The Comeback of Business Dining (Podcast)

Business dining is the focus of this episode of The Main Course as host Barbara Castiglia of Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine speaks with Dinova CEO Alison Galik. Dinova is a preferred dining program provider that connects restaurants and companies.

Pre-pandemic business dining was booming. “It was the third largest expense category for companies, and average checks for it were 49 to 200 percent more than consumers,” she said.

Once the pandemic hit, the company shifted gears somewhat. “Our goal is to direct business dining spend to network restaurants. That didn’t’ change, but some of our messaging did. We had to focus on safety regulations and invested in adapting technology to share with restaurants and businesses accurate information,” Galik added.

They also shifted promotions from event space to encouraging companies to throw virtual celebrations, meal pickup, and gift cards. Now, their focus is on the vaccine and what that means for reopening. Galik noted the most crucial part for restaurants is safety. “Business diners must be safe.”

In addition to new messaging on promotions, safety, and regulations, Dinova is spreading ideas around opportunity. There’s new tax legislation that allows for 100 percent of business meals to be deducted, which they are communicating to their network.

A new episode of The Main Course, our podcast series with MarketScale, is served up every Tuesday and Thursday.