How Restaurants are Adapting Post-COVID Through Contactless Technology
COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. The way we communicate, work, shop, or even eat has been adjusted to comply with social distancing guidelines and stem the virus’s spread. The tourism and restaurant industries have been hit particularly hard by these harsh but necessary protocols, ultimately transforming how these services operate.
Even though people aren’t dining out as often as they used to, that doesn’t mean they’re eating restaurants’ food any less. With most families staying home, online shopping and food deliveries have skyrocketed, which presents a hopeful future for businesses hoping to stay afloat. Changing and adapting to evolving circumstances is crucial to surviving, and growing your business even in the wake of COVID-19 has been proven to be possible thanks to contactless technology.
What is Contactless Technology?
As implied by the name, contactless technology uses solutions that involve payment and ordering without physically interacting with staff. There’s a lot of contact involved with perusing a menu, and paying for your order, providing many opportunities for the virus to spread.
However, with this technology, customers can use unique barcodes called QR codes to order their food, pay, and perform all sorts of functions from their smartphone. That way, they won’t be touching items that other customers have touched, helping keep the establishment clean. Customers can also submit their digital orders directly to your kitchen through an automated text message, which can process the order for you and confirm it automatically.
Why Do Restaurants Need Contactless Technology?
Now that more and more restaurants have opened across the country, you’re probably worried about your staff and customers’ health. Guests are equally concerned about the hygiene practices of each establishment they enter; in fact, they often won’t dine at the restaurant if they aren’t sure that it’s safe. Assuring them means decking your staff out in full personal protective equipment (PPE), which will also minimize contact with surfaces when they have to clean tables and handle customers’ food.
As a restaurant owner, prioritizing health and safety in your establishment is essential to your business. You’ll have to follow reopening guidelines while obeying social distancing measures to keep operating, although striking an ideal balance between the two can be difficult. However, with contactless technology, you can furnish your staff and customers with practical solutions that are safe, efficient, and kind to the environment.
How Does Contactless Dining Work?
Contactless dining can work in your favor even when customers are lining up to dine at your restaurant. If it’s full, you can employ automated text messaging to inform your customers and let them know when a table is ready for them, along with the table’s specific location. For example, you can program the text to say, “Table #8 is ready on the balcony.”
- Viewing the Menu
When your customers want to view a menu or place an order, they can scan a unique QR code with their smartphone camera, which will direct them to a website. Employing this method means that your customers will be touching only their smartphones, reducing contact and opportunities for the virus to spread even more.
Displaying a physical placard with the QR code will allow your customers to access it right away without touching it. They can view your restaurant’s menu on their phones and place their orders.
- Placing an Order
Diners can order food and drinks by texting them to a unique number. Simply specify the menu item and any special requests, and the kitchen will confirm the order. It’s also possible for restaurants to provide menu and meal pairing recommendations via text. Customers can even ask for chef recommendations and ask their questions through text.
- Paying for the Meal
Diners can also use the QR code to pay for their order as long as they aren’t using cash. By simply requesting their bill, they can see their meal’s breakdown and submit a digital payment.
The process becomes almost entirely automated on your restaurant’s end. Your system will receive the order and manage it for you. It will also serve the customer and record the payment, making invoicing a much more convenient task. You can even use contactless technology to pay your workers and monitor their hours.
Contactless technology may be the saving grace of restaurants everywhere that want to stay in business. Even though establishments will be operating at a reduced capacity, contactless technologies accelerate the process of placing orders and paying for them, which means you can turn over tables faster. With this technology, your customers can make a reservation and give feedback through text message services, order and pay through QR codes, and help your business thrive.
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