Just one of the many challenges facing the restaurant industry in the wake of the coronavirus-related shutdown has been having to ramp up for a takeout- and delivery-only model. As more and more operators, both large and small, struggle to implement curbside or other food delivery strategies, technologies are emerging as a simple solution.
For many operations, curbside or delivery capabilities hadn’t been a necessity. Now, however, they’re faced with needing to find and implement a simple platform in a short period of time. Investments made now will likely pay off when shelter-in-place orders begin to lift across the country. The required adoption of delivery and takeout has forced a familiarity among consumers and the digital platforms required to get it—and that’s likely to remain after the pandemic is over.
One such platform, GoTab, is building on years of experience and development in the restaurant ordering sphere. The company, which previously developed technology that would allow an in-restaurant diner to order digitally from their table, has adjusted its offering to work for takeout and delivery. GoTab is currently offering this technology free to restaurants, taprooms, breweries and more that have been affected by COVID-19 regulations.
The 18-unit Barcelona Wine Bar group was closed initially due to the virus, but it has reopened with a new takeout strategy, using GoTab. Jose Andres’ Think Food Group is using GoTab at its community kitchens in the Washington, D.C., area. Farmers Restaurant Group recently launched Founding Farmers Market & Grocery with GoTab to sell meals along with pantry items and other household staples. And Vienna, Va.-based Caboose Brewing is offering a one-stop-shop delivery service for locally sourced produce, meats and cheeses, alongside its beer, using the technology.
In the months and days since the pandemic changed the restaurant business model, GoTab has tripled the number of clients it supports, leaping from approximately 100 chains and independent operators to more than 300.
For restaurants, signing up is simple. They can contact GoTab and fill out a form to establish a merchant account. Then they choose from four separate interfaces, set a pricing structure and upload their menu. On what is essentially a mobile ordering and payment platform, there is no app download required and no high fees. In fact, it’s a simple per-order fee of just 15 cents. Customers can pay via Apple Pay, Android Pay, credit or debit card.
“Our goal is to keep restaurants in business,” said Tim McLaughlin, CEO of GoTab. “And it’s also about customer experience—keeping them happy.”