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Connect to Restaurant and Bar Customers With Contactless Tech (Part 2)

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Industry & Technology, Restaurant Operations - October 19, 2020 Written By: Krista Dinsmore

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2020 has been a difficult year for the hospitality industry, but many restaurants and bars are now discovering that with the implementation of contactless technology they can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and improve their own internal operational processes.

In our previous blog, Stay Connected to Restaurant and Bar Customers With Contactless Tech (Part 1), we looked at some of the main hurdles facing restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic and how contactless technology can help them address those challenges and become more profitable.

To help that become a reality for your business, the second part of this blog will take a deeper look at the contactless and automated technologies that will delight your restaurant customers and improve your operational efficiencies.

Let’s start with customer-facing contactless technologies that will improve the customer experience.

Customer-facing contactless solutions your restaurant or bar should implement

Today’s restaurant goal is to deliver safe, efficient customer experiences that improve customer satisfaction, drive loyalty, increase revenue and encourage positive word-of-mouth or online reviews. The issue is, customer confidence is at an all-time low.

Your restaurant now needs to go above and beyond to serve its customers, introducing new methods that prove you are taking the experience, and most importantly your customer’s health and safety, seriously.

Here are some contactless technologies and protocols you can implement into your restaurant’s strategy to provider a superior and safer experience for your customers:

Contactless payments: Due to social distancing measures, restaurants are now cash free environments. Contactless payment options are crucial when it comes to reducing the risk posed to both your customers and employees. Some restaurants are doing this by thinking of new innovative ways to facilitate contactless credit, debit card payments such as placing payment terminals on a stick or new designs that fit onto your waiter’s outstretched arm. Meanwhile, other restaurants are investing in new contactless payment solutions that allow customers to pay through their cell phone.

Contactless ordering: At first restaurants were sanitizing their menus between each customer. They then transitioned to disposable menus, but the costs of printing them kept creeping up. Now restaurants have turned to digital menus, and they are reaping the rewards. QR-code menus are allowing customers to order dishes to their table directly from their own personal cell phone, limiting contact with your front-of-house staff and making the entire dining experience more seamless.

Contactless delivery: With customers more wary about visiting restaurants, and future government lockdowns potentially closing the doors to your business, a successful takeout strategy has never been more important. Whether you use a third-party delivery service provider or go through your own website or app, a take out strategy is an important revenue stream that will drive restaurant profitability through the pandemic.

Curbside pickup: For some restaurants, a takeout strategy may not make economic sense. Don’t worry, if this is the case for your business then you can still earn revenue from those customers who don’t want to physically sit in your restaurant. Build a takeout plan with curbside pickup, so you can still serve your customers food a takeout option without the overheads that delivery brings.

Automated technology that will improve your restaurant or bar operations

Improving restaurant technology during the pandemic isn’t just about improving your front-of-house service. It’s also about improving your operational processes to make your business more efficient, and, ultimately, more profitable.

Here are some of the top technologies that will help you automate your operational efficiencies and back-end processes:

Inventory management software: Beverage inventory management software and food inventory management software are crucial technologies to drive profits at your bar and restaurant. Having complete visibility into your food and beverage inventory will ensure you aren’t overspending, overstocking or overserving during the pandemic - a time when cashflow is crucial. By keeping tighter control of your inventory, you’ll be able to significantly increase your company’s profits.

Cloud-based POS systems: Many restaurants are using legacy point-of-sale (POS) systems that are lacking the necessary functionalities that they require to truly improve their operational processes during these difficult times. Consider updating your POS system so it has functionalities such as menu management, online reservations, table-side ordering, floor plan management and business analytics. This system should be able to integrate with your inventory management software for a complete overview of your restaurant’s health.

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Online reservation software: Using restaurant reservations software is not only a better experience for your customers as it allows them to reserve tables at your restaurant through your website or on an app, it also helps to save your company time on lengthy manual processes. Using online reservation software will help you to better plan for limited seating capacity.

Contactless technology is truly the way to future-proof your restaurant business from the future effects of COVID-19. Do you want to learn more? Contact Sculpture Hospitality today. Our team of restaurant and bar experts would love to answer any questions that you may have.

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A Complete Buyer's Guide to Food & Beverage Inventory Management Systems

With around 25 to 35 percent of a restaurant’s operating budget dedicated to purchasing food (that’s not even taking into account beverage inventory costs for the bar), proper inventory management can significantly improve expected revenue.

To maximize profits you need to improve visibility and control over your restaurant or bar’s inventory. 

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