Entrepreneur

DoorDash launches restaurant accelerator, Toast eyes IPO


Main Street Strong Accelerator DoorDash

Photograph courtesy of DoorDash

This week in restaurant tech: DoorDash and Yelp look to better equip restaurants and Toast could be the next tech company to go public.

DoorDash launches program for minority-owned restaurants. The Main Street Strong Accelerator is intended to help businesses owned by women, immigrants and people of color that have been disproportionally hurt by the pandemic. The delivery company worked with nonprofit small business lender Accion Opportunity Fund to develop the eight-week course that will cover things like marketing, technology and managing cash flow and culminate with the creation of a business plan. Each of the 100 participants will also receive a $20,000 grant.

Applications open Tuesday for eligible restaurants in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Restaurants do not need to be partners with DoorDash to participate. Learn more here.

Toast is prepping an IPO. The restaurant POS provider has enlisted Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase to underwrite a possible listing that could value it at about $20 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. It might also consider a sale or a deal with a blank-check company, sources told the paper.

In addition to POS hardware and software, Toast offers things like online ordering, payroll management and marketing tools. The IPO news comes as fellow restaurant tech supplier Olo filed documents to go public late last week.

Yelp introduces new takeout tools. Responding to an increase in to-go business amid the pandemic, the company has updated its Waitlist platform to allow restaurants to manage both dine-in and to-go guests. Waitlist had previously allowed restaurants to manage a queue of dine-in guests and send status updates via text message. Restaurants can now use it to handle takeout orders in a similar way, entering order information such as the customer’s name and car make/model and notifying the person when their order is ready.

Yelp also made updates to its analytics offering and user experience within its app. Click here for more details on all the new features.

Yelp WaitlistYelp’s Waitlist feature now allows restaurants to manage to-go orders. / Image courtesy of Yelp

Church’s Chicken revamps its tech stack. As part of the overall refresh, the Atlanta-based chicken chain has switched from a legacy POS to cloud-based provider Qu after a two-year selection process. Qu’s software is designed to streamline ordering and menu management across multiple channels as well as provide better guest data. Qu will be implemented at 1,000 Church’s locations in the U.S.

Like Church’s, many restaurants are prioritizing digital ordering integration as they seek to ease operations and provide a better guest experience.

Speaking of order integration … Online ordering company Ordermark has added Louisiana-based delivery company Waitr to its host of integrations. Restaurants that use Ordermark can now have Waitr orders sent directly to their POS, eliminating the need for a dedicated tablet and making it easier to manage and update their menus on Waitr.

In case you missed it …

RB editors discussed which celebrity should create the next virtual brand.

2020 was a landmark year for Olo, and now it’s going public.

Takeout reigned in 2020.

Ghost kitchens are coming to colleges nationwide.

Applebee’s, Outback and BJ’s invest in virtual brands.





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