The Spoke & Bird
The Spoke & Bird is a near-southside Chicago-based, employee-owned restaurant and cafe that provides the community with tasty and healthy food items made with ingredients from local farms.
In the age of online ordering, The Spoke & Bird had difficulty breaking into the new world of on-demand delivery. Being a sit-down, locally-produced restaurant meant it didn’t meet the traditional idea of a for-delivery restaurant.
However, the restaurant was located within walking distance of many businesses that didn’t serve food at that time – providing an opportunity for The Spoke & Bird.
At the same time, the Hilton Garden Inn at McCormick Place – located a few blocks away – was looking for a solution to serve food to their guests.
2ndKitchen was able to partner the two businesses together – giving the Hilton Garden Inn a highly-rated on-demand room service experience to its guests and giving The Spoke & Bird a new channel to drive online orders.
Around this same time, the COVID-19 outbreak hit Chicago hard, leading to the city going on full lockdown. Those living in the city were mandated to stay in their homes nearly 24-hours a day and forcing restaurants to close dine-in services.
Already being a happy partner of 2ndKitchen, The Spoke & Bird reached out to the 2ndKitchen team an idea.
“We began working with 2ndKitchen months ago, acting as a virtual room service for the Hilton. We thought, why not offer the same room service to our neighbors at Prairie District Lofts,” said Scott Golas, co-owner of The Spoke & Bird.
Scott introduced Prairie District Lofts to the 2ndKitchen team to gauge interest in having its residential community serving on-demand room service from The Spoke & Bird.
The property managers loved the idea – and the building was completely onboarded within a few days. Prairie District Loft residents were set up with a luxury, on-demand food delivery experience – with physical menus in their rooms, an intuitive online ordering system, daily food specials, and free delivery straight to their door.
“It’s super easy to use, just point your phone camera at the QR code at the bottom of the menu and you’re transported to the PDL room service site where you can place your order,” said Scott. “You’re not charged any delivery fees and you’ll find the same prices had you walked across the street and ordered.”
Residents now had the luxury of ordering a variety of food items without the fear of contracting COVID-19 and endangering their neighbors by leaving their homes. Items included all-day breakfast, deli sandwiches, salads, soups, and beverages 7 days a week from 7am to 4pm.
“This is a new service, given the current environment, we’re doing our best to keep the small farms we work with operating, our team employed and continue bringing our community a healthy food option.”
Scott Golas, co-owner of The Spoke & Bird
The new amenity was a hit at both the Hilton Garden Inn and Prairie District Lofts, with guests and residents showing their enthusiasm for the new service on the two businesses’ Facebook pages.
“This is so kind and amazing! You guys are awesome! Stay safe and healthy,” said Sara Hoffman.
“Yay! I grabbed lunch from you today! Delicious as always!” said Michele Kerulis.
“Thank you, this is amazing! We will be ordering,” said Joyce Damasceno.
In the first week of onboarding the new delivery channel, The Spoke & Bird had one of the highest quantity of orders placed among 2ndKitchen partners – and industry-leading delivery times under 30 minutes. All with the challenges a city-wide lockdown presented to basic logistics of delivering food.
The large number of delivery orders also helped The Spoke & Bird make up lost revenue due to the loss of dine-in services, as well as its local food partners down the supply chain.
“Given the current environment, this new service is helping us keep the small farms we work with operating, our team employed and continue bringing our community a healthy food option.”