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Stratis Morfogen, Founder & CEO, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, took to the stage at MURTEC to share how automation and other technologies have transformed the employee and guest experience.

The March 7 session kicked off with a 60-second video that demonstrates Morfogen’s concept, one that is driven by online ordering and self-service technologies including kiosks, a mobile app and heated pick-up lockers.

A Dumpling is Born

Morfogen has spent his career in the restaurant industry. In restaurant circles, he is best known for his work at the award-winning Brooklyn Chop House. The restaurant’s name plays on the double meaning of the word “chop” – from chop steak to chop sticks. Morfogen’s reimagining of the Brooklyn Chop House concept inspired the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop.

Back in 2018, Morfogen had come up with the idea – of marrying dumplings,  “a 2-ounce sandwich,” – with the automat concept of yesteryear.  Brooklyn Dumpling Shop features more than 30 unique dumpling varieties including Pastrami, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Matzo Ball Soup, Bacon Cheese Burger, Lamb Gyro, hilly Cheesesteak and more.

The result: a QSR with a contactless ordering system, either from the in-store kiosk or guest’s mobile phone. When a the order is ready, the customer will receive a text notification to pick up their delivery from a specially marked, temperature-controlled food locker, (ONDO powered by Panasonic) which will open automatically after the  guest scans his/her unique barcode.

It’s a concept that is perfect for today’s grab-and-go consumer that is seeking off-premises dining. A common misconception:  the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop concept was created because of COVID-19; it wasn’t created for safety reasons. It was created for economics:  seven out of 10 restaurants fail within three years, he stressed.  Morfogen knew he could bring down labor costs, from the industry average of 30%, with technology.

He shared that he has gotten a lot of flack for embracing technology; another misconception is that technology and automation is taking away jobs. Technology is making the concept viable, he said. His model has cut labor costs down to 18-22% of revenue. With three or four employees, each location can turn out up to 1,000 orders a day, Morfogen said.

Depending on the demographics of a location, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop locations feature a greeter that help first-timers navigate the ordering experience.

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop Offers a Zero Human Interaction Experience 

Be a Disruptor

Morfogen told the attendees that to Be a Disruptor, the title of his new book, you need to take risks, Morfogen explained. Restaurant authority and host of Bar Rescue Jon Taffer went on to echo a similar sentiment, that excuses are a recipe for failure in his rousing keynote address at MURTEC.

Additional MURTEC 22 coverage can be found here

Restaurant operators would be wise to speed up their tech adoption, Morfogen advised. Way back in 1996-1997, Morfogen helped take NYC’s famed Fulton Fish Market online.  For his visionary efforts, he was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.  Even back then, he received pushback for being on the leading edge of technology and online retailing, he shared.

Morfogen challenged attendees to take NFTs and the Metaverse seriously.  “Get on the Metaverse now,” he said.

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Since opening its first location in 2021, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop has sold franchises in 10 states and continues to close deals.

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