A new locally designed website will help St. Pete restaurants reopen their kitchens

Robin King holds a takeout order in front of Three Birds Tavern
smith and associates

As businesses throughout the city, state and country work to adapt to the times, two local institutions are coming together to make the digital transition easier. In an effort to help more of the affected businesses reopen their kitchens and get their staff back to work, the folks at two local digital agencies have partnered to build Pineapple Pickup, an online ordering platform for restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops.

CLICK HERE to learn how to sign up for Pineapple Pickup and launch your own digital menu

The concept represents a partnership between Big Sea and Pineapple Development. The platform itself is simple to operate. Most appealing, according to Pineapple Pickup developers, is the commission share. Pineapple Pickup only takes 10%, vs. the typical 20-30% netted from more traditional third party apps. However, during the pandemic, the service is only charging 7% to further ease the burden on business owners.

Helping restaurants reopen throughout St. Petersburg

Pineapple Pickup” is built on the popular Shopify platform, and, most notably, owned solely by the restaurant to do with as they please — not a third party like UberEats or DoorDash. Restaurants get cash payouts within 24 hours, directly into their bank accounts, and can control what and how they sell online. Customers get notifications via SMS or email, and the entire transaction takes place without any need for person-to-person contact. .

Restaurants can create their own custom layout, and domain name, to further express their brand — and to offer a more signature ordering process.

“People are already really comfortable ordering food online – that much is clear from sources like eMarketer that have predicted the number of U.S. users on third-party food delivery apps would jump from 38 million in 2019 to 60 million by 2023,” said Andi Graham, CEO and managing partner of Big Sea. “But if there’s one thing we know, the folks in our community are deeply loyal to their local coffee shops, restaurants and cafes. People truly want to support their local restaurants, and if they can do it directly, without a delivery fee, a solution like Pineapple Pickup is a win-win. It won’t replace delivery for those nights you just need dinner to show up at your door, but it’s an added contactless option to foster direct connection between restaurant and foodie.”

Big Sea launches the Virtual Tip Jar

In further support of the restaurant industry, Big Sea is the heart behind the “St. Pete Virtual Tip Jar.” This allows residents an opportunity to support their favorite servers, bartenders and baristas who have already been out of work for several weeks as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Three Birds Tavern, a staple in the St. Petersburg food scene, is one of the first restaurants to join Pineapple Pickup.

CLICK HERE to learn how to sign up for Pineapple Pickup and launch your own digital menu

“Our margins have gotten smaller and smaller over the years, but the cost to use a service like Uber Eats has not decreased,” said Robin King, owner of Three Birds Tavern. “We really are trying to look at alternatives to get food from our restaurant to our customers without someone taking 25-30% of the revenue.”

Keeping the money in the local community

King was looking for something easy to use and intuitive. The Pineapple Pickup service also allows all of the money to stay within the St. Petersburg community. Three Birds will officially begin using the service on Friday, May 1.

If you want to learn more, visit Pineapple Pickup’s website.

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Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of ilovetheburg.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@ilovetheburg.com.