An Indianapolis-based business is bringing a fusion of specialized software and fresh food to its new Bloomington location.
Food delivery restaurant ClusterTruck started beta testing for its new Bloomington location at 2618 E. 10th St. Monday, and it will officially open to the public Thursday. Its first restaurant opened last April in downtown Indianapolis.
The Bloomington location includes both carry-out and delivery options. Customers can order online and the food is delivered free of charge. The menu includes a variety of options, including pizzas, hamburgers, salads, tater tots, tacos and rice dishes.
All of the food is made inside the restaurant, ClusterTruck digital marketing specialist Gwen Ragno said.
“What that means is that for every meal that we serve, we do our best to make it just about as fresh as it would be if you were sitting at a restaurant,” Ragno said.
ClusterTruck approaches delivery from a software perspective, CEO Chris Baggott said in a press release. He is also the co-founder of technology companies ExactTarget and Compendium Software.
“We asked the question: How can we solve the time problem?” Baggott said in the release. “Let’s deliver food that isn’t 30 minutes old before it even gets into the hands of the delivery person.”
After people order online, the employees do not begin preparing the food until a driver is assigned to a specific delivery. The restaurant also only delivers to areas the drivers can reach in six minutes or less.
ClusterTruck’s specialized software and delivery method allows employees to get the timing right and ensure the food is fresh when it arrives, Ragno said.
“What makes us special is that we are able to streamline the entire process to make sure that it is as fresh as possible, which makes for better food,” Ragno said.
As the kitchen staff rolls out pizza dough, flips hamburgers and prepares other meals, they are also keeping track of orders on a computer screen in front of them.
General manager Brian Pickett said the software, which is installed on computers at every station in the kitchen, allows ClusterTruck to perfect the food preparation and delivery.
While the restaurant does not have any actual food trucks, its food is organized into different sections on the menu inspired by food trucks and street vendors. The Taqueria Rapido section, for example, has Mexican street food like tacos and burritos, and the Baked Mac section has variations of macaroni and cheese.
Ragno said the variety of the menu is one of her favorite parts about ClusterTruck. This is helpful for groups of people who have trouble deciding on a particular restaurant. Ragno is a vegetarian, but she said both she and her meat-loving friends have plenty of options.
“My boyfriend can get his double hamburger and order super meaty pizza and I can get my Thai red curry,” she said. “Everyone’s happy.”
Ragno said the restaurant has received positive response in Indianapolis, which allowed them to quickly expand. She said ClusterTruck plans to open more locations later this year.
“We wanted to try out a college campus town,” she said. “It will be different than who we are serving in Indianapolis. It will be a learning experience.”
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