86 Repairs, a Restaurant Startup, Raises $2 Million

By Bruce Harpham Friday, April 2, 2021

Keeping a restaurant running smoothly is challenging, especially during a pandemic. 86 Repairs, a startup company based in Chicago, is aiming to help restaurants stay operational. The business has raised $2 million in seed funding from investors in March and plans to provide better data insights to the foodservice industry. 86 Repairs has 24 employees, according to LinkedIn.

A chef preparing a meal in a restaurant kitchen.

86 Repairs Serves Over 700 Restaurants

From its founding in 2018, the startup company has quickly grown. The business now serves more than seven hundred restaurant locations. Business owners use the platform to detect the need for preventative maintenance and arrange equipment repairs. Last year, the company achieved 93% growth. Additionally, 86 Repairs estimates it has generated more than $1.7 million in savings for its business customers.

How Preventive Maintenance Works

The focused restaurant startup focuses on a subset of restaurant equipment for preventative maintenance. Today, 86 Repairs helps restaurant business users determine when to maintain equipment valued at over $250. The startup helps a restaurant business save money by quickly identifying three repair quotes and managing ongoing repairs.

Key Investors in the Company

The startup is set to grow thanks to the support of several investors. TDF Ventures, Network Ventures, and Invest Detroit Ventures have all invested in the company.

"We see big potential for this data-focused approach, especially as we enter a new phase for restaurants in a post-pandemic world," said Will Rayner, principal at TDF Ventures, in a press release. TDF Ventures is an early-stage investor with more than $150 million of capital to invest in services, software, and infrastructure companies.

Invest Detroit Ventures is a venture capital investor focused on early-stage (i.e., pre-seed to Series A) startups in Michigan. The investors have achieved over fourteen exits, such as Llamasoft (a B2B artificial intelligence analytics company acquired by Coupa in 2020) and iRule (a startup app company acquired by Kramer Electronics in late 2016).

A $19 Billion Market

According to the National Restaurant Association, there are approximately over one hundred thousand restaurants in the United States (US). Each business could be a potential customer for 86 Repairs. The startup estimates that a restaurant typically spends 3% of revenue on repair expenses. That means that the restaurant repair industry could be worth more than $19 billion (i.e., 3% of the $659 billion spent in restaurants in the US in 2020).

The High Cost of Restaurant Repairs

The startup business has surveyed over two hundred restaurant business owners to understand how the industry manages repairs. The survey found that quick-service restaurants typically spend $9,360 on equipment repair per year ($520 per service incident). The annual costs are even higher in the full-service restaurant segment: $13,161 in annual repair costs.

The direct financial cost of restaurant repairs is not the whole story. The report also found that it typically takes seven to nine touch points with a service provider to get equipment fixed. Furthermore, the survey also found it takes three days for orders to be ordered, delivered, and replaced. If such delays hit a restaurant on a Thursday or Friday, the business could lose much of its critical weekend revenue.

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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