Kirk Mauriello loves the restaurant industry, from the inventiveness of restaurant entrepreneurs to getting communities excited about amazing, convenient food. That’s why he’s on a mission to help independent restaurant owners make the most of their kitchens. It all started in 2020 with a simple premise: “We bring multiple virtual restaurant brands with unique culinary options to customers within delivery distance of your restaurant. We then pay you to fulfill the orders."
Profit Cookers is a virtual restaurant brand company developing culinary branding and licensing the making of their menu items to independent, locally owned restaurants. Marketed on third-party delivery services like DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats customers can select from over 25 brands, and local restaurants fulfill the orders in their own kitchens, increasing their restaurant profit, while continuing to build their own restaurant brand. Today, Profit Cookers has 100+ clients across 17 states. Their growing portfolio of add-on virtual brands includes The Best Breakfast Company, High Burgers, Hell’s Chicken Kitchen, Grandma’s Pasta Co., and more. On average, restaurants add between $30,000 and $300,000 in additional profit fulfilling Profit Cooker orders annually. “We keep it simple; the only thing restaurants have to do is cook and hand the food to the driver,” Kirk explains.
For Profit Cookers, “virtual” never means impersonal. Kirk and his team work closely with restaurant owners to match their brands with each restaurant’s existing ingredients, kitchens operation, and focuses. He draws on a decade of experience as the COO of Aurelio’s Pizza Franchise and Honey Jam Cafe to help independent restaurant owners manage pricing and reach new, sometimes unexpected customers. “While at Aurelio’s, I loved working with the franchisees and helping them become more profitable because I knew that it was giving them a better life. With Profit Cookers I am able to do more, helping all restauranteurs out there,” Kirk shares. He’s delivering on his mission with a model that’s built with this goal in mind. With zero cost to join and direct weekly payments to restaurant owners, Profit Cookers’ restaurant partners are enjoying a guaranteed 30%+ profitability on all orders fulfilled by their kitchens.
“We made it simple for them, and we’re with them every step of the way. If they have a question or a problem, we have a text in system (for the staff and owners) that we are able identify and resolve any issue quickly,” Kirk explains. “They don’t have to worry about marketing, and they make the lion’s share of the profit because they do the lion’s share of the work. They just do what they do best—make great food.”
We spoke with Kirk to learn more about how he’s helping local restaurants across the country thrive in ways they’ve never imagined.
Let’s dive right in, Kirk. For restaurant owners out there who are eager to participate, how does Profit Cookers work? How can they benefit?
We offer a turnkey program to restaurants to increase profits utilizing their kitchen assets. We provide the recipes, guides, marketing, planning, development, and third-party delivery relationships to drive orders to each partner. They make great food. We handle the rest!
You also handle the online order and delivery process for them, correct?
Yes. Profit Cookers manages the brands, third-party platforms, marketing, payment collection, and provides single-tablet technology to ensure orders are received and print directly to the restaurants’ kitchens so they can timely make the food and hand it off to the delivery service.
Do they have to increase their staff or kitchens to accommodate these menu items or increased customer volume?
The restaurant partner can easily fulfill Profit Cookers brands' orders without any additional labor. We customize our proprietary system for each partner to work within their kitchen workflow. We also semi-customize our brand menus so they don’t need to bring in items that could possibly go to waste.
Can you share a memorable experience with a restaurant owner you helped?
I have a few! One of our first restaurant partners was hesitant as the virtual restaurant business was so new. I spent a few weeks talking with them and they decided to try it out. Today, that restaurant brings in an additional $20,000 a week in sales at 35% gross profit to their bottom line. The business is very consistent and has been running this way for over two years now.
Another restaurant partner had something even more interesting happen. They brought our brands in and started fulfilling orders. Then something unexpected happened. With hundreds of drivers picking up orders at their location, they started seeing an uptick in weekend foot traffic. Their location wasn't the most visible, but their dine-in business almost doubled through word of mouth. We asked our other partners, and all of them said they’ve seen higher foot traffic since they started with Profit Cookers.
What do you enjoy most about your work, Kirk?
I love the restaurant business. Getting to work with such a great group of people is a privilege. Showing owners how they can improve profits by utilizing assets they’ve put their heart and soul into is very rewarding. I’m driven to bring this business model to as many restaurant owners as possible. Being able to assist in their success and knowing that improved profitability directly impacts these owners and their families is truly a blessing.
CEO & Founder — Profit Cookers