How the Pandemic Reshaped Restaurants’ ECommerce Business

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Food is serious business. Now, on The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia will invite insiders on the front lines of food to share their expertise, strategies, and forecasts for navigating the ever-changing restaurant industry.

 

The pandemic has turned many industries upside down, including the restaurant sector. While farsighted restaurants had digital plans on their future roadmaps before COVID-19 struck, lockdown was a gamechanger. Square, which builds business tools to help sellers of all sizes start, grow, and run their operations, has been instrumental in helping restaurants make the necessary pivot to eCommerce solutions.

“The steady drumbeat of the restaurant industry was that they needed to adapt” – David Rusenko

Barbara Castiglia, Host of The Main Course, was joined by David Rusenko, Head of eCommerce for Square, to talk about the increasing importance of eCommerce in the restaurant world, in no small part due to the coronavirus. “In many ways, the pandemic brought us further into the future, faster,” said Rusenko. When San Francisco issued its first shelter in place mandate, Square was quick to help businesses pivot and rewrite their roadmaps. Rusenko said that within 48 hours, restaurants were able to offer curbside delivery, and within a week, delivery functionality.

Square instituted a full online platform that allows restaurants to have a direct channel to accept orders and transactions online, without paying commissions on the third-party marketplace. It also created a self-serve QR-ordering system that allows customers to split tabs, order their meals, and perhaps another cocktail, all from their phones. In short, these platforms ramped up restaurants’ overall efficiency while attracting customers, creating new experiences, and growing businesses. “The steady drumbeat of the restaurant industry was that they needed to adapt,” he said. “The industry was faced with a dire situation. We wanted to be there and support them as quickly as possible.”

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