Startup Stories: Digital Restaurant Association

New associations launch to fill a void in their sector. The Digital Restaurant Association tells us what got them started, how they’re succeeding, and what they plan to do next.

Starting point. During the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants survived by accelerating their digital transformation to quickly adapt business models, menus, and operations to meet new customer expectations and behaviors.

Knowing that digital has transformed how restaurants manage guest experiences, operations, marketing, and supply chain and with online orders now averaging 30 percent of restaurant revenue, the Digital Restaurant Association was launched to help restaurants build a profitable digital restaurant business.

Early work. In an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News, Executive Director Joe Reinstein shared that DRA is focused on three main areas as it gets off the ground: providing education resources, offering technology solutions and information, and advocacy.

Next steps. When it comes to public policy, DRA is focused on legislation across the country that directly affects restaurants, including fee transparency and customer information sharing. To help in those efforts, Reinstein said DRA has been working closely with the National Restaurant Association and other partners.

“The restaurant industry will never be the same if we don’t act now. If only the powerful and most resourced restaurants can play in this new dynamic, the entire fabric of our communities—the cultural richness we get from the variety of food options and independent players—are going to fail and go away,” he told Nation’s Restaurant News. “They won’t be able to compete in this new world unless we level the playing field.”


Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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