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7 Things Your Restaurant Needs to Reopen Successfully Post-COVID

Lunchbox Editorial

While COVID-19 may have shuttered restaurants for an ever too long period of 2020, it didn’t shutter technological restaurant innovation. In order to reopen as quickly as possible restaurants have had to rapidly adopt technologies many may have brushed off. The reason for this is not only to get themselves back in business but to provide an air barrier and other protections for their customers and their staff. This innovation stems from customer service.

Contactless Payment Methods 

Contactless payment was first introduced 15 years ago on, however, its use has only really taken off in the past six years, after both of the world’s largest phone operating systems integrated it into their products.

Before COVID-19 came about having this technology was a move to provide convenience for customers, now it has the added, important thought of safety. Contactless payment means exactly that, payment that is done without contact. There’s a contact-barrier between the devices emitting and receiving and it means that there are no communal items, such as pens and pin pads, through which COVID-19 can be transferred. It shows your guests that you’re caring, and payments are also processed faster using this method. Win Win!

Lunchbox Ordering for Pickup

Creating your own first-party ordering experience with a company like Lunchbox- helps your business stand out from the crowd. First-party solutions provide the option of many business and guest experience-enhancing add-ons simply not available on a third-party application.

Providing your customers with a top-tier experience allows them to reduce the amount of physical contact they have with your brick and mortar location; whilst the first-party aspect also gives them an online experience unique to your location. If you combine Lunchbox ordering for pickup with contactless payment you could easily build a contactless order-pickup system for your customers; making them feel even more secure.

Contactless Menus and Dine-in Ordering

This was an evolving and relatively new technology pre-COVID; something people saw becoming mainstream much further down the line. However, our new COVID reality is bringing the adoption of this technology forward to now. 

Contactless dine-in orders allow customers to do one of two things. Firstly, once at their table, customers can open up the location’s first-party service app, browse its contents, and order for delivery to their table; greatly reducing their contact time with employees. Another alternative to physical menus is to have a QR code on the table which customers scan to pull up the menu on their personal device. Whilst this second option does reduce waste it doesn’t reduce the contact time with the restaurant employees as the other method does.

Contactless Delivery Partners

Delivery services were trending before COVID hit us. But they’ve been instrumental in the survival of businesses around the country during lockdown periods. With restaurants only now opening, and many guests still being wary of the dangers posed by COVID-19, offering delivery services can provide a lifeline to both businesses and those protecting themselves.

Many delivery services out there are offering “contactless delivery”, meaning that the receiver of your food need not come in contact with a single person when they order delivery. Lunchbox has partnered with the likes of Doordash and Relay to provide our customers’ customers with excellent contactless delivery options and peace of mind.

Reservation Apps

Reservation apps and websites are the most common and well known of customer-facing restaurant technologies. There’re many options out there with a variety of functions and it is up to each restaurant location or chain which one they choose.

Many counties across the nation are now requiring restaurants to only accept reservations, and not allow walk-ins. This is all for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes and these give customers the extra peace of mind that, in the event that anything happens, they can keep their family and others around them safe by quarantining themselves. Offering this service allows you to, hopefully, get more guests through the door and know exactly how busy you are so that you can staff appropriately.

Mobile Based Guest Loyalty Program

Loyalty is hard to curate at the best of times, it is even harder to do so when guests are eating your food out of boxes in their own home; this is unless you’re a pizza restaurant of course! But with the rise of delivery and pickup orders, third-party app services have introduced loyalty programs. However, these offers pertain to the app itself, not the specific restaurant that a customer is ordering from.

First-party ordering services, such as Lunchbox, allow you to integrate a loyalty program into their solution. Not only does this allow you to reward your customer’s loyalty but it can also increase your sales too.

State/County Guideline Alignment on PPE and Customer Protection

Every state and county is going about this differently. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what local officials are saying. These restrictions and guidelines can include: disposable menus, revised, more attentive, and more visible cleaning programs, PPE i.e. gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer for staff, and hand sanitizer for guests, along with masks for those who don’t have them. It will also most likely include changing your floor plan to maintain 6th distance between guests and 12ft walkways.

The first few months of the post-COVID opening could be key to many restaurant’s survival. Getting it right straight out the gate is going to ensure that guests and employees feel safe in your location. Clear signage informing guests of how you’re incorporating extra precautions to take care of them can really help draw people it. Lunchbox’s first-party restaurant app incorporates many of the points mentioned above helping restaurants increase their chances in the post-COVID restaurant world. Head over to lunchbox.io and request a demo today to see how a first-party app can transform your customer experience in these ever-evolving times.


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