The Lineup: Prominent senator backs $120 billion for restaurant relief, Uber Eats is rolling + more

The Lineup: Prominent senator backs $120 billion for restaurant relief, Uber Eats is rolling + more

August 20, 2020, 09:30 PM UTC

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 tips@backofhouse.io.


Industry Angles

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

  • Food still safe, sez science: Amidst the endless barrage of bad news, here's a welcome bright-ish spot—medical authorities up to and including the World Health Organization reiterated their earlier findings that COVID-19 is not really transmitted via food, even if trace amounts of the virus can survive on frozen food packaging.
  • $120 billion for restaurants, sez US Senator: U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday that he'd throw his considerable clout behind the Restaurant Act, which would tap Treasury dollars to distribute to American restaurants reeling from the pandemic.
  • More dining-out data: Another dataset from another restaurant market-analysis firm dropped this week, confirming what a lot of us probably figured to be true—diners definitely want to eat out, but not if it feels unsafe to do so.

Tech Talk

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

  • Uber Eats, rolling: The ride-hailing app's good news from this week had to do with its delivery arm, which in the coronavirus pandemic has handily overtaken the core business as the San Francisco company's main driver (puns!) Uber's bad news from this week? That would be about... well, its drivers, who a California superior court judge ruled must be classified as employees rather than independent contractors.
  • No reservations...: for the board at OpenTable, which last week announced Debby Soo (formerly of sister brand Kayak.com) as its new CEO. Soo's introduction included a commitment to the platform's special pandemic pricing program, Open Door. Congrats to you, CEO Soo.
  • Stock bump, delivered: Just Eat Takeaway, the Netherlands-based online ordering behemoth, is in the process of acquiring homegrown online-ordering behemoth Grub Hub for $7.3 billion. As the former conglomerate reported banner first-half revenues last week, the latter company's stock surged apace. Well, isn't that nice?

Staples & sundries

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

  • Socially distanced social media: There's no time like the present to evaluate and optimize your restaurant's social media approach. Here are six tools that will make your marketing more efficient and effective—a crucial component to any coronavirus strategy.
  • Rethink to reopen: Whether you're reopening your restaurant's patio or pivoting to packaged goods, these restaurant technologies can help you do it better and safer.
  • Virtual experiences, explained: Can your restaurant deliver on what customers love about it without actually having those customers physically present? It's possible! Here's how to run successful virtual cooking classes, tastings, and more