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Appetite for Digitalization? Platform-based Business Models in the Restaurant and Food Services Industry in Upper Austria

The aim of this research project is to develop a better understanding of sustainable digital business models in the hospitality industry in Linz and Upper Austria.  While against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis many companies are struggling to survive, digital platforms are growing. Even before the current crisis, digital food platforms posed a challenge to local restaurants. The precarious labor situation of food delivery workers of diverse platforms has been repeatedly addressed both in the media and in research. In contrast, the relationship between food platforms and restaurants remains largely unexplored. In collaboration with HungryLama, a local food platform founded in June 2020 and based in Linz, the background of why restaurants cooperate or refrain from cooperating with food platforms will be explored. The outcome of the project is to develop a better understanding of sustainable digitalization strategies, both for restaurants and for locally focused platforms competing with international platforms. This case raises broad questions that are interesting from both a practical and theoretical perspective: How can the restaurant experience be supported even in the context of online ordering and delivery? Does the COVID-19 crisis represent a threat or an opportunity in terms of the digitization of traditional industries?



Contact person

Prof. Elke Schüßler

Project staff

Sara Maric


06/2021 - 12/2021