Start-ups are usually thought of as innovating the business model in their field of operation. In the case of Beets & Roots, however, the restaurant business is already one of the most competitive and innovative sectors, but the Berlin founders of the restaurant chain are pushing the boundaries in order to boost sales and number of guests.
At the Beets & Roots in Berlin-Mitte every table is densely packed and nobody eats alone. Maximilian Kochen, one of the founders, says: that’s exactly the concept for the restaurant. The interior is not meant to make you feel cozy.
“The average length of stay for our guests is lower than in the classic full-service restaurant,” explains Koch, who opened Beets & Roots in 2016 with Andreas Tuffentsammer.
In his restaurant, guests eat colourful salads, wraps and bowls on grey concrete benches. The aim of the founders is not only to serve healthy and delicious food but, above all, to sell as much food as possible, every day.
As such, the preparation process has also been optimized:
“The individual components are prepared fresh every day and are ready for serving even before the guest arrives,” says Koch.
It only takes about two minutes to order from the counter until the dishes land on the tables.
Catering is a big growth factor which dovetails with the capacity of the kitchen which is underutilised. The founders have, therefore, also developed a delivery concept. Only about half of the hundreds of dishes that Beets & Roots sells daily is consumed at the two branches of the restaurant. The rest is delivered by Foodora or ordered via computer or smartphone and then picked up in the store.
But the “pick-up” business also presents the team with new challenges, such as packaging. Instead of plastic, the founders use a bagasse material, a waste product from sugar production. But the top priority is the durability of the meals.
“A meal must arrive at the customer in the same condition as it is served in the restaurant. That’s why we always test the quality of new dishes under real conditions,” says Tuffentsammer.
As a trained chef, Tuffentsammer is primarily responsible for recipe development. He remains conservative: “It’s important that the food is approachable,” he says.
In addition, the dishes are supposed to fill you up: The “Meatball Wrap” has about 1,000 calories and almost everyone enjoys it, say the founders.
According to their own statement, they have been eating almost exclusively in their own restaurant for two years, usually a Mexican wrap with avocado, beans and nachos. It costs about 6 euros, the most expensive dish on the menu being around 13 euros.
Beets & Roots has been financed by a private investor and day-to-day business.
“We have reached our goal for this year. The restaurants are profitable, “say the founders.
In the future, they also want to work on mobility for the catering business. “We want to become even more sustainable,” says Koch.
In the next few years, the profits from the business will be reinvested, and by 2020, there will be ten more Beets & Roots branches in Germany.