Today in restaurant and grocery tech news, Wendy’s partners with Google Cloud for comprehensive digital solutions, and Stop & Shop teams up with Instacart for 30-minute fulfillment. Plus, Brian LeVee, VP of Product at BentoBox, speaks with PYMNTS about how restaurants’ digital shift has left their preordering businesses by the wayside.
The pandemic not only forced the closure of restaurants in March 2020 but also effectively shut down the use of cash. Eight percent of U.S. businesses went cashless at the pandemic’s onset amid initial concerns about its potential to spread the virus, and that number soared to 31% by the end of April. The cash ban leveled off at 20% by September 2020, but its impact on debit cards — the chief beneficiary of the retreat from paper money — was momentous.
To stand out in the rapidly digitizing quick-service restaurant (QSR) space, brands must go beyond simply providing web and mobile ordering tools. It’s a trend that was underscored in a Tuesday (Oct. 12) announcement of a new partnership between Wendy’s and Google Cloud that will bring a suite of data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and other capabilities aimed at taking the company’s digital game to the next level at its 7,000 locations.
As much as consumers now expect to have food brought to them at the drop of a hat, the pre-planned dining occasion, or catered event, remains relatively unchanged from pre-pandemic days. Brian LeVee, VP of Product at restaurant industry consultant BentoBox, tells PYMNTS how this digital neglect has forced restaurants to choose between paying steep fees to third-party marketplaces or alienating consumers with outdated tech.
Stop & Shop Joins Grocers Poaching C-Store Customers with Instacart’s 30-Minute Delivery
With the help of Instacart, grocers are looking to replace the traditional convenience store as consumers’ go-to when it comes to quickly purchasing everyday essentials. On Tuesday (Oct. 12), Ahold Delhaize subsidiary Stop & Shop, which operates more than 400 supermarkets throughout the northeastern United States, announced that it is partnering with Instacart to launch 30-minute convenience delivery under the name “Stop & Shop Express.”