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Open a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic? Why Not, says NotCo

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – “Why not?” is Chilean foodtech, NotCo’s motto. So it’s not really surprising that the startup plans to open a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic.

As of today (15), NotCo’s restaurant appropriately named “Why Not” will prepare meals for delivery through iFood in the São Paulo neighborhood of Perdizes. 

Lucky consumers in the area will be able to choose from a menu made up of the startup’s AI-crafted, animal-free NotBurgers. Eventually, the startup intends to open in more locations.

Moreover, depending on how events in relation to social isolation and Covid pan out, the restaurant may open physical doors to diners.

NotWhat you expected?

It would seem counterintuitive to open a restaurant amidst a pandemic, doesn’t it? But interestingly enough, it turns out the idea actually emerged during the contingency as a way to get its Not Meat to market.

“We want people to fully experience our product and we thought of doing this through a virtual restaurant,” says Luiz Augusto Silva, Country Manager of NotCo in Brazil.

“Before the pandemic, we thought of just operating as a supplier for restaurants. But that plan became unviable when these places closed. We started to think about how to proceed and that’s when the ‘Why Not’ idea came up.”

Why not indeed.

Meet ‘Not Meat’, says NotCo

The Chilean startup has been steadily rolling out its Not Meat product throughout 2020, mainly through strategic partnerships.

In February of this year, it announced an alliance with Papa John’s to offer vegan pizzas in Chile. It then went on to launch its Rebel Whopper alongside Burger King. 

It would appear NotCo planned a similar approach with Not Meat in Brazil where it already launched its other line of products like Not Mayo, Not Ice Cream, and Not Milk. However, it adjusted its road map with Not Meat as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Certainly opening a delivery restaurant is an unusual outcome.

But considering the startup’s unorthodox AI-based approach to making plant-based products, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Chile!


Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.


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