Is Business Dining Ready for a Resurgence?

April 1, 2021
Barbara Castiglia

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.


Is business dining making a comeback after being hit hard by the pandemic? Industry expert and Dinova CEO Alison Galik joined The Main Course to discuss the topic. Dinova is a preferred dining program provider that connects restaurants and companies.

“We had to focus on safety regulations and invested in adapting technology to share with restaurants and businesses accurate information” – Alison Galik

Galik joined the company three years ago after a career in corporate travel procurement and technology. Pre-pandemic business dining was booming. “It was the third largest expense category for companies, and average checks for it were 49 to 200 percent more than consumers,” she said.

Once the pandemic hit, the company shifted gears somewhat. “Our goal is to direct business dining spend to network restaurants. That didn’t change, but some of our messaging did. We had to focus on safety regulations and invested in adapting technology to share with restaurants and businesses accurate information,” Galik added.

They also shifted promotions from event space to encouraging companies to throw virtual celebrations, meal pickup, and gift cards. Now, their focus is on the vaccine and what that means for reopening. Galik noted the most crucial part for restaurants is safety. “Business diners must be safe.”

In addition to new messaging on promotions, safety, and regulations, Dinova is spreading ideas around opportunity. There’s new tax legislation that allows for 100 percent of business meals to be deducted, which they are communicating to their network.

Galik also sees an ample opportunity for fine dining. “They could become a preferred meeting space to support business connections for those corporations that stay closed or will limit visitors long-term.”

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