Today in food commerce, Delivery Hero is ending its restaurant deals in Norway, and Friendly’s is opening a more digital-centric restaurant concept. Plus, Starbucks is reversing its decision to mandate vaccinations or weekly testing, and Andrew Robbins, CEO of Paytronix, discusses how restaurants can leverage loyalty-driving tools to navigate crises.
Norway residents will soon have other ways of getting their meals delivered. Delivery Hero, one of the biggest online food delivery companies in Europe, has been remanded for its exclusivity agreements. The Norwegian Competition Authority (NCA), the government agency responsible for ensuring competition, and the German-based delivery giant settled an anti-competitive probe into Foodora, a Delivery Hero subsidiary.
Friendly’s is gearing up to open a fast-casual concept; Starbucks is backpedaling on its vaccine mandate; Del Taco is opening a digital-order-focused store; and Pret a Manger has been ordered to settle a lawsuit over alleged biometric privacy violations.
“A strong loyalty CRM program, online ordering, those are the twin pillars of a good strategy,” Andrew Robbins, CEO of Paytronix, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in an interview. “And we see this every single time there’s a downturn.”
Consumer finance company Zilch has come under fire for promoting its buy now, pay later (BNPL) option as a way to pay for pizza at the supermarket in a now-deleted blog post, but for better or quite likely for worse, Zilch is not the only company attempting to extend BNPL to the food and beverage space.
When it comes to restaurant loyalty programs, there is a generational divide. According to PYMNTS research, 64% of Generation Z diners and 61% of millennials participate in these programs at one or two of the table-service restaurants they frequent. For their parents and grandparents, it’s a different story. Just 37% of Gen X and 27% of baby boomer patrons do the same.
“I think that [direct ordering] will lead to a new twist on how loyalty is created, which will be pretty exciting to see — how we battle for people in the online world differently than when we have them in a captive audience space inside our restaurants,” Rishi Nigam, CEO of virtual restaurant solutions provider Franklin Junction, told PYMNTS in an interview.