Restaurant reservations were up an impressive 46% in April when compared with April of 2019. Major technological upgrades are also present, with many innovative modifications likely being here to stay. With contactless ordering methods becoming more and more mainstream in restaurants across the nation, here are just a few notable examples and their unique benefits.
The potential for enhanced personalization
With digitization comes the unique ability to make a customer’s experience that much more personalized, and platforms like SevenRooms do just that. A hospitality platform aimed at enhancing the restaurant experience for both staff and customers, SevenRooms features solutions for reservation management, contactless ordering and payment, and even guest profiling and marketing. One particularly unique feature regarding marketing and guest profiles includes the technology’s ability to reach out to the customer and offer a promotion, should they not be placing a reservation regularly. In turn, this can aid in pulling in more business and creating a more personalized experience. SevenRooms CEO Joel Montaneil notes that fine dining establishments in particular are turning to this technology, proving that it’s likely to become even more mainstream in the industry.
Ordering (and paying) via apps
Ordering and paying via apps is nothing new, but this technology has absolutely taken over the restaurant industry in recent years, and not just in regards to delivery service. Table ordering apps feature options like a digital menu, in addition to online ordering and payment methods, and are generally carried out either via use of a QR code, or require the customer to download a specific app. With popular examples of this technology including Goodeats and Pepper, this can present advantages such as the reduction of face to face contact with restaurant staff. Additionally, the elimination of the need for shared surfaces like germ-ridden menus and payment keypads among customers further proves the health benefits to be astronomical, and yet another reason for this technology to stick around.
The rise of self-serve kiosks
While they have a similar concept to table ordering apps, self-serve kiosks present another solution to a minimized contact approach when dining out, and are becoming particularly common in fast food restaurants. While this isn’t a fully mobile approach, self-serve kiosks allow for customers to easily order and pay via a shared digital display, thus reducing face to face service with staff and saving on labor costs. Because this technology doesn’t require the user to use their smartphone and download an app, it’s an ideal solution for making the technology accessible to all customers. While one particular downfall of the tech involves the need for sanitization between uses, the visual, simple displays make for an easy-to-use model that suits most audiences – something that can arguably outweigh the negative.
The way we dine out has certainly changed rapidly over the past few years, and several forms of technology have become mainstream. From self-serve kiosks in fast food restaurants to digitized menus and the potential for a more personalized experience in fine dining establishments, it’s clear that such transitions are likely here to stay – and for the better.