Restaurant Connection Delivers Hot Food and Hope

CEO Saúl Plasencia Expands Services, Specials During COVID-19 Outbreak

Restaurant Connection delivery driver Satu Rivera picks up an order from South Coast Deli, just one of more than 100 eateries using the service today. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

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As the COVID-19 outbreak forces restaurants to focus on delivery and takeout service, one Santa Barbara–based delivery company is stepping up to ease the transition to this new normal. 

We provide a way for residents of our community to have a fresh, hot meal delivered to them from their favorite restaurant,” said Saúl Plasencia, co-owner, CEO, and chair of Restaurant Connection. “We help businesses and restaurants to remain open by offering their food for delivery or pickup. This also helps the restaurant staff and delivery drivers to continue to have a source of income.”

Restaurant Connection, founded in 1989 with five clients, was one of the first third-party restaurant food delivery services in the United States. Times have changed, and now major corporations are in the business, including Uber Eats and Grubhub. But Restaurant Connection’s hometown touch continues to make it a leading option in Santa Barbara, especially for family-owned restaurants. 

That dedication is largely due to the leadership of Plasencia. In 2005, he started as a delivery driver at Restaurant Connection, working his way up to become the general manager, but he eventually left the company to attend college. After graduation, Plasencia started a small marketing business that began consulting for Restaurant Connection in 2014. After successfully growing their client base, he then purchased half of the company in 2017, and is now working to become the sole owner.

Today, Restaurant Connection, which employs about 20 drivers, partners with more than 100 restaurants in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Oxnard, and Westlake Village, offering both delivery and pickup options as well as alcohol delivery. The Santa Barbara service area spans from Carpinteria to Goleta, and they will also take large orders to Solvang, Santa Ynez, Lompoc, and San Luis Obispo. There’s also a Ventura County operation. 

The COVID-19 outbreak is bringing new partners to the business, including the vendors of the Santa Barbara Public Market. The Restaurant Connection began delivering their food and beverages for the first time this week. 

Here, Plascencia further explains his company’s response to this crisis. 

Have you seen a rise in restaurants signing up for your service during the outbreak?   Yes. With everything going on specific to COVID-19, restaurants are doing everything they can to stay afloat during these tough times.

Any special rates during this time?  We are offering a 10 percent discount for all delivery/pickup orders through Restaurant Connection with the code: TENTOME. 

Many restaurants have asked us to offer larger discounts when a customer orders from their menu through Restaurant Connection. At the moment, these deals include:  

– Los Agaves: 15 percent off; code: AGAVES15

– Ca’Dario Restaurants: 20 percent off, code: DARIOTWENTY

– La Playa Azul:  20 percent off, code: PLAYATWENTY

– Sunshine Café:  20 percent off, code: SUNSHINE20

– Jeannine’s:  15 percent off, code: JEANNINE15

More restaurant-specific discounts to come soon. Customers can sign up to our newsletter to receive those new offers at eepurl.com/gnUd55

What does Restaurant Connection do better than other delivery services?  I have always told our restaurant partners we understand that we don’t only represent ourselves, we also represent them, and we make sure we do it the right way, and that is by providing upscale customer service. The delivery drivers we work with are all highly professional drivers that understand the importance of customer service as it is a reflection of their work they provide to the customers.

What special protocols are you enacting to ensure your drivers don’t spread COVID-19?  Drivers are kept up to date with the CDC guidelines. With things changing every day, they are in constant contact about the importance of following the best health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.   

How can someone use the service?   Customers can place their orders online at restaurantconnectionsb.com or via our app. Here’s the link to the Apple Store app and here is the link to the Google Play Store app

Or they can call our main office line at (805) 687-9753 to place their orders. We always have operators ready to take your order right away.

And please remember to tip your delivery drivers generously, especially during this time. They are doing everything they can to ensure safe, sanitary, and fast deliveries.

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