This past year was tough in many ways for all restaurant industries. Unfortunately, some restaurants were closed and never reopened. According to CNBC, the coronavirus pandemic is a direct cause of the permanent closure of over 100,000 restaurants and bars nationwide. However, countless restaurant owners are well adapted by figuring out how to survive with takeaway and delivery services, while simultaneously ensuring that their operations comply with government SOPs.
Embracing Technology in a Changing World
Now that the restaurant industry has reopened to the public again, certain recent innovations and practices that have become mainstays in the industry during the pandemic may endure beyond the COVID-19 era and into the new normal. While some of these changes may be permanent, they may improve the efficiency and profitability of some restaurants and should be adopted by the industry.
Seamless Contactless Dining
Restaurant guests today are more safety conscious than ever before.
When the dine-in is allowed and some guests return, they’re looking for restaurants that embrace pandemic safety with tools like contactless ordering and payment. As the restaurants reopen during and after the pandemic, the safety and comfort of both guests and staff will be a top priority. One way to do this is with contactless dining.
In fact, according to Datassential’s custom research, 82% of customers would feel safer dining at restaurants if contactless payment was available, and 81% said they’d feel safer with contactless ordering.
Contactless dining is just what it sounds like: A restaurant experience that reduces the amount of time guests spend in close contact with restaurant staff and other guests.
The restaurant uses technology tools to allow guests to view menus, place orders, and make payments from their table. There’s less face-to-face time with strangers and no paper menus or receipts passing between hands. This concept may seem a little bit counter-intuitive. It transforms the intimate and social traditional dining experiences in their minds.
However, contactless orders, menus, and payments are becoming more and more popular in an era of pandemics where safety is at the front of both guests’ and restaurant staff’s minds paramount for both guests and restaurant staff. According to a recent survey, 77% of consumers consider the need for face-to-face contact when considering a store visit.
What Does a Contactless Dining Experience Look Like?
Even before the pandemic, some contactless dining tools, like self-service kiosks or tablets at tables that allow guests to view the menu, place their orders, and even play games while they wait for their meal were already becoming popular. But today, we see contactless technology shifting toward tools that allow guests to use their own devices, limiting common contacts between guests.
Here’s an example of some of the steps and tools a guest may encounter at a contactless restaurant:
- A virtual waiting list that they can join from their phone instead of talking to the waiter.
- A scannable QR code at the table leads them to an interactive online menu.
- Contactless ordering from the restaurant’s website, accessible from their devices.
- Pay-at-the-table technology that allows them to pay with a debit card, credit card, or digital wallet such as Touch’N Go, GrabPay, QR Pay, etc.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the restaurant industry to change the way it operates. Inevitably, they are already significantly different from the so-called ” before times” before the spread of COVID-19. If restaurant owners want to survive and thrive in a world where COVID shows effectively, they need creativity, innovation, and the willingness to do anything in the face of uncertainty.
Ready to see how QubeEmenu gives restaurants all the digital tools they need to succeed? Schedule a FREE DEMO today or learn more about our contactless dining.