The food industry continues to progress and grow through the challenges of the pandemic. This time in the world has encouraged both customers and restaurant staff to rethink what a great restaurant experience may look like. Many now prefer less face to face contact with safety in mind. And with mobile phone use being so technologically advanced in today’s world, there is almost nothing that you cannot do from just a few taps on your smartphone - even getting food at a restaurant. There is no longer a single, rigid way of operating a restaurant. Innovation is happening all around us. Below are a few ways that your business can “step into the future” of modern restaurants with innovation and technology.
Contactless Restaurant Experience
Contactless service is becoming more and more advanced. Nation’s Restaurant News has featured a prototype Starbucks store which has launched recently and allows customers to scan their payment method upon store entry, pick up what they would like to purchase, and be charged as they exit with new “Just Walk Out” technology from Amazon. This level of innovation may not be in the plans for your restaurant just yet, but contactless POS systems such as GoTab can create a somewhat similar experience for your guests.
2. Ghost Kitchen Operation
A recent Upserve article reports that 60% of U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout once a week. Ghost kitchens operate through food delivery apps, without the use of wait staff or dining rooms. With delivery and takeout being so popular among customers in these times, Ghost Kitchen operation may be less costly and very effective option for food and beverage businesses with a small team.
3. Omnichannel Flexibility
How can restaurant operators satisfy customers who prefer in house dining, those who prefer contactless takeout and those who prefer drive-thru options? How can restaurants remain flexible in case of another shut down? Strides toward omnichannel flexibility like rearranging restaurants set up to make room for a pickup lane or adding a curbside option in the parking lot are becoming increasingly popular. Restaurants are able to expand their customer base and remain adaptable through pandemic shifts with omnichannel flexibility.
4. Utilizing Operating Softwares and All-in-one technology bundles
Companies are releasing more and more technology bundles. POS systems such as Toast continue to offer new features, Yelp releases a guest management system, and new options continue to offer further innovation. Using these systems can help to improve restaurant service and track activity for reflection and reporting data.
5. Mobile Kiosks and Technology-enabled pickup solutions
Restaurant News mentions a report made by Koala, a well known provider of customizable apps for restaurants, stating that 70 percent of restaurant customers prefer to order digitally over in-person. Mobile kiosks are less touch heavy than communal kiosks (reducing covid spread!). Mobile kiosks can also provide a more personalized experience for customers, administer rewards and track in store purchases. Pickup order boards have also become more popular.