The size of the restaurant equipment repair and maintenance industry is estimated at $26 billion. That being the case, it’s no surprise that some technology solution providers are aiming to disrupt the space with a more data-driven, automated approach to restaurant repair and maintenance operations.
With tens of millions of dollars in investment capital, and major restaurant brands already on their customer rosters, two solution providers are moving quickly in that direction. One of them is ResQ, which this month raised $39 million in Series A funding to expand its technology platform, which allows restaurants to request, manage, and pay for repairs and maintenance.
ResQ’s fundraising success comes on the heels of another technology player, 86 Repairs, which offers a similar high tech approach to helping restaurants manage the end-to-end equipment repair and maintenance process. In July, 86 Repairs raised $5.3 million from investors, bringing the company’s funding in that round to $7.3 million.
Founded in 2018 in Toronto, Canada, ResQ enables restaurants to submit, manage, and pay for repairs and maintenance on a single platform while ensuring high quality and cost-effective work through a curated marketplace of service providers. Major customers include KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, A&W, Burger King, Tim Hortons, The Keg, Fogo de Chão, Marugame Udon, Parker Hospitality, Cactus Club Cafe, and Paramount.
Amid the restaurant industry’s hiring crisis and increased operating costs, both companies aim to alleviate some of the pressures of labor shortage and cost inflation that restaurant owners face by reducing time spent on managing repairs and maintenance while reducing repair and maintenance costs.
According to Chicago-based 86 Repairs, restaurants spend up to three percent of their annual revenue on repairs and maintenance—the largest controllable budgetary line item. ResQ believes the number is higher, with restaurants spending five to seven percent of annual sales on repairs and maintenance, on average, amounting to upwards of $50 billion a year in North America.
“This number is much higher when you factor in the opportunity cost of managing repairs, including lost sales and inventory, and time spent on each repair, said Kuljeev Singh, CEO and Founder of ResQ. “With ResQ, restaurant operators save 20 percent in annual maintenance costs and reduce equipment downtime, helping them retain an additional $9 billion of sales revenue.”
ResQ has raised a total of $48 million to date. Since its seed round announcement, in June 2021, ResQ’s customer base reportedly grew from seven states to 36 in the US. With the new funding round, co-led by Tiger Global and Canvas Ventures (and with participation from a number of others, including entrepreneurs and celebrity chefs), ResQ plans to grow its team by 400% to double down on its mission to empower restaurants and service providers to streamline repair and maintenance operations.
Much like ResQ, 86 Repairs offers an advanced platform that automates the end-to-end repair and maintenance process for restaurants. It also provides actionable insights designed to improve back-of-house operations.
Since its launch in 2018, 86 Repairs has reportedly saved its customers an aggregate of more than $2.2 million through its data-driven approach to on-demand repairs, preventative maintenance, and proactive insights. The company’s solutions are used by multi-unit restaurant groups including: Castellucci Hospitality Group, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Peas and Carrots Hospitality, and brands like McDonald’s, Jimmy John’s, Sonic Drive-Ins, Famous Dave’s and many others.
“Operators are looking for ways to leverage technology to bolster their businesses. 86 Repairs is a crucial tool for back-of-house automation and post-pandemic growth,” said Daniel Estrada, co-founder and CEO, 86 Repairs. “Restaurant operators around the country are leveraging our service to save time and money.”