Last week when Adobe announced its plans to kill Flash, the internet responded with a whole lot of jokes about bad restaurant websites. And for good reason; there are plenty of restaurants with sites that are just plain awful — Flash design, auto-play music, and outdated menus included. Enter BentoBox, a service aimed specifically at restaurant owners that helps them build and maintain robust, well-designed, up-to-date websites that can also serve as revenue drivers. Founder and CEO Krystle Mobayeni, fresh off of the announcement of a $4.8 million Series A round of funding, shares her company, its vision, and the real difference a good website makes to a restaurant’s business — read the full interview on Chefs+Tech.
The good news for the restaurant industry: We all have to eat. The bad news: The way we eat is evolving, potentially taking market share away from restaurants, according to recent research. The Wall Street Journal reports “about 42 percent of millennials’ monthly food budget is spent on food prepared outside the home, more than any other generation.” On the surface, this seems like good news for restaurants, but in reality it’s the prepared foods aisle at the grocery store getting most of the love. The popularity of sitting down for a full meal is on the decline, as millennials admit to snacking far more than they have in years past. According to a Taco Bell exec quoted in the WSJ piece, they’ve picked up on the round-the-clock snacking trend, too, adjusting their offerings to include more snack food. And we’ve seen plenty of these headlines recently, at times alarmist (i.e., “Restaurants are dying!”), but this sentiment is also reflected in recent news stories about the popularity of food halls amid the decline of full-service chain restaurants.