As life evolves amid the global pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, restaurants must learn how to adapt to meet the needs of their customers. Many organizations are looking to curbside pickup and delivery options to stay afloat.
Here are some of the ways industry operations are adjusting to adapt:
Front-of-House Versus Back-of-House
In compliance with stay-at-home and social distancing orders, front-of-house operations within restaurants has been suspended. Restaurant customers can no longer walk into their favorite restaurant or fast food hub for a bite to eat.
Some restaurants are keeping back-of-house operations open to take to-go orders and prepare meals while customers either pick up orders curbside or have them delivered to their homes. Many delivery services such as UberEats have opted for contactless delivery, which means that the service can leave your meal at your door without the need to be in direct contact with the delivery driver.
Restaurants Everywhere Operating as Ghost Kitchens
Originally made popular via third-party delivery apps, ghost kitchens are restaurants that fill carry-out or delivery orders only. Customers can place orders online or over the phone for their favorite foods and a ghost kitchen prepare these orders. Many restaurants now have no other choice than to operate as a ghost kitchen. What was once an emerging trend, is now a necessity for restaurant survival.
Many restaurants are also creating or joining local social media groups, such as those on Facebook, to share with their communities updated hours of operation and menus. These groups are beneficial both for the restaurants who need customer support, and also for the customers who can’t always find fresh food at local grocers.
Processing Payments Carside or Doorside While Practicing Social Distancing
Due to safe social distancing practices, restaurants are finding ways to process payments that reduce the amount of interaction between courier and consumer. When an order is ready, the customer may get a text to come pick up the order or to let them know a delivery driver is on the way to their home. Customers may wait in the parking lot for an attendant to run out, take their payment, and hand them their meal. In order for this to be done effectively and safely, restaurant staff must be provided with the right technologies.
Restaurateurs are equipping staff members with rugged tablets ready to process NFC digital wallet payments and EMV payments. These rugged tablet solutions make processing payments carside or doorside effortless. NFC-capable, these devices can take contactless payments from smartphone apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay, reducing even further the amount of contact between courier and consumer.
The Safety of Curbside Pickup and Delivery
Consumers are asking, “is it really safe to order takeout or delivery right now?”
Restaurants must follow very strict food safety guidelines even in the best of times. However, there are some additional measures restaurants can take to ensure that safe practices are taking place in their kitchens and beyond, and here’s how:
Delivery driver contact:
Many of the major third-party delivery services are offering contactless delivery methods. A customer can request that a delivery driver leave a meal in a specific location, such as a porch or doorstep. This ensures that neither the driver or the customer come in contact with one another and helps to reduce the chance of spreading infection.
Now, more than ever, restaurants need to ensure they are adhering to all sanitation regulations. Not only do employees need to be extra vigilant about hand washing, they also need to regularly wipe down and sanitize items and counters that the whole team uses, such as drive-thru headsets and touch screen terminals.
How food is packaged is a major concern for many consumers. It is recommended that customers should discard or disinfect any surfaces that come with a delivery to help keep homes safe.
Protecting you and your restaurant
Staying safe and informed is essential, especially for those in the restaurant industry. For more information on how your restaurant can benefit from utilizing rugged tablets for curbside to-go operations, contact Touch Dynamic today.