The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on every single industry across the world, but none more so than the hospitality sector. In fact, according to The National Restaurant Association, US restaurants are expected to lose some $240 billion by the end of 2020.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic at the start of the year, both organizations and customers alike have had to make huge changes to their way of lives. For restaurants, this has meant limited capacity in their dining rooms, servers and guests both wearing masks, social distancing measures implemented, plexiglass installation between tables and much more.These changes have been infamously dubbed “the new normal”, and will likely be required long into 2021.
It’s not all bad news, however. The restaurant industry is learning that by embracing digital innovations they can keep up with radically changing consumer behaviour and significantly improve their operational processes.
Contactless solutions - such as inventory management control, contactless payment, third-party delivery services, digital menus and many others - are now the difference between a struggling restaurant and a successful one.
So, why exactly are contactless technologies a necessity for restaurants today? In the first part of this blog we will discuss the reasons why restaurants must turn to contactless technologies and how these innovative solutions will make your business pandemic-proof.
In the second part of this blog, Stay Connected to Restaurant and Bar Customers With Contactless Tech (Part 2), we will be diving into the specific contactless technologies that will drive your restaurant into the future during these difficult times.
Why are restaurants turning to contactless technology?
Restaurants are turning to contactless technology for a few reasons. Firstly, they need to improve safety measures to protect the guests that come through their doors. Secondly, they need to find new long-term solutions that improve their operational efficiencies and make their restaurant more profitable during a time where maintaining cash flow is vital to survival.
Contactless technologies can help restaurants address challenges around government regulations, declines in customer confidence and increased healthy and safety protocols. Here’s three main reasons why restaurants are turning to contactless tech:
#1 - Interactions are now transactional: Customers who come to your restaurant today are more than likely focused on getting what they need and getting out as soon as possible. Interactions are becoming transactional as customers deliberately keep their distance, limit dialogue and wonder whether they should even visit your restaurant.
#2 - Health and safety: To prevent the spread of COVID-19, restaurants are upping their health and safety protocols. This means servers wearing masks, disinfecting touch points, adding plexiglass between tables, limiting seating capacity and reducing opening hours. This all means less revenue, slower operational processes to ensure hygiene protocols are performed correctly and fewer guests.
#3 - Government regulations: Social distancing and mask wearing is now mandatory for many countries around the world, and restaurants need to go above and beyond when it comes to health and safety protocols. This is all changing the dining experience for guests.
How contactless technology will make your restaurant or bar pandemic-proof
The customer experience has long been a differentiator for restaurant guests, and this is even more prominent today. However, the customer experience is now no longer typical. It’s not about fast service or the ambience of the restaurant - it’s about meeting each customer’s comfort levels.
A successful customer experience is now about implementing new ways of interacting with your customers so that they are aware that you are taking the safety of them, and your employees, seriously.
Contactless technologies are now allowing restaurants to serve their customers with personalized experiences, recapture intimate interactions, and improve safety measures. All this, while at the same time improving the operational efficiencies and profitability of the business.
Want to learn which contactless technologies can bring these benefits to your organization? Read the second part of our blog, Stay Connected to Restaurant and Bar Customers With Contactless Tech (Part 2), or contact one of the Sculpture Hospitality restaurant industry experts today.