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Tough cookie: Food-focused platform business model grows amid rivals

The Cookie Dining formally launched back in August as a platform business model in the competitive online food ordering space.

The presence of established players such as GrubHub and Just Eat made the venture seem a bit quixotic. Indeed, Marko Manojlovic, the platform’s founder, cited the task of getting restaurants to sign up for the online ordering system as his biggest challenge. The issue of attracting a sufficient number of sellers (in this case restaurants) to attract a sufficient number of customers is known as the platform business model’s chicken-and-egg problem.

Four months on, however, The Cookie Dining continues to expand. Notable restaurant signings include Big Smoke Burger, a chain based in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, Ont. with outlets in Canada, the U.S. and Middle East. Manojlovic said the platform’s expansion in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary has gone much faster than his company predicted. Urban areas in the U.S. targeted for expansion include Seattle, Los Angeles and New York.

And, in a case of one platform business model converging with another, The Cookie Dining plans to recruit delivery drivers along the lines of the Uber model, according to Manojlovic. The platform is working on hiring drivers in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York.

“This will be promoted aggressively in January 2016,” Manojlovic said. In conjunction with the food delivery capability, The Cookie Dining will integrate a real-time food tracking and a driver rating and review feature into the platform. Other delivery services have also launched food tracking apps.

Other platform developments include:

  • The Cookie Dining point-of-sale device, which will arrive in January.
  • “Giving Back” program: Platform customers can select a charity or cause in their local community and The Cookie Dining will donate to that organization on their behalf.

The Cookie Dining

The Cookie Dining’s charitable giving is built into the app.