August Restaurant Industry News Roundup
With summer winding down and the weather slowly cooling off, there is much to discuss. As we enter another chapter of the pandemic, there’s no shortage of imaginative innovation from around the restaurant industry. Considering how quickly things have changed in a month, we’re not sure what the last few months of 2021 will have in store. Still, our August Restaurant Industry News Roundup covers plenty of ground, from pop-ups to vaccine passports and beyond. Won’t you join us?
Pop-up Restaurants Keep Popping Up
Beginning as a temporary fix to mitigate revenue lost to pandemic lockdowns, pop-up restaurants might end up as a long-term solution. With consumers opting for takeout and delivery due to the delta variant, pop-ups have resumed their position as a safe and socially distanced alternative. Due to their low overhead and staffing needs, pop-up restaurants are affordable operations for chefs. Pop-ups help chefs continue earning revenue during the pandemic and build hype for the existing restaurants that are behind them.
So what’s next for the pop-up segment? The restaurant industry is still down 1 million jobs, but economists are revising their expectations for continued economic growth as fewer people are dining out. According to restaurateur William Eick, “most people worried about getting involved in restaurants during the pandemic. So, we had to get creative. I thought, if we can run a pop-up, we can put the proceeds and profits into building the restaurant.”
OpenTable Adds New ‘Verified’ Tag for Restaurants To Confirm Proof of Vaccination
Some cities across the United States are implementing vaccine requirements for entry to indoor spaces. OpenTable has a new feature allowing restaurants to identify diners as “verified for entry.” This feature confirms to restaurant staff that a diner has met entry requirements, while also verifying that diner’s age and other safety-related data. When diners enter a restaurant, restaurants can tag their OpenTable profile as “verified for entry.” From that point of verification, diners will be able to enter the restaurant or any restaurant in the entire group. Per a public statement, “staff won’t have to repeatedly check requirements of their regulars—especially ideal as repeat diner visits are up 28 percent compared to last year.” Later this month, the “verified” tool will become available to all OpenTable restaurant users.
Dinner Done by DoorDash?
DoorDash is expanding its business outside of delivery. The company is creating a platform that assists restaurants with their expansion efforts. As illustrated through its experimental San Jose pop-up ghost kitchen, restaurants provide their brand concepts and recipes and DoorDash takes care of ingredients, food preparation, order management, and getting the order to the customers. This combined model may be a viable solution for smaller businesses that have expansion goals, especially as restaurants are trying to push past the effects of the pandemic.
Akash Kapoor, CEO of Curry Up Now, compares DoorDash’s latest initiative to franchising. As a partner in the burgeoning enterprise between DoorDash and other restaurants, Kapoor sees the arrangement as a natural fit. How has delivery fared in recent quarters?
Oreo Cookie Shake Social Media Comeback
Who says social media cannot help revive long-lost menu favorites? Due to a viral song’s shoutout, we all get a tasty treat. Inspired by Walker Hayes’s song “Fancy Like,” Applebee’s has brought back the Oreo Cookie Shake, if only for a limited time. With restaurants cutting menu items due to declining sales, it’s nice to have something return. For Hayes, the shake “was one of my favorites back in the day and the power of the song brought it out of retirement.” His song went viral on TikTok and Applebee’s wanted to take advantage of the buzz. There’s even a TikTok video of employees dancing to the song! I mean, have you ever heard the song in Applebee’s latest ad?
August Restaurant Industry News Roundup Conclusion
As the restaurant industry perseveres through unique innovations, there is no shortage of industry news items every month. As the global health crisis continues to evolve, restaurants need to consider a variety of topics from cloud technology to enhanced data security. Did we miss anything interesting in our August Restaurant Industry News Roundup? Let us know in the comments below!
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About the Author
Devyn Nance is the Marketing Coordinator at QSR Automations. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and from Loyola University Chicago with a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication. She considers herself an (amateur) profiler – trained solely from watching every episode of Criminal Minds. Outside of work, Devyn loves to shop, travel, hang out with friends and family, read, and watch shows on various streaming platforms.