July 29, 2020
How contactless ordering and payments through QR codes will change how restaurants operate
COVID-19 has transformed the way in which restaurants operate. While many restaurants have been apprehensive in bringing new technologies into the restaurant space, this pandemic has proven them as essential for keeping their doors open. The demand for online ordering is a prime example. New and existing technologies will pioneer the new dining experience entirely. The truth is in the numbers. Our survey shows that diners expect contactless solutions in the current COVID-19 world.
It’s not just restaurants who are affected by COVID-19 — diners are equally having to shift dining habits. While most restaurants across the country have reopened for business in varying forms, one thing is certain: diners are wary about their safety. An overwhelming majority of diners surveyed are concerned about the cleanliness of tables and prepared food, about touching reusable menus, cleaning procedures, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and contact with waitstaff just to name a few.
Health concerns aren’t just reserved for diners, however. Restaurants equally need to care for the health and safety of their staff. Social distancing — along with reopening guidelines — make restaurant operations more challenging, especially when restaurants are required to operate at lower occupancy levels. This is where technology provides solutions to not only promote health and safety for staff and diners but also to support and streamline restaurant operations.
QR codes were first introduced in 1994 and have since become increasingly popular and more versatile with smartphone technology. QR codes are barcodes that a device, such as a smartphone, can scan — taking the user to digital content, such as a website page.
QR codes have made a resurgence in the restaurant space because of COVID-19. As restaurants reopen, staff and diners’ health and safety is a top priority. QR codes are a quick, safe and efficient technology that restaurants can use to streamline the dining experience. Diners can quickly scan a QR code placed on a counter or tabletop to view digital menus as well as order and pay. QR codes are just one aspect of technologies that will redefine the dining experience in a COVID-19 world.
Contactless dining consists of two parts: ordering and payment. The ordering process starts with a physical placard placed on a counter or table which contains a QR code. Diners scan the QR code with their mobile device which links to the restaurant’s digital menu. There, diners can complete an order for dine-in as well as pay. On the restaurant’s end, orders are received, easily managed and completed. These QR codes can be created in bulk for restaurants using a QR code generator available online.
Current phases of reopening require restaurants to operate with reduced capacity. At reduced capacity, restaurants turn fewer tables and seat fewer covers per shift. This slashes revenue potential, as well as money earned by staff. By increasing the speed for ordering and payment, restaurants are able to turn more tables and increase the potential for revenue.
In normal circumstances, restaurants already have a lot going on, and diners favor experiences that make their lives simple. With contactless dining, the ordering process is simplified for diners and easily managed by the restaurant. Depending on the level of server interaction restaurants want to provide, contactless ordering can be complementary to their operations.
Restaurants and diners alike are worried about COVID-19. Keeping staff and diners safe is a top priority. Contactless dining reduces contact during the ordering and payment process — eliminating high-touch points like menus, pens and bills. This increases tables turned and promotes repeat diners.
While contactless dining is paramount in keeping staff and diners safe, it eliminates some human interaction. However, the notion that contactless dining will take away from the hospitality experience of dining in restaurants is short-sighted. In fact, a future where contactless dining is the norm has the power to alter the dining experience for the better. All interactions between the staff and diner will be purposeful and beneficial. This gives diners the space to enjoy the food, ambiance and experience. For the restaurant, it’s an opportunity to put the focus back on the food.
With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases around the nation, and the potential for more spikes in the near future, restaurants are in urgent need of finding solutions to keep staff and diners safe while bringing in much-needed revenue. Contactless dining is a fast, simple and safe solution that will not only make a big impact on individual restaurants, but it has the power to transform the dining experience as we know it for the better.
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