The global pandemic threw a wrench in the plans of restaurants all over the world two years ago when diners stayed home, causing many eateries to shift their business to pickup or delivery.
Roberto Cebrián and David Villarreal both had experience working with restaurants in Mexico and recognized that many restaurants were not prepared to change their operations quickly, so they jumped on the opportunity to help them.
“There are a bunch of food tech solutions in Latin American and U.S., but it ended up turning the operations in both the front and back of the house into a mess,” Cebrián said. “The pandemic was a crazy experience. Not a lot of people knew what would happen, but the downside was that restaurants closed.”
With an eye on reversing that trend, they created Monterrey-based Parrot in April 2020, and in 2021 launched with ParrotConnect, its point-of-sale software for restaurants enabling them to digitize and take advantage of the home delivery boom to accelerate growth.
Cebrián told TechCrunch that many restaurants were balancing an average of three delivery apps and 15 different menus at each location. Often connectivity issues and menu errors caused restaurants to get anywhere from 10% to 15% of the orders wrong or late when they were pushed from the apps to the restaurant’s point-of-sale software so that they could be made.
Instead, ParrotConnect offers a way for restaurants to centralize all of those fragmented operations, including table service and online orders — into one management portal where users can operate functions like menus, kitchen management, payment methods and reports.
The company is working with over 60 collaborators on the product and now has more than 500 restaurants across Monterrey, Mexico City and the Riviera Maya using ParrotConnect.
On Monday, the company announced it secured $9.5 million, led by F Prime Capital, to continue developing ParrotConnect and expand its footprint in Mexico. The new capital gives the company a total of $11.7 million in funding.
Parrot is the latest company raising capital as part of a broader trend of companies helping restaurants thrive in this new digital world, including Zak, also developing point-of-sale technology for restaurants, payment system Sunday and restaurant management software company MarginEdge.
Since making a soft launch in January 2021, Parrot is now working with over 500 restaurants — all paying customers, Cebrián said. It has 60 employees currently after starting in 2021 with 10 employees. The company has been focused on helping restaurants grow, and Cebrián said it was too early to disclose revenue figures. Plans for ParrotConnect start at $73 per month for companies with one POS.
“We are heavily investing in product because we want to give the right experience,” he added. “The restaurant industry is an old industry, and it always finds its way out, so we are happy to be helping them do that with technology. We admire the industry and how creative they are to make things work. Delivery has played a huge part in saving a lot of restaurants during this time.”