The Digital Restaurant Association, a new advocacy and technology resource organization, has launched to help restaurant owners thrive in a digital world.

Digital tools, which offer restaurant customers online ordering and delivery experiences, in addition to marketing and logistics tools, are essential for restaurants to compete and succeed in the food industry today. The DRA provides educational resources, technology solutions,  and leads local advocacy campaigns for restaurant owners and operators to achieve a more fair and sustainable restaurant technology ecosystem.

The DRA is led by Joe Reinstein, a seasoned marketing, and digital media expert and former Obama Administration White House Deputy Social Secretary. Reinstein will help restaurants embrace technological tools to transform their operations into sustainable digital restaurants. Tusk Strategies, founded by venture capitalist and political strategist Bradley Tusk, will help lead advocacy campaigns on behalf of digital restaurants around the country.

The DRA comes together as the restaurant industry is grappling with advances in technology  and trying to recover from the global pandemic and rapidly changing economic environment. Third-party apps, which provided invaluable delivery services during the pandemic are now the new normal. However, as with the advent of any new game-changing technology the concern is whether all restaurants can benefit. 

“There is no question that the restaurant industry is at a crossroads and many restaurants are being left behind,” says Joe Reinstein, Executive Director of the DRA, “Off-premise dining may now comprise 30 to 50% of a restaurant’s business, making third party food delivery services a crucial part of a restaurant’s operation. But this has created a new set of operational challenges for restaurants consisting of pay-to-play marketplaces with high fees, no transparency and no shared customer information producing a completely disconnected brand experience that threatens to stifle the restaurant industry as we know it. The DRA is here to close the technology gap among restaurant owners and advocate for fairness. We’re committed to collaborating with third-party delivery services to level the playing field for restaurant owners. We want to ensure that this vibrant sector that contributes so much to our economy and our local neighborhoods can thrive into the future and beyond.”

“Digital Restaurants and food delivery are here to stay and the DRA will play a crucial role in supporting restaurant owners and operators as they continue to grow this innovative approach within the restaurant industry,” adds Bill Garrett, DRA Board Member and former Senior Vice President of McDonald’s.

The DRA will offer a range of services to its members, including access to educational resources, technology solutions, industry-specific research, networking, and more. The DRA is currently accepting members and invites all restaurant owners and operators to join

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