Five years ago, two restaurant industry veterans met over lunch and by the end of their meal had envisioned a completely revolutionary concept called STACKED: Food Well Built. Unlike any other concept then or today, STACKED offers a fully customizable, personalized and full-service dining experience enabled by pioneering technology that heightens the guest experience by putting them in complete control of their meal. Now five years and 3 million customized meals later, STACKED announces plans to expand beyond its five, high-volume locations in Southern California into new markets in and outside California.
STACKED is the brainchild of Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy, the former co-CEOS of BJ’s Restaurants, who built that concept into a national chain. The duo wanted to create a contemporary dining concept that would let guests build a variety of America’s favorite foods in unlimited variations. Yet it wasn’t until the arrival of the iPad in 2010 that their vision became reality. In lieu of massive menu boards or unwieldy printed menus, they developed proprietary technology that let guests simply swipe left or right on tabletop iPads to choose among scores of ingredients to build their perfect meals. And guests have responded in millions of ways, having built 1,764,323 burgers, 658,673 salads, 305,815 pizzas and 352,825 Mac ‘n’ Cheese dishes since the first STACKED opened in Torrance, Calif., in 2011. Today, STACKED also has locations in Thousand Oaks, Cerritos, Huntington Beach, and San Diego.
“We have taken the time necessary to refine the STACKED experience, we believe that it is the ideal time to expand,” said Motenko. “We see no reason why STACKED won’t grow nationally based on the amazing response from our guests these past five years. We’ve identified several locations in other dynamic restaurant markets and look forward to introducing STACKED to even more consumers, who crave a truly personalized dining experience built around America’s most popular foods and friendly hospitality.”
STACKED’s innovative ordering approach allows guests to build literally millions of combinations of menu items to individual perfection in a comfortable and uninhibited way. For example, to build a burger at STACKED, guests choose from Angus beef, turkey, salmon or vegetarian burger patties. To “STACK” their burger, they select from five different buns, and numerous cheeses, toppings and sauces that range from roasted shallot mayo and chipotle mayo to caramelized onions and jalapeno bacon. Or if guests prefer not to build their own burger, they can select one of STACKED’s inventive Signature burgers, such as the popular “Wake Up Call,” which features a fried egg, Swiss cheese, bacon and roasted red pepper aioli topped with freshly made potato chips on a pretzel bun.
STACKED also offers several, creative Signature items in each menu category, and plenty of kid-friendly dishes, all of which can also be customized. And guests with dietary preferences, such as vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free, have the ability to build their meals just as they prefer. Guests who want to count calories can do so via the optional calorie counter that lists calories as ingredients are added or removed.
While STACKED’s innovative technology is the foundation for a completely customizable dining experience, it does not replace full-service attention by STACKED’s friendly servers, who can manage the ordering process for guests in a more traditional way.
“Of utmost importance to us from day one was that the technology behind STACKED’s success would not replace service or hospitality,” said Motenko. “In fact, we believe that we’ve enhanced the human element by providing a truly personal dining experience that could not have happened without the technology.”
STACKED: Food Well Built is a full-service restaurant serving premium-quality, inventive and flavorful American favorites, where iPad technology serves as a platform for customization of incredible appetizers, burgers, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, mac ‘n’ cheese, shakes and desserts. Guests become culinary architects, building their meals exactly the way they want choosing from dozens of fresh ingredients and flavorful house-made sauces. Besides facilitating customization, the innovative ordering approach also lets guests control when they order and pay. And, it gives STACKED team members more time to deliver a greater level of hospitality than in a traditional, full-service restaurant. STACKED also offers a full-bar, replete with multiple, flat screen TVs, and stocked with rotating craft beers, premium wine selections, and top shelf liquor for inventive cocktails.
STACKED: Food Well Built was founded in 2011 by the former co-CEO’s of BJ’s Restaurants, Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy, who developed that brand into a national chain. STACKED has restaurants in Huntington Beach, Torrance, Cerritos, Thousand Oaks and San Diego, with more locations coming soon. STACKED recently moved its headquarters to Huntington Beach. For more information about STACKED or employment opportunities, visit stacked.com, facebook.com/stackedrestaurants, twitter.com/foodwellbuilt, or instagram.com/foodwellbuilt.