SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ritual, a social ordering app that connects users to their favorite local eateries, today announced it launched nationally in the U.S. Founded in Toronto in 2014, Ritual is now available in urban areas in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Customers can consolidate ordering ahead from all their favorite eateries in just one app while tapping into their network to make the experience more social and convenient. They will be able to order ahead and pay at their favorite local restaurants and coffee shops to avoid line and order wait times, and in a way that rewards loyalists with free food.
With more than 1,600 restaurants in the U.S. and Toronto, Ritual helps merchants of any size and scale better compete for local business by connecting customers to nearby eateries in a way that saves them time without incurring an incremental expense for convenience. Much of that user convenience also comes from the comprehensive selection of restaurants available on Ritual within each neighborhood. These two factors unlock Ritual’s equation for local commerce success.
Ritual’s platform is uniquely social and enables consumers to easily connect with their network of colleagues, making ordering more frequent and convenient. Not only can co-workers collaborate on where to order from for lunch, but busy colleagues can also hop on their order and have their co-workers bring their lunch back to their desk for them. By leveraging the power of the peer-to-peer network, Ritual elevates the social network effect at the local level, generating incremental value to local merchants.
“Ritual has been the saving grace of the busy lunch hour at Spotify,” said Liza Haddad, Global Creative Development Manager, Spotify. “It’s given our team members the chance to jump on important global calls or reclaim an hour of the day by relying on teammates to pick up lunch on their way. The team members have also been able to discover some personal local favorites as they jump on others’ orders but frankly, the best thing our hard-working team finds about Ritual is that it gathers us all for a moment in the name of lunch.”
Founded by former Google Shopping lead Ray Reddy along with Robert Kim and Larry Stinson, Ritual is targeting the gaping hole in local commerce that has yet to experience any real digital innovation: quick service, low cost food items. Local commerce still represents the vast majority of QSR, fast-casual dining sales — with 70 percent of Americans frequenting a fast food restaurant at least three times a week on average (Consensus.gov, 2015) — and Ritual is helping local merchants access QSR-bound customers with technology, driving higher engagement and loyalty.
“Ritual has already become a daily habit for thousands of people,” said Ray Reddy, CEO and Co-founder of Ritual. “We’ve delivered millions of meals, and as Ritual expands, we will continue to help great local businesses thrive while also helping customers save time and connect with their community.”
Ritual’s innovative technology built on the Google Cloud Platform is one of the first to use Google BigQuery to serve up personalized restaurant recommendations down to the menu item-level. By combining data from 300 million in-app events, transaction logs, restaurant capacity and historic order behavior patterns, Ritual helps merchants know how to serve their customers better with a loyalty program that further rewards frequent users.
“As technology becomes increasingly important to reach, engage and manage our customer interaction and expectations in a timely and intuitive way, platforms like Ritual are essential to enable a seamless experience that is efficient for all participants,” said Florian Pfahler, Managing Partner at Hannah’s Bretzel in Chicago.
Ritual has raised $57.5 Million to-date in Series A from Greylock Partners and Series B from Insight Ventures to support its U.S. market expansion. Ritual’s additional investors include Golden Venture Partners, Mantella Venture Partners, Mistral Venture Partners and Wildcat Ventures. Ritual has plans to launch in other cities in the coming months. Ritual is first tackling the food space, and anticipates widening the applications for its technology to other areas of local commerce.
“Ritual has expanded the addressable market for local commerce, creating a social marketplace that is mutually beneficial for both the consumer and the merchant,” said Simon Rothman, Partner at Greylock Partners and board member at Ritual. “We’ve seen how the network effect kicks in once it reaches a critical inflection point. Ritual is a boon to local merchants, and it’s no surprise that many of the mass-market chains are looking to migrate away from their own standalone mobile apps.”
Ritual is a social ordering app that taps networks of coworkers and colleagues for fast and easy pick up and pay at a wide variety of local restaurants and coffee shops. With Ritual, users can mobile order and pay at all their favorite local eateries and coffee shops and have it ready to pick up when they arrive. By also uniquely giving friends and colleagues the ability to add their own food orders onto an existing order, Ritual gives customers the choice of either picking up themselves or having their food brought right to their desk. This ‘social ordering’ saves customers time and drives incremental orders for merchants. The best and busiest quick service restaurants and coffee shops in major cities across North America are using Ritual to give them a competitive, technological edge, driving profitability, and a more personalized way to connect with their customers. Ritual has $57.5 million in funding backed by Insight Venture Partners, Golden Venture Partners, Greylock Partners, Mantella Venture Partners, Mistral Venture Partners and Wildcat Ventures.