Restaurants are currently facing a significant period of adaptation. Most restaurants adjusted to new initiatives such as online orders for takeout, curbside pickup or delivery, as well as turning kitchens into ghost kitchens due to stay-at-home orders that prevented customers from eating out.
These initiatives were effective and enabled them to remain partially operating and now most restaurants will presumably remain offering these services. A recent survey from Gallup1 shows that more Americans have adopted low-contact methods of getting their food since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and many of these behaviors may become permanent. This presents an opportunity for establishments to evaluate effective tools their limited personnel can use to improve the dining experience and increase sales.
Even as stay-at-home orders are being lifted, many restaurants must comply to different restrictions that vary by state, but most all of them include reduced capacity and in some cases a mask is required. Therefore, customers may be reluctant to sit in dining rooms for some time to come and, instead, opt to pick up their meals and take them to the safety of their homes. In a recent survey2, 95% of consumers expressed they want companies to implement physical protection and distancing measures to help keep them healthy. While, 52% intend changes to their buying behaviors to continue.
To accommodate these changing practices and shift in consumer behavior, restaurants are going to need technology that allows them to serve customers safely and efficiently. Mobile devices with disinfectant-ready housing that can sustain increase cleaning with certain harsh chemicals will be essential. Wireless charging will also be of great benefit since charging contacts can be receptacles for dust accumulation and microbial growth; wireless induction charging eliminates this risk.
With contactless payments and food-ordering apps getting a boost, other innovative technologies are also bound to gain traction as restaurant operators and multi-faceted employees balance on-location dining with takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup.
1) Gallup - Use of Low-Contact Commerce Climbs in U.S. During Pandemic Survey
2) Fleishman Hillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence Study