Today in restaurant and grocery tech news, Kitchen United acquires ghost kitchen company Zuul, while consumers throw their support behind restaurant robotics. Plus, John Dillon, chief brand officer and executive vice president at Denny’s, speaks with PYMNTS about appealing to digital consumers across generational divides.
Restaurant owners want outside dining spaces, which were adopted in response to the pandemic, to become more of a permanent thing. That includes the various outdoor tents and sheds enacted to help keep business going without as much risk of catching COVID. CNBC writes that in July, San Francisco’s board of supervisors voted to make the dining parklets permanent, while Atlanta and Philadelphia are considering similar things.
Loyalty programs, long a mainstay of the restaurant industry, made major inroads as the pandemic’s economic consequences spurred consumers to be more careful about their spending habits. The industry still faces uncertain times, and both table-service operators and QSRs continue to rely on loyalty programs to grow brand awareness and reward customers for continued patronage.
Even with the massive shift to off-premise digital ordering that restaurants have seen in the last couple years, on-premise payments have remained more or less the same as they were in the twentieth century. Victor Lugger, co-founder and CEO of restaurant payment solution sunday, spoke with Karen Webster about how the company uses QR codes to eliminate friction in paying the check.
After years of proliferation, with new entrants to the space continually emerging to challenge the handful that was beginning to gain traction, the ghost kitchen space may be consolidating. On Monday (Oct. 4), ghost kitchen company Kitchen United announced it is acquiring Zuul, a food delivery and virtual kitchen solution.
Automated food preparation and production is no longer exclusively the purview of restaurant industry insiders and career venture capitalists.
For many major restaurant brands, digital excellence means winning over younger consumers. Denny’s takes a wider view of the digital consumer, as John Dillon, the restaurant’s chief brand officer, tells PYMNTS. Instead, the company is focused on creating digital tools that appeal to consumers of all ages.