Powerful Digital Presences Are Transforming Foodservice and Hospitality

January 12, 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.


Restaurants have always had one primary goal: providing the optimal dining experience that will keep tables filled from open to close. But, as the coronavirus forced restrictions on these establishments, many were compelled to shift their services to drive-thru, delivery and/or curbside operations, meaning an online presence was necessary if they wanted to keep on cooking.

However, according to a 2019 MGH survey—prior to the pandemic—77% of people routinely checked restaurant menus and/or reviews online before they dined in or ordered takeout or delivery, with 68% responding that they were discouraged from visiting a restaurant if unable to find the information they wanted beforehand.

After all, there are usually plenty of other dining options to consider. There’s no doubt that a tech-savvy approach toward marketing a venue can make a world of difference—particularly for those who haven’t been in business for long or struggling to keep their tables full—and especially during uncertain times like we’ve seen in 2020. So, what’s the answer? BentoBox!

What is BentoBox, you ask? Offering restaurants and hospitality a mobile-first online presence with an operations platform built-in to automate tasks such as updating menus and social media, promoting private events, sharing press, selling gift cards and more, BentoBox is proven to drive measurable gains in reservations, revenue and brand recognition for hospitality venues everywhere.

And, on this episode of MarketScale’s The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia sat down with BentoBox Co-Founder and CEO Krystle Mobayeni to discuss how BentoBox works, its client base and partnership with US Foods, the importance of a mobile-first approach to restaurant website design, how COVID has impacted both the industry and BentoBox’s business, and much, much more.

“As technology has become more important in the dining out experience—definitely over the past decade, very much so over the past year—restaurants were having to use these different third parties (marketplaces) for the technology, and that was taking away the relationship they had with their guests. These horizontal platforms,” Mobayeni explained, “really fell short of giving restaurants exactly what they needed online—the tools that are very specific to what restaurants want to communicate, whether it’s about events or menus or just updating images or promotions. And so it was really a no-brainer for us to build a platform that addressed this directly for restaurants, and then, within that, give them the tools to be able to take control, be able to make updates easily on their website, and then actually be able to treat it as a digital storefront rather than just a brochure.”

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