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Tech roundup: Dine-in and takeout aren't eating each other

Recent weeks have provided more evidence that the two channels can coexist. Also, Slice adds new tools for pizzerias and Resy ups its perks for some Amex users.
Takeout transaction
Photograph: Shutterstock

Welcome to RB’s weekly roundup of the latest in restaurant technology. To get this and other tech news sent right to your inbox every Wednesday, click here.

Darden Restaurants' CEO Gene Lee made an admission last week that likely caught the attention of anyone who has been monitoring the tug-of-war between dine-in and to-go.

Off-premise business for the casual-dining giant, Lee told analysts, is "stickier than what we thought.” 

That's notable because Lee has long predicted that takeout would fall off as Olive Garden and its fellow Darden brands began expanding their seating capacity. Instead, the company's off-premise business has dipped only slightly, as my colleague Peter Romeo reported. More importantly, it doesn't appear to be cannibalizing dine-in traffic.

It's the latest bit of evidence suggesting that dine-in and takeout can coexist in a post-pandemic world. A recent Yelp report found that on-site dining activity was approaching 2019 levels through May, even as interest in delivery remained significantly elevated. And a DoorDash survey of more than 1,500 consumers in April found that 29% had dined in a restaurant two or three times in the past month, compared to 31% who had ordered delivery and 38% who had ordered pickup at that frequency. Those are strong numbers for off-premise and not a bad showing for dine-in, considering that many restaurants were more limited in March/April than they are now.

All of these data points come with a caveat: They are snapshots of things that have already happened, in an environment that is swiftly changing. But as the pandemic fades further into the rearview in the U.S., takeout and dine-in appear to be rolling right along together.

Some American Express members are getting new perks through Resy. The credit-card company and the reservation platform are launching a program called Global Dining Access by Resy for premium Amex customers. It will give users of Platinum and other premier cards "special access" to Resy's restaurant network, including notifications when a table is available, exclusive reservations and a VIP badge on their Resy profile.

American Express acquired Resy in May 2019.

Person using Resy app on phonePhotograph courtesy of Resy

Slice added new features to its POS system for pizzerias. Restaurants that use Slice Register will now have access to Slice Payments, a payment processor for in-store orders, and Slice Delivery Management, a logistics platform designed to help streamline self-delivery. 

The payment tool allows pizzerias to cash out daily and offers industry-low credit card processing fees, the company said. The delivery software automates different parts of the delivery process such as batching, assignment and routing, and includes tracking information for the restaurant and guest.

The upgrades continue Slice's strategy of outfitting small pizza shops with the same technology that chains like Domino's use.

Samsung is launching an ordering kiosk. The new product from the electronics giant offers contactless ordering and payment for a variety of businesses, including restaurants. It has a 24-inch touchscreen display and can be installed on a countertop or a stand. The Samsung Kiosk will use technology from Grubbrr, an ordering software provider with expertise in kiosks.

Samsung Kiosks in a burger restaurantImage courtesy of Samsung

In case you missed it ...

Diners would rather order from your website than DoorDash, DoorDash says.

Local Kitchens raised $25 million for its digital food halls.

Why Snackpass thinks its social-driven pickup app can win the takeout game.

The next hot restaurant format may be the home.

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