What does a restaurant look like after a pandemic? At Glasserie, a Mediterranean restaurant in Brooklyn, sales are great, the staff is thin, and the owner is passionate about technology – but only on her terms.
Last year I wrote about glass series and how Technology helped and hurt it adapts in the pandemic. I checked with Sara Conklin, the owner of the glass series, this week to find out how the restaurant is doing (fingers crossed) early stage of recovery from coronavirus in the United States.
The experience of the glass series is a hopeful sign that digital habits forced upon us in a crisis cannot only help build a better future the corporate tech titans but also for smaller companies.
Conklin told me that the pandemic has forced her to get tech savvy in ways that she believes will help the restaurant in the long run. She is still frustrated with some technologies that are particularly good for restaurants Grocery delivery apps, but is excited about others, including the smartphone software customers want to use to pay the bill on their phones.
These types of digital services will make the glass series more efficient and profitable, according to Conklin. “These are things I would like to keep in mind whether there was a pandemic or not,” she said. “We want to push ahead.”
Most of the past year, however, was all about the mess. The dining room of the glass series was closed or the capacity was severely limited. It tried to make up for lost business by opening an online mini market that sold items like wine bottles and toilet paper. It started selling alcoholic beverages and snacks through a new takeaway window and staff were sending out emails to tempt guests with meals created for home eating.
All of these pandemic adjustments are over. Like other restaurants to reportPeople are eager to eat out again and the glass series is happy to serve them. “We’re busier now than ever in our nearly 10 years,” Conklin told me. This also applies to indoor dining capacity restrictions in New York.
Conklin also said the pandemic converted them from a skeptic of the technology for glass series. “I’ve always been resilient,” she said, not necessarily against all technology but against those she believed disrupted or ruined the atmosphere. “It didn’t feel right to me.” But now she’s excited about technology – at least part of it.
In 2020, the glass series had no choice but to use more delivery and take-out apps like Seamless, Grubhub, and DoorDash. To like other restaurant ownersConklin complained of confusing terms and high costs.
Recently has used glass series a feature of Square, which sells digital cash registers and other technology to restaurants to take delivery orders directly the website of the restaurant. Conklin uses a feature to forward these orders to couriers working for Postmates or DoorDash for an additional fee.
She said this was a way for the glass series to offer delivery, but on the restaurant’s own website and with more control. When the kitchen is closed, the glass series can temporarily suspend the delivery option.
Conklin still doesn’t like shipping costs. She said she didn’t really know what the glass series paid to the deliverers and showed how complicated the app companies’ fees are. “It would take me a good hour or two to figure that out, and a little math,” she said.
They also bother that the glass series has no way of keeping track of delivery orders and often doesn’t know about late deliveries or botched meals until it’s far too late to fix the problem.
But Conklin’s biggest headache isn’t technology. It is find enough workers. Glasserie has advertised employees on Craigslist and on Job boards for restaurantsand made contact with former employees. It went slowly.
I asked Conklin how it feels now when she and Glasserie have passed emergency mode and entered this new phase. She said she was optimistic and insecure, but mostly in a good way. “It feels a lot like we’re opening a restaurant from scratch,” she said.
Before we go …
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