cious meal you can get there. It’s about the whole experience,
including the ambience and environment.
Rowan: I don’t see these services as a threat at all. Some-
times, people want food made for them or to enjoy a meal out.
I also think that some of those services have too much detail
for the average consumer, take too long, and sometimes don’t
preserve the quality of their ingredients as promised.
Roberts: I think they’re really cool, opening peoples’ eyes
to new cuisines and ingredients they might otherwise be
intimidated to try. It also shows how much work it actually
is to prepare a great meal, so, if anything, customers have a
greater appreciation for restaurants, and it opens their palates
to try new dishes from us. A win-win.
Ten to fifteen years ago, ethnic cuisine in WNY meant
Italian (we’re exaggerating, but only a little). Now
we’ve got so many global foods to try. Why do you think
Buffalonians have become more diversified eaters?
Lin: Buffalonians have always been adventurous eaters
from my experience. I was one of the first chefs to introduce
sushi to WNYers when I opened a sushi bar at Tops and Wegmans. I’m amazed at how often people are open minded and
willing to try new things.
Roberts: I think people have begun to branch out due to
pure curiosity. These foods are now presented with quality
and approachability, and people are realizing there are incredible global cuisines. Social media also enlightens people, and
Google can put them at ease quickly.
KEVIN LIN (SHOWN WITH
“EATING OUT AT A RESTAURANT
ISN’T ONLY ABOUT THE
DELICIOUS MEAL YOU CAN GET
THERE. IT’S ABOUT THE WHOLE
EXPERIENCE, INCLUDING THE
AMBIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT.”
“OUR RESTAURANT AND TRUCK
WORK REALLY WELL WITH
EACH OTHER. WE HAVE BEEN
ABLE TO BUILD STRONGER
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR
CUSTOMERS BECAUSE WE DON’T
RUSH THEM AT THE TRUCK.”