Squarespace Enters Hospitality Industry with Tock Acquisition

The move signals the website platform's first foray into the hospitality industry and adds a new range of DIY service offerings.

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Need to Know 

  • E-commerce and website builder Squarespace has announced the acquisition of Tock, a restaurant reservations platform.
  • The acquisition signals Squarespace’s foray into hospitality and allows them to offer a wider range of DIY services for its users.
  • Since the pandemic turned the industry on its head last year, many restaurants are leaning on new technologies to provide better service and more options to their customers.

Analysis

Squarespace has announced its acquisition of hospitality system Tock, signaling the e-commerce platform’s first foray into the restaurant industry. For a cool $400 million, the acquisition will offer Squarespace customers access to a best-in-class reservations management platform. 

Tock, which is an online platform for managing reservations, allows restaurants to also manage customer waitlists, events, and now includes curbside pickup and delivery features. The system also integrates with a number of other apps, such as a POS system, delivery services, and the business’ social media platforms. 

After the pandemic turned the restaurant industry on its head last year, Tock jumped in by integrating new contactless pickup features, allowing restaurants to seamlessly transition and keep doors open amid so much change. The company has raised $27.5 million in funding to date and earlier this year was named Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2021.

Squarespace, an e-commerce service that allows businesses to build beautiful-looking websites and marketing services easily, is leaning into the industry-wide shift to digital-first services. Now, Squarespace can add these hospitality features to the growing list of DIY business services it offers. With a valuation of $10 billion, the company filed to go public earlier this year. 

“E-commerce within the restaurant and hospitality industries is a large and growing market opportunity,” said Anthony Casalena, Squarespace founder and CEO. “I’ve long admired Tock’s vision to reimagine how reservation-based businesses connect with their customers. We believe that together we will continue building on their success, bringing Tock’s capabilities to our all-in-one product suite in service of our customers in the hospitality industry and beyond.”

Added Tock Founder & CEO Nick Kokonas, “Squarespace and Tock have a shared mission of elevating and enabling our customers’ success and passion. Combining Tock’s unified platform and years of hospitality industry expertise with Squarespace’s reach, resources, and design-forward products, in our view, creates an opportunity to deliver a best-in-class solution to millions of entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world.”

The Tock acquisition is yet another signal of the change to digital-first in the foodservice industry as businesses continue to innovate among ever-changing times. 

Last year, the popular delivery app DoorDash launched a new feature allowing restaurants to launch a website. The tool enables restaurants that may not have a digital presence to now let customers view a menu and order online. 

And further evolving the digital ordering experience, the parent company of KFC and Taco Bell has acquired Tictuk Technologies, a company that helps brands to allow customers to place orders through social media messaging. 

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