From fine dining drive-thrus to delivery app lawsuits

From fine dining drive-thrus to delivery app lawsuits

September 29, 2020, 09:38 PM UTC

A version of this article appeared in Eat.news, a free weekly newsletter from Back of House with news, resources, and more curated by our team. It goes out to thousands of restaurant operators each Tuesday morning. Subscribe today to get our coverage of the restaurant technology space directly to your inbox!

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The Industry Appetizer

A quick snack on some headlines that caught our editors' eyes this week.

  • Florida gov gives restaurants greenlight: Restrictions on dining capacities are a thing of the past in the Sunshine State as of late last week when Governor Ron DeSantis lifted them with a surprise executive order. (Following Indiana, it should be said.) Not in Miami, though—capacity limits are still somewhat in place in the state's most populous city care of its municipal policymakers. (Orlando Sentinel / FSR Magazine / Eater)
  • NYC's new streetscape addition: The mayor of America's biggest city confirmed last week that most of the outdoor dining space it added in response to the pandemic will become permanent. It's a big deal in the tightly packed, parking-starved Big Apple, and may inspire other large cities to yield street space to restaurants going forward. How very European! (Eater)
  • Fine dining... drive-thru?: Fine dining drive-thru! The reservation platform Resy, with backing from parent American Express, is launching a classed-up, car-centric concept in Los Angeles in mid-October, available to certain cardholders. The event, which Fast Company loftily hypothesized might be "the future of fine dining," will include dedicated servers for each car and a 10-course meal from 10 LA chefs, and reflects the broader, pandemic-induced trend of in-car service. (Restaurant Dive / Fast Company)

Tech Talk

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

  • DoorDash accused...: ...of steering orders away from restaurants that haven't paid to be its partners on the platform. A new lawsuit claims the delivery behemoth uses non-partner restaurants as a way to make it appear to customers like it has lots of options, only to route orders to businesses that pay its fees. (DoorDash, for what it's worth, says "at no time" was it doing this; it says it's a tech issue that has been resolved.) The news comes shortly after federal lawmakers asked the FTC to investigate third-party delivery platforms like Doordash. Bad timing. (Restaurant Business / NRN / Restaurant Dive)
  • Slice of the pie: The pizza-ordering platform Slice saw sales volumes for its core segment (14,000 independent pizzerias across the U.S.) double in Q2 2020. Now it's trying to expand its foothold in the highly fragmented QSR pizza market with an incubator program designed to upgrade 1-3 mom & pop shops with marketing, tech, and services worth $15,000. That's a lot of dough! (HNGRY)
  • Crunching numbers: Crunchbase News took a look at how start-up tech firms are poised to help restaurants survive—and maybe even thrive?—in a COVID-19 world, and what that means from a financial perspective. The outlet tracked 49 deals worth around $800 million in 2020 to date, which is down from last 2019's figures, but more or less in line with other years dating back to 2015. Huh. (Crunchbase News)

Pantry Staples

Resources for restaurant operators, created and curated by our team.

  • Posting in the pandemic: Instagram is a vital communication tool for restaurant owners looking to reassure customers, promote new offerings and service models, and build community amidst... well, you know. We broke down how restaurants across the U.S. are using the social media platform to effectively message about the virus. (Back of House)
  • Get ex-site-ed: Eesh, that was bad. But you know what's not bad? These slick websites from restaurants around the world. We looked at some exemplary web presences to highlight features that might make sense to include in your next dot-com refresh. (Back of House)
  • The positive-test playbook: Our friends at Trust20 have a rundown of the steps and considerations every restaurant operator should have top-of-mind should one of their staffers test positive for COVID-19. It's not fun to think about, but it is important. (Trust20)

[Photo: Dan Burton via Unsplash]