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Nabeel Alamgir - CEO and Co-Founder of Lunchbox

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About this episode

#48. In this week's episode, we explore the world of online ordering and restaurant revenue generation with our special guest, Nabeel Alamgir, the CEO and co-founder of Lunchbox,the enterprise restaurant technology company boosting customers like Papa Ginos, Chopt, Walk On's and more. Starting out at Bareburger as a busboy, Nabeel worked his way up to the position of CMO and then went on to build this restaurant tech company made by operators.Born in Bangladesh and raised in Kuwait before settling in Queens, Nabeel starts things off by sharing his insights on the incredible food scene in Queens and how it influenced his passion for the industry.But our conversation goes beyond culinary delights as we delve into the challenges and triumphs of being a CEO. Nabeel shares his strategies for managing stress, time, and health, offering valuable insights for leaders in any field. We explore his unique approach to time management, including a fascinating use of a label maker to organize daily tasks—a refreshing analog touch in a digital world.With Nabeel's expertise, we discuss the future of digital ordering and provide practical tips for restaurants to boost their online orders. Whether you're a foodie, an entrepreneur, or simply curious about the intersection of technology and dining, this episode offers a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

Where to find Nabeel Alamgir:

Where to find host Josh Sharkey:


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What We Cover

(05:55) Nabeel's journey growing up overseas and what led him to come to America

(10:49) The creation of Lunchbox

(18:34) How restaurants can find out if they are being discovered by customers

(22:38) Nabeel's biggest mistake as a CEO to date.

(27:01) The advantages and disadvantages of being a young founder

(32:11) What takes up most of Nabeel's time(41:33) Product teams and earning respect

(45:22) What makes Nabeel really really angry

(52:15) Being an avid learner as a CEO

(56:04) Putting priority on taking care of yourself first


[00:00:00] Josh Sharkey:

You're listening to season two of The meez Podcast. I'm your host, Josh Sharkey, the founder and CEO of meez, a culinary operating system for food professionals. On the show, we're going to talk to high performers in the food business, everything from chefs to CEOs, technologists, writers, investors, and more about how they innovate and operate and how they consistently execute at a high level.


Day after day. And I would really love it if you could drop us a five star review anywhere that you listen to your podcast. That could be Apple, that could be Spotify, could be Google. I'm not picky anywhere works, but I really appreciate the support. And as always, I hope you enjoy the show.


Hello, ladies and gentlemen, our guest today on the show is Nabeel Alamgir. Nabeel is the CEO and co-founder of a company called Lunchbox. Lunchbox specializes in online ordering and just generally helping restaurants generate a lot more revenue from their native. digital ordering. I met Nabeel at least five, six years ago before he started Lunchbox when he was still the chief marketing officer at Bareburger when he was talking about building a company like this.


I think he was on a panel at this tech conference and we had just sort of connected and it was really awesome to see, literally fast forward a few months later and He launched this product. Nabeel was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Kuwait until he was about 15 and then moved over to Queens. So he is a Queens boy by heart, for sure.


We definitely talk a little bit about why the food in Queens is so good. But really, we spend most of the time just chatting about trials and tribulations of, you know, being a CEO. of a company and how we manage stress, how we manage our time and how we manage our health and things like that. Nabeel and I catch up every, maybe twice a year.


So it had been a while since we had last talked. So it's always nice to hear how things are going. Things are going very well for him and he's come a long way as a leader and he had some really interesting sort of Insights into how he's been growing the company as he's grown as a leader some of the frameworks that he uses for managing time one of the really interesting things I saw which was I think it's a kid's toy this like little I mean, it looks like a toy, but it was so interesting.


It had a label maker that he clearly used to label the things that he wants to remember to do in a day. He was like clicking them off. Very cool. Because it's so analog in such a digital world that he's in. So, you know, we swapped some sort of tips and tricks of how we each manage our time. And he talks about kind of the future of digital ordering, gives some tips for restaurants on how to increase.


Digital orders in your restaurant? And of course, a bunch more. So I loved catching up with him. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did. And if you did, please, as I think I've mentioned a couple of times, I would love it if you would give us a five star and you know what? I'm usually not picky, but how about this time?


Just throw it into Apple iTunes if you can enjoy the show.

Thanks for coming on the show. I appreciate it. Thank you for having me. Yeah, I don't remember when we last caught up, but

[00:03:15] Nabeel Alamgir:

We do, like twice a year.

[00:03:20] Josh Sharkey:

Yeah, I tell everybody that I know that comes on, like, this is just an excuse for me to get to talk to people that I, you know, love and respect, and I don't have to, you know, I actually get to schedule the call, so I know it's going to happen, and people just get to, you know, be along for the ride, so

[00:03:38] Nabeel Alamgir:

Well,the admiration is mutual, and we build our companies at the same time, so it's been awesome watching you do your thing.

[00:03:45] Josh Sharkey:

Well, I'm going to start there because I remember very vividly when you started building Lunchbox, you were still at Bareburger. I think you were still at Bareburger, but you were definitely like pushing Lunchbox. I was it. I was, you know, the COO at Aurify at the time. And I remember so well, like talking to the team, like, guys, like this product that he built, this is insane.


Like we, we had been talking for a year about how to build an app to sell a product online. And as you know, like I, it was a huge uphill battle to get everyone sort of bought in. And I think the biggest reason was like, Now, this can't be true. It can't be that this thing just works the way that it does and it's going to work so quickly.


Turns out it actually does. But, you know, it was, early on, it was like, I don't know, this seems like it's not going to work. But, you know, you push through and I'm sure you had a million no's before you got to not just yes, in terms of investors, you know, customers. And that's what I love most about just seeing your journey, Nabeel, is people see, you know, there's so much success with Lunchbox and you know, how much, you know, you guys have grown and how well you, you know, have built a product and tell a story and you've raised millions of dollars, but I know, and you know, that there was a bunch of heartache and pain and probably crying or at least misery.

[00:05:05] Nabeel Alamgir:

So many.How many breakdowns are you having a year right now? I'm having four a year.

[00:05:09] Josh Sharkey:

Oh, I have way more than that. I have two kids though, so it's more. More weekly, but you know, I think these are really helpful. I don't know about you. And actually, I do know about you.

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