Saturday, October 10, 2020

Outside the Box Partnerships Can Drive Foodservice Growth


Looking outside of the box for success clues is one thing that Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® does best. Restaurants, Delis, Bodega’s, Virtual Restaurants are currently all fighting for a larger share of stomach on the fastest expanding point of foodservice distribution online ordering.

At the intersection ‘public’ and private partnerships we can find a new opportunity as the city of Los Angeles is working with an ordering technology company to help restaurants boost their digital capabilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday announced the partnership with Ritual, a food ordering platform. Restaurants that sign up will get its Ritual ONE product free of charge through the end of the year, with no setup, subscription or processing fees. 

So, PayPal is also providing $1 million in customer discounts as part of the initiative, called Open for Business. Here is our point.  Start looking for new revenue, new business models, and new out of the box partnerships too drive incremental growth.  Others are trying to hep you.  Step up and help yourself.

In a Battle for Share of Stomach

Are you Gaining Share

Garcetti said in a statement that “Small businesses and restaurants are the backbone of our economy, and it’s our job to help them navigate the treacherous waters of COVID-19, stay afloat, and ultimately steer us toward a lasting recovery,”

Consider that Ritual ONE allows restaurants to offer online ordering through their website for dine-in, delivery or pickup with no commission. It also offers QR code ordering and loyalty programs. A regular subscription costs $49 per month per location, according to Ritual’s website.

Gen Z and Millennials are digital natives and digital channels have become more important than ever during the pandemic as dine-in business has been cut off or limited and more consumers stay close to home. In Los Angeles, indoor dining remains closed, meaning restaurants are relying on outdoor dining, takeout and delivery only. 

Ritual CEO Ray Reddy stated “It's important to Ritual to help Los Angeles businesses stay up and running while keeping everyone safe during this time,” … “We believe local businesses are what make our communities thrive, and we are here to support them as we work with Mayor Garcetti, the City of Los Angeles, and PayPal to help kick start the Los Angeles economy again.”

Restaurants can sign up now for the program and opt out at any-time with no penalty. The PayPal incentives will go into effect Nov. 2.  If you have a restaurant in LA Johnson believes you should try this new program.

The Toronto-based Ritual works with thousands of restaurants across the U.S., a spokesperson said. This is the first time the company has partnered with a city. Last week, the City of Chicago announced a similar partnership with ordering and reservations platform Tock. Through that program, restaurants and bars in areas of Chicago that are below 60% of the area median income can get Tock free for six months. 

Dining rooms are open in Chicago, though capacity is capped at 40%. Restaurants are racing to come up with ideas to continue outdoor dining as cold weather looms.  Chicago-based Tock allows restaurants to manage reservations and takeout and delivery orders. It will also allow restaurants to record customer information in case it’s needed for contact tracing purposes. The company was co-founded by restaurateur Nick Kokonas, co-owner of Alinea Restaurant Group. Have you contacted your City’s leadership to see how they can help you?  Do you need help with that? 

Tock co-founder and CTO Brian Fitzpatrcik stated “For many restaurants and bars, especially those in historically disinvested areas, technology can make all the difference,” … “Access to reservation systems during this critical time will help businesses keep pace while ensuring that they comply with regulations to keep their employees and patrons safe.” Don’t sit back and go out of business. Look for a new path forward.

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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