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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

SpotOn, Seatninja, legislators aim to save restaurants

While additional economic aid will be essential to helping restaurants survive while the COVID19 pandemic wears on, sustained recovery will take more than a cash infusion, according to Zach Hyman, co-founder of SpotOn Transact Inc. Restaurateurs must transform existing business models to remain viable now and in the post-pandemic future, he stated.

“Our clients, and businesses nationwide, are having to adapt how they run their businesses,” Hyman said. SpotOn is making a concerted effort to help restaurateurs leverage its digital platform to transform their business models and adapt to changing customer needs. Available solutions include POS solutions, customized websites, scheduling software, marketing, reviews, analytics and loyalty programs.

SpotOn’s Aug. 11, 2020, acquisition of Seatninja will enhance SpotOn’s technology suite, which includes online and contactless ordering, pickup, and delivery options, Hyman stated. The Seatninja direct reservation service and technology stack will be rebranded as “SpotOn Reserve” to further help restaurants streamline operations, he added.

Mike Reinero, CEO of Seatninja, agreed that cost-effective reservation systems can help restaurants stay in touch with their customers when social distancing mandates are in place. “Seatninja has always been focused on providing powerful technology at a fair price,” Reinero said. “The SpotOn team shares in that singular vision, and I couldn’t be more excited to offer restaurants across the country the digital solutions they need to run their business.”

More proposed bailouts

On June 15, 2020, Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., co-introduced in the House H.R. 7197, the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed To Survive Act of 2020, or the RESTAURANTS Act of 2020, to provide up to $120 billion in funding to independent food service and drinking establishment merchants impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Accompanying legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Doug Jones, D-Ala.

In a June 22, 2020, statement, Rep. Blumenauer stated that the PPP program has insufficiently addressed the needs of restaurants, which have seen revenues drop by 51 percent, and have not just been impacted, but devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. If passed, H.R. 7197 would provide funding through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which would be managed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Recipients from underrepresented communities and with annual revenues of less than $1.5 million would be prioritized, he stated.

The National Restaurant Association had submitted a similar funding proposal on March 18, 2020, according to Sean Kennedy, the association’s executive vice president of public affairs. “Overnight, we were told to shut down our dining rooms, send home our workers and find new ways to do the one thing we do best — serve our communities,” Kennedy stated. “And we did. But the industry bore the brunt of the pandemic shutdown. More than 8 million of our workers are now unemployed and our businesses have lost more than $120 billion in sales.”

Taking demo reservations

Hyman and Reinero noted that SpotOn Reserve can help all types of restaurants, from single-locations to high-profile hospitality chains. Maggianos, Outback Steakhouse, Dewey’s Pizza and Mikuni Sushi, are among SpotOn Reserve clients, they noted.

Ben Pryor, director of innovation at Dewey's Pizza, said SpotOn Reserve has helped the chain stay connected with customers. “We are excited about the future and the complete integration of customer experience with SpotOn Reserve," Pryor said. "We are confident we have a partner who is dedicated to our success and will be instrumental as we navigate the future of dine-in.”

As an additional incentive, SpotOn will waive SpotOn Reserve subscription costs for new clients through the end of 2020. Company representatives invited restaurant owners and operators to obtain more details by scheduling a personalized demo at spotonreservedemo.youcanbook.me/ . end of article

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