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Restaurant Technology Becomes More Specialized Amid Stiff Competition

This week in restaurant news, technology providers are unveiling more specialized offerings to cut through the noise.

Toast launched a solution specifically for cafes and bakeries, Oracle introduced its offering for independent eateries, and Uber Eats expanded its white-label capabilities.

ResTech company Toast, known for its point-of-sale (POS) products, announced Tuesday (Sept. 12) the debut of Toast for Cafes & Bakeries, the latest in the company’s line of specialized product offerings. (The company previously added solutions for hotel restaurants and one for quick-service restaurants [QSRs].)

“Running a successful cafe or bakery requires meticulous planning and preparation to produce a high volume of great food and drinks daily while also providing lightning-quick service during the morning and afternoon rush,” Toast Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Aman Narang said in a statement. “Toast for Cafes & Bakeries is designed to handle everything from rush times to catering orders, merchandise and more.”

The solution includes tools to take said catering orders online, sell retail products from the same POS as menu items, more easily input complex orders and inform consumers via screens when their order is ready, among other capabilities.

PYMNTS noted in the FinTech IPO Index Friday (Sept. 15) that Toast shares lost 4.6%, having said earlier in the month that Narang will become CEO at the start of 2024.

Oracle Announces Solution for Independent Restaurants

Toast is not the only ResTech company getting more targeted with its solutions.

Tech giant Oracle’s restaurants arm announced Tuesday the launch of a new restaurant management platform targeted toward independent eateries, marketing the solution as “affordable” and simple to implement. The platform includes online ordering, POS, payment and workstation capabilities, among other features.

“While other POS vendors have recently taken advantage of restaurants with forced migrations and hidden fees, we are providing operators a swift, affordable path to the latest restaurant technology that provides simple, transparent pricing and payment terms to help them succeed, grow and improve profitability,” Oracle Food and Beverage Executive Vice President and General Manager Simon de Montfort Walker said in a statement.

Independents have taken longer to digitize than their chain restaurant counterparts, according to PYMNTS Intelligence. “The Digital Divide: Technology, Customer Service and Innovation in the Restaurant Industry,” a report from last year, found that 56% of chain restaurants offered mobile order-ahead options. In contrast, 31% of independents did the same. Similarly, 63% of chain restaurants offered curbside pickup, compared to 40% of independents, and 44% of chains had loyalty programs, compared to 20% of independents.

Uber Eats Expands White-Label Offerings With Tech Partnership

Uber Direct, the white-label arm of Uber’s on-demand delivery business, is tapping other tech providers’ existing audiences to drive adoption, partnering with Deliverect, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that integrates online orders into restaurants’ POS systems, to offer delivery to the latter’s customers, per a Deliverect announcement Friday.

Specifically, restaurants using Deliverect Dispatch can fulfill delivery orders that come in through their direct digital channels using Uber’s driver network.

“We’re thrilled to deepen our partnership with Deliverect to make it easier for merchants to offer delivery in a way that works for them and scales with their growth,” Jordi Suarez, global head of Uber Direct, said in a statement. “On-demand delivery is no longer a luxury — today, it’s a basic consumer expectation. Uber Direct’s integration with Deliverect enables more merchants to own their full brand experience while delighting their customers and extending their reach.”

PYMNTS Intelligence from surveys of thousands of consumers for the “Connected Dining“ series revealed that while delivery aggregators account for only 5% of restaurant orders, delivery overall accounts for about 10% of restaurant orders.