Coronavirus is changing the status quo, which also includes the way we approach our food. Its impact on the food business can’t be overlooked. In March alone, the restaurant business took a hit worth over $20 billion in revenue losses. That figure escalated to more than $79 billion in April. But, apprehension goes beyond alarming statistics. As per a Harvard professor, sit-down meals at restaurants and public eating, in general, will see a steep drop in the years to come. Meaning, the future of the restaurant industry is uncertain.
So what to do?
Yes, there’s an environment of gloom and doom. But every cloud has a silver lining.
In spite of dark clouds of a recession looming over, there are remarkable instances of hoteliers and food entrepreneurs actually seeing their business ‘grow’. What’s going right for them?
· First, they’re embracing the concept like ‘ghost kitchens’ and “contactless dining”. This means that they are trying to go where their customers are.
· Second, they are employing creative ways for customers to order in advance, apart from providing them with safe and contactless delivery options.
These two things, hold the keys to a lucrative restaurant business in the pandemic-hit world where ‘social distancing’ is the norm. But social distancing doesn’t mean that people would do away with their desire of going out for a meal with family and friends. Dining out or ordering in is a part of our social culture, and in all honesty, we all are waiting for the day when things like bar hopping, queuing up for the first coffee of the day and corporate meals again take the front seat in our lives.
But such normalcy seems a bit far-fetched for now. So what restaurants can do instead to ensure a more personal experience for their customers, apart from delivering their favorite dishes to their doorstep? Let’s find out.
As COVID takes a huge toll on the restaurant business, making each and every process contactless seems like the only viable option to harness customers’ trust in the business. From contactless ordering to contactless delivery and even dinings - this is the best time to equip your business with technologies of the future. Especially if it’s been on your mind for a long time.
Moreover, this can be achieved without flouting safety protocols issued by the states for restaurants worldwide. Customers wanting to eat in or dine out will be assured of the safety and hygiene of food being consumed. This would not just encourage repeat orders, but also play a vital role in reinforcing the brand equity.
While the restaurant industry has come to a screeching halt, adopting contactless technology could help you add an additional revenue stream. For instance, facilitating online ordering via a website and/or mobile app is currently one of the easiest to implement and cost-effective solution to bring back the glory days.
You can navigate through new markets and attract new customers while retaining the existing ones by providing them with the facilities like Facebook ordering, order head ordering, contactless ordering, etc, paving the way for good daily revenue.
60% of people said they don’t see themselves stepping out of their homes for a sit-out meal for at least another 8-9 months, but then there are others who’d be comfortable to go for a refreshing dining experience once in a while, provided the restaurant in question offers contactless dining.
Contactless dining along with contactless online ordering has by far saved millions of restaurants from shutting doors forever. This is a winning combination to instantly boost sales.
Restaurants reopening their dining facilities might have to reduce the capacity, which is ought to impact the dine-in revenue. However, the additional revenue streams like online ordering, takeaway, and curbside pickups are helping them keep the business not just running, but profitable.
Most Americans still feel uneasy about the idea of hopping to bars or restaurants even after relaxed restrictions. But no matter what happens, people’s love for good food will never die. They will be more than happy to rekindle the experience of dining out, but in a safe away. And the concept of contactless dining does just that.
But having a branded online ordering website is still going to get you the biggest slice of the pie. Don’t forget to put your business up on Google Maps and GPS. Position it well. Upload your menus and have an option of ‘customized orders’. Let your customers find you, track you, and place their orders with you, commission-free.
They’re anyway a lot busier and craving for some good food now more than ever!