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Rose Whaley, initially trained as an accountant, ventured into the restaurant business when she and her daughter launched Options Eatery in a commissary kitchen in Norfolk, Virginia, back in 2022. The location was challenged by limited foot traffic to drive business, so she swiftly recognized the importance of embracing the “new wave” of virtual brands to ensure the necessary revenue for success. After a fruitful year collaborating with Nextbite, her achievements have spurred her to consider opening a second location in nearby Portsmouth during the summer of 2024.

Whaley embarked on her journey with Nextbite in September 2022, initially choosing two brands: Lucky Dragon Fried Rice and Huevorito to launch. “Working closely with the Nextbite team, we evaluated our existing ingredients and aligned them to the available brands,” explained Whaley. “These brands seamlessly utilized our current inventory, facilitating an easy launch.” 

Despite the excellent support, Whaley admitted her team was caught off guard by the immediate demand that the Nextbite brands generated. “Orders were streaming in the moment the menus went live,” she recalled. However, the Options Eatery team swiftly adapted, prompting Whaley to approach Nextbite within six weeks to explore the addition of more brands. 

“By the end of 2022, we had incorporated five Nextbite brands, and now we’re up to 8,” revealed Whaley. Expanding the range of Nextbite brands necessitated some additions to their inventory and eventually an increase in headcount. Still, Whaley’s financial expertise proved invaluable as demand surged. “Understanding the hourly order threshold necessary to support an additional cook, I could rely on the added Nextbite brands to generate the required volume,” she explained. 

The Ordermark technology, streamlining delivery orders, has been a pivotal component of her success. “It’s easy to manage inventory by 86’ing items or temporarily halt orders if needed,” she emphasized. “Plus, I appreciate the simplicity of tracking revenue for each brand through the dashboard.” 

Nextbite’s support was pivotal in making her first location a success and instilling confidence to embark on a second. “The training provided is excellent. My cooks watch the videos before every new brand launch, ensuring we’re prepared,” she remarked. “The marketing team ensures orders from day 1, and the responsive customer service is always responsive.” 

Whaley anticipates that her second location will also benefit from the diverse menu offerings available through Nextbite’s 15 brands, catering to an area with limited dining options and unmet delivery demand. “I had heard of a patty melt but hadn’t seen it offered in local restaurants,” she shared. “Yet, as soon as we added The Big Melt, orders surged because it tapped into an unmet need.”