Credit: Eileen Barret photo

Pizza is one of my favorite foods. And like most New Yorkers, I have a strong opinion on it and I will choose my favorite mom and pop shop over a chain, any day. Sadly, over the past year I’ve seen a few of my favorite pizzerias close.

While the pandemic remains a health crisis, it also became a financial crisis for many small business owners and a wallop to the restaurant industry as a whole. Over 100,000 eateries closed their doors temporarily or for good; others were forced to figure out how to meet the new demands of the market and how to reach customers in lockdown.

Entrepreneurs are driven by passion for their products, but in a crisis, passion only gets them so far. Restaurants everywhere had to react and get resourceful to survive and to profit.

I am a firm believer that every problem has a solution, so I was grateful to speak with someone who has just that. Gregg Weisstein of Promenade, and his team, created a software solution specifically for small pizzerias and liquor stores.

Dig-In and Swigg are Promenade platforms offering small businesses SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions like customizable websites, and search engine optimization allowing shops to reach their customers without relying on third party platforms. The over 100 pizza shops using Promenades platforms have experienced 20% to 30% growth this year.

While Promenade is not currently serving restaurants in Harlem, they plan to expand significantly across the country. For more information on the platform visit www.joindigin.com.