Delivery app rollout "bungled," a "blank-check" restaurant acquisition approach + more

Welcome to BOH Lineup, a new column where we deliver quick hits of context and commentary about the week's biggest headlines about the wide, wild world of restaurant technology. Tips? Send 'em to

Industry Angles

Snack on some headlines that caught our editors' eyes this week.

  • Beards a no-go: The industry's prestigious James Beard Foundation announced it would not announce the remaining winners from its 2020 award class, and wouldn't hold the awards at all in 2021. Whoa.

  • FAST restaurant acquisitions with "blank-check" strategy: Executives formerly of name-brand chains like &Pizza and Ruby Tuesday have banded together to raise around $200 million to buy up restaurants and real-estate assets disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. NRN dubbed the project, FAST Acquisitions, a "blank-check company." This may not be so well-received amongst struggling independent operators and their fans, or cities wary of homogeneous Main Street makeovers, or... well, probably amongst some other folks. We shall see!

Tech Talk

The restaurant software, hardware, and solutions stories we've been chewing on lately.

  • One more FAST note: Allison Page, co-founder of reservation platform SevenRooms, was named in the Securities and Exchange filing for the acquisition company. Huh.

  • NYC operators ding DoorDash...: ...for its "bungled" takeover of Caviar, the boutique courier outfit that the the delivery behemoth acquired from payment platform Square in 2019. Big Apple restaurateurs claim they've lost precious revenue during the pandemic due to operational pains like missing orders and inaccurate delivery zones.

  • CEOpenTable: Here's a deep-dive on Debby Soo, who is taking over chief-exec duties at the venerable reservation platform (which we highlighted in last week's Lineup, remember?!)

Staples & sundries

Resources for restaurant operators, created and curated by the Back of House team.

  • Off-premise, optimized: Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic doesn't appear to be going anywhere fast, and off-premise sales—already a pre-COVID-19 growth area—are likely to remain a vital revenue source for the foreseable future. Does your restaurant have the systems in place to tap into the to-go opportunity?

  • What makes a good restaurant website?: Ah, so glad you asked. With over 80% of diners looking up restaurants online before deciding where to eat (or order takeout from, as it were), your business' web presence needs to be top-notch. Take inspiration from some of the best restaurant websites out there.