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Press release content from TS Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Restaurant Technology During and After COVID-19

November 18, 2020 GMT
Many restaurants and cafes have begun to reopen, bringing hope for a return to normality. But what will restaurant technology look like after COVID-19? Get answers here.
Many restaurants and cafes have begun to reopen, bringing hope for a return to normality. But what will restaurant technology look like after COVID-19? Get answers here.

New York, NY ( TS Newswire ) -- 19 Nov 2020

Many restaurants and cafes have begun to reopen, bringing hope for a return to normality. But what will restaurant technology look like after COVID-19? Get answers here.

Over the past few months, weve witnessed the impact of COVID-19 on different industries. The crisis hit the hospitality niche especially hard. A lot of restaurants from 5-star hotels to standalone fine dining restaurants to casual eat have converted to takeout only. Some restaurants have even permanently closed.

Source: unsplash.com by Tim Mossholder

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Lets talk numbers now. According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry has lost $120 billion in sales during the first three-month period of the lockdown in the US. By the end of 2020, the industry is expected to lose $240 billion. Additionally, 3 in 4 restaurants will unlikely see profit within the next six months. About 8 million restaurant jobs were lost during the pandemic which is the half of the total jobs in the industry.

These numbers are very sobering and financially devastating. And the biggest fear for restaurants is that even when coronavirus passes and the economy is reopened, theyll have to keep their doors closed forever because of the deep financial hole theyre in.

Restaurateurs and cafe owners are terrified about their future and are looking for solutions to help them live another day. Below, we talk about the top ways of how restaurants are handling coronavirus with technology.

Contactless payments

Mobile and online payments continue to grow in popularity, especially among young people. No wonder. Theyre a win-win solution for both customers and restaurants. Customers get the hassle-free, fast, and secure experience they want. Restaurant owners, in turn, build trust and engagement, drive customer loyalty, and access customer data.

A lot of restaurants choose to accept mobile payments via online ordering and/or in-store. The latter allows visitors to just tap, pay, and go.

Digital menus

Paperless menus are a great way to create a safe yet memorable dining experience. Digital menu boards allow restaurants to present their food in the most appealing way, increase guest satisfaction, manage the entire menu online, promote and upsell specials and new items, reduce wait time, and reduce printing costs.

Another great digital trend which is popping up in almost every restaurant during the pandemic is a QR-code menu. Many restaurants have their guests scan QR codes on their tables to access the menu. Customers can browse it, look at dish pictures, nutritional facts, and allergy information, see specials, and check out reviews of other guests.

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Tableside ordering and self-service kiosks

Some restaurants decide to go waiter-free by adopting self-order systems such as self-service kiosks and self-order tablet systems, also known as tablet waiters. This kind of software allows restaurants to minimize human-to-human interaction, streamline operations, save time on taking orders, cut labor costs, and reduce human error. Many world-famous quick-service restaurants ― like McDonalds, Taco Bell, Subway, and KFC ― have already moved toward self-order solutions and had positive impact on their business performance.

Ordering and paying ahead

Mobile ordering isnt a new restaurant trend. Many restaurants that sell food online, choose food ordering app development, since its a nice opportunity to market your restaurant locally, increase customer loyalty, simplify ordering, attract new customers, and drive repeat sales.

Some big names like Starbucks, McDonalds, KFC, and Dunkin Donuts went one step further by including on-the-go mobile ordering. This functionality allows customers to order ahead and pay for an order. The order is ready upon their arrival, they just take it and go. With an order-ahead feature, your guests dont have to wait. Additionally, mobile payments allow them to minimize contact, making it a more health-conscious payment method.

Mobilized loyalty

What motivates customers to come back and increase their check? An effective loyalty program. A loyalty app allows restaurants to simplify the customer experience, develop strong long-term relationships with your customers, deliver unique and personalized content and offers, gather valuable insights about your visitors, and make your customers feel like they belong.

How can restaurants thrive in the next normal?

Technology that speeds transactions and reduces contact is the key element of COVID-19 recovery toolkit for restaurants. With the right technology, restaurants and cafes can create a safe dining experience and resume business.

Will restaurants change after coronavirus? Is a hard question no one knows the answer to. Yet whats certain is that contactless payments, digital menus, self-order systems, on-the-go mobile ordering, and mobile loyalty programs are here to stay.