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Connecting small businesses to the world: The internets role in entrepreneurship Day 5, Que Pasa Tacos

Bowling Green, Kentucky (May 5, 2023) – Today is the last day of Connected Nation’s Small Business Week blog series, and we are exploring one of the hardest industries to start and succeed in, restaurants. We featured Antonio Zamora, the 21-year-old manager of Jump Air Zone, on Wednesday. Today, we want to highlight his role with another small business.

Antonio is also one of the managers at Que Pasa Tacos, a fast food, sit-down Mexican restaurant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Antonio offers a unique perspective as not only a young person, but also as manager at two family-owned businesses in very different industries.

Out of all the businesses we have featured this week, Que Pasa is the one with the most moving parts. Food service is notoriously difficult, so Connected Nation wanted to find out from Antonio how using the internet can streamline some of the common complications of the restaurant business.

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When Antonio was asked, “What daily aspects of Que Pasa are reliant on the internet?” He answered, “Most of the business has transferred to technology, not just the in-store computer system to manage drive-through and walk-in orders, but now we manage third-party delivery services (UberEATS, DoorDash), call-in orders, catering orders, weekly inventory, advertising, and employee communications using the internet.”

For the last few years, one of the biggest trends in the food industry has been third-party delivery services. Whether it arose out of consumer need or simply convenience, the industry is skyrocketing. These services can be a massive source of revenue for a restaurant that may not have been able to reach such a market before. This happens more often in bigger cities and towns, but sometimes consumers have no idea that a certain restaurant is in their area until they see it on UberEATS.

With this potential growth avenue now available, a restaurant operator’s need for digital knowledge to navigate a relationship with a third-party delivery service is vital. The relationship between restaurants and delivery services are, in a way, the perfect microcosm for what Connected Nation is trying to achieve during Small Business Week.

These services provide a much-needed opportunity for an industry that has gone through hard times recently due to the pandemic and ongoing labor shortages. Many restaurants are aware of these services but may not have the digital prowess to operate them. Those who do use them are ahead of the curve.

Antonio agrees. “We use the internet to advertise and operate third-party delivery services to gain a competitive advantage,” he says. “This is especially beneficial in a college town where digital marketing and food delivery has grown our market share.”

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The internet has an entire universe of software, apps, and programs that the five businesses we’ve featured this week have explored through trial and error. Antonio Zamora, Donna Buehler, Broc Litherland and Jay Schaefer have all learned what applications work well for their business — and which ones don’t. Hiccups along the way have allowed them to slowly grow in their digital confidence and directly influence the success of their business.

The first sentence of this blog series is, “Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy.” This backbone has provided our nation’s people with innovative ways to produce goods and services for 250 years. There are times when competing with massive corporations and monopolies seems to be too daunting of a task, but small businesses like Que Pasa, Jump Air Zone, Schaefer Construction, Just Whimsy, and American Mercantile all faced obstacles head on to claim their market shares.

No matter how big or influential companies like Amazon, Walmart, and McDonald’s get, there is always a place for small businesses. Companies like the five that we had the chance to interview are what make the American economy the strongest in the world — and keep the American dream alive.

If you’re a consumer and want to know how to you can help, celebrate Small Business Week all year long by shopping local and reinvesting into the businesses and people working hard just miles from your house. If you’re an entrepreneur yourself, celebrate small businesses by empowering the digital side of your business and maximize your potential for success.

All of us at Connected Nation thank you reading this week, and we encourage you to explore our resources and programs to find out about all the ways you can build your digital literacy and become an empowered digital citizen.

Past National Small Business Week blogs: