COVID-19 has forced the restaurant industry to embrace digital ordering technology quickly. They are becoming the lifeline for restaurants in a time where many states are only beginning to think of reopening.
The majority of fast-casual and QSR restaurants embraced digital ordering technology to speed up the ordering process for their guests that wanted, in most cases, to only pick-up and go—having no interest in sitting down to enjoy their food on-site. However, full-service restaurants don’t have that benefit. Their guests are used to coming in, sitting down, ordering with a server, and getting the full experience of the restaurant. Many of these restaurants pivoted quickly to embrace digital ordering solutions to keep their locations running.
As states begin to reopen, full-service restaurants will need to think of ways to capture their guests and provide them a new safe way of ordering while dining in.
Enter Order-from-phone technology. With most state’s gameplans for reopening restaurant dining rooms, they include limited capacity (as high as 50%), and limited service hours. That means restaurants need to embrace a new way to create faster table turns and have less human-to-human contact/exchange. By turning every smartphone into a mobile pos, the restaurant offers a level of safety and convenience for the guests that they had grown accustomed to during quarantine.
As order-from-phone becomes a more significant part of Post COVID-19 life for restaurants, there are a few key things to keep in mind as restaurants explore this technology.
Make it Easy
Guests will have grown accustomed to ordering from their phones during the quarantine. It takes about 21 days to create a new habit, and most states have been shelter-in-place for over a month. Instead of forcing guests to completely break the habit, use that user experience, and apply it to ordering dine-in. Guests will have an easier time adopting the technology, and your restaurants will see faster table turns!
Integration is Key
Managing the orders without a direct to point-of-sale integration will be a nightmare to handle. Nobody wants to add another tablet to their counter that requires your staff to plug in yet another order into the system. This defeats the technology almost entirely. Order-from-phone is meant to streamline the process for the guest and open your server’s time to focus on creating the best dine-in experience. A solution that integrates directly with your POS streamlines all of these issues and minimizes all of those headaches.
Create a Branded Experience
The ordering experience of a restaurant is a massive part of its identity and soul. No matter the digital ordering experience, this should always be taken into account. With order-at-table, your guests will already be in the restaurant, but you need to ensure there is that authentic ordering experience they’d get with a server. That means adding in upsells at the appropriate time, have dietary labels readily available and easily located. No restaurant wants to be the one that feeds a vegan beef for the first time in 10 years. Branding the ordering experience to match as closely as possible to that when they order with a server is vital.
Lunchbox sees this technology as a must-have to help restaurants adapt to the new life that COVID-19 made. We call our version “Phone-to-Table” Yeah before you ask, it’s a play on farm-to-table. We know, we know, it’s perfect. Lunchbox is excited to bring this new technology into the hands of restaurants when they need it the most. We’re ready and here for restaurants before, during, and long after this COVID-19 pandemic. Reach out to us and learn how we’re helping all restaurants.
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