technology

Square Makes Bigger Push Into $800 Billion Restaurant Industry

A customer removes a credit card from a Square device while making a payment.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The restaurant industry has nearly $1 trillion in annual sales, and Jack Dorsey wants to take a bigger bite out of it.

Dorsey’s payments company, Square Inc., is launching its first product aimed at full-service restaurants, a large part of the industry that was projected to have $799 billion in sales last year, according to the National Restaurant Association. After getting its start by helping vendors process credit-card payments at food trucks and farmers’ markets, then expanding to quick-service establishments and coffee shops, Square is now going after the tablecloth set, including bars and lounges.

In addition to processing sales, Square’s cloud-based platform will help with restaurant management issues like tracking floor layout, keeping menus up to date and splitting tips.

“Now, we can serve larger restaurant customers, as well as grow with those who have been using Square services from the start,” Alyssa Henry, who runs product management, design and engineering for the company’s services for sellers, said in a statement. “With Square for Restaurants, we’ve created a cohesive solution to help our sellers supercharge their entire restaurant business.”

More than 100 restaurants and hospitality groups across the U.S. have been using Square for Restaurants while it was in development the past 12 months, and the San Francisco-based company is announcing a broader launch Tuesday. As a way to attract more users and offer more tools to merchants, it is also integrating restaurant food-ordering service Caviar.

As it has grown, Square has targeted larger merchants with multiple stores for its services and expanded into businesses such as loans, food delivery and instant deposits. Investors have been supportive and the company’s shares have more than doubled in the past year to $51.12 at Monday’s close.

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