Speed is taking up new meaning for the quick-service restaurant industry in the COVID-19 landscape. Restaurants are primarily facing a challenge in keeping their staff and guests safe, as well as making their guests feel safe in the time of COVID-19. While ensuring the safety of staff and guests is a top priority, speed remains a crucial differentiating factor as guests increasingly seek value in a recessionary environment. In light of new capacity restraints and social distancing guidelines, technology can help your quick-service restaurant more than ever to strategically balance efficient operations and meeting guest demands.
Increase Throughput with Self-Service Kiosks
As guest concerns about dining out remain high, guests will be more interested in safety and value, and want to interact with staff members less. The service element now needs to be rethought of as being safe, easy to use, and speedy. Being fast is essential during this time as states issue guidelines that limit capacity, and operators need to be able to optimize throughout to keep lines short and business profitable.
In-store kiosks enable guests to order and pay securely without needing to hand their credit card to a staff member, reducing the need for counter staff and plexiglass barriers. Multiple kiosks can be spaced out in your restaurant alongside disinfectant wipes, enabling your restaurant to increase throughput without deploying additional staff members. In addition, these kiosks allow guests to sign in and redeem loyalty rewards, as well as view personalized upsells.
Shorten Lines with Line Busters
Guests will want a fast way to order and pay without waiting in line for the cash register, while having as much space as possible. Lines and wait times will likely increase under new capacity restraints that limit guests from entering all at once. Consider complementing self-service technology with Line Busters that help reduce lines and allow your staff members to process orders outside. Line Busters allow staff to tend to guests who might leave from a long wait during peak periods. Staff can enter orders, take contactless payments, and pull up guest profiles with past orders and customizations—all from 6 feet away.
Optimize Your Drive-Thru With an End-to-End Technology Platform
Off-premise channels will continue to be popular among guests as restaurants reopen. According to Datassential’s most recent survey, 80% of guests feel truly comfortable and safe while ordering food via drive-thru and curbside pickup.
To start, kiosks can also be used outdoors for drive-thru and curbside pickup. To capture data on peak traffic times and missed opportunities, your restaurant can deploy computer vision technology that measures line lengths and wait times in real time, triggers notifications to Wearables worn by managers, and alerts them to deploy Line Busters when needed. These various solutions work seamlessly together to help you optimize your operations and increase drive-thru throughput.
Want another way to take orders from outside your restaurant? Your quick-service restaurant can set up QR codes in the parking lot that enable guests to make contactless orders and payments. By scanning a QR code, guests will be able to view menus, redeem loyalty rewards, place orders, make payments, and submit feedback on their phone without needing to verbally communicate with staff.
Communicate Your Value
In addition, computer vision can help with measuring social distancing and restaurant capacity, and communicating that with other partners and stakeholders. With this technology, restaurant managers and guests waiting outside can assess what the restaurant capacity or wait time is just by viewing a dynamic display. It can help maintain social distancing guidelines and even detect if people are wearing masks or not.
There are many new technologies coming out that will help your quick-service restaurant operate better and that operators can immediately adopt. The key is to work quickly. In many ways, the playing field in the quick-service industry has been leveled by COVID-19, meaning that the efforts you take right now to ensure safety and value for your guests will have an immediate high impact on your brand loyalty. We are happy to provide you a further consultation on what solution would work best for your operations. Please contact us today and we will work to rapidly deploy a suitable solution for you.