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What’s up With Touchless Ordering After COVID?

One Colorado restaurant group even built its own app. Is it sticking around?

Shortly after the world shut down in 2020, Kimbal Musk, CEO and co-founder of the Kitchen American Bistro and ND Streetbar (formerly the Kitchen Next Door), launched an online ordering app. He certainly wasn’t the only restaurateur to pivot to touchless technology, but Musk was one of the first to create a bespoke app. The tech was a reaction to social distancing, but it also provided a two-birds-one-stone solution for those scenarios when you’re finished and you just want the check, or you’re thirsty and you want another beer, but your server is nowhere to be found. Now, with restaurant dining back in a big way, we asked Musk for an update on whether the tech will stick:

“Next Door On Demand was an incredibly helpful tool at the start of the pandemic to enable touchless ordering and pay for in-[house] dining and takeout,” says Courtney Walsh, communications director for the office of Kimbal Musk. “Kimbal and his team were innovating and advancing a much-needed technology during that stressful time. Next Door has since migrated to a blended model, where it is giving guests the option to use Next Door On Demand or the traditional offline ordering: guest to waiter. The restaurant team is also planning to offer online ordering through Toast to ease the guest experience by not requiring another app download.”

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com


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