It goes without saying that today’s restaurants have needed to adapt to the changes that occurred in the hospitality industry following the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. As a reseller, your restaurant customers turn to you to provide full solutions – especially in recent times. Did you know that the restaurants tools and technology that you can provide now will continue to be needed, and can help restaurants succeed, for years to come? Read on to explore four restaurant tools you can offer that are designed to help businesses survive during a crisis – and thrive in the long term.
Online Ordering and Multiple Delivery Methods
It’s not exactly news that online ordering has been prevalent for years now, but the rapid growth in its popularity during COVID-19 is undeniable. Did you know that according to Adobe Analytics, the number of orders placed online and picked up at retail stores alone rose 208% during April 2020 compared to April 2019? And when it comes to food specifically, 31% of adults polled in the United States in May 2020 claimed they spend more than usual on food takeout and delivery.
As a reseller, it’s important to provide the necessary restaurant tools needed for online ordering, curbside pickup, and food delivery. What do these tools look like? From a technological perspective, be sure to offer online ordering printers that are easy to install and use, and are integrated with today’s popular online ordering service providers. An added bonus is if the printer features technology like Star Micronics CloudPRNT, which enables the printer to communicate directly with the online ordering service so that restaurants do not need to invest in and fuss over a new tablet – the printer will simply automatically print new online order tickets as they are received.
Once the order is received and prepared, a restaurant’s priority is ensuring the food is delivered promptly and securely. Offering tamper-proof food labels for takeout and delivery orders to your restaurant customers can provide peace of mind to both the diners and business owners.
The flexibility and added safety of online ordering and delivery will likely continue to be a customer favorite well into the future. According to Rewards Network, 42% of restaurants added delivery as a result of COVID-19, and 31% of them plan to continue to invest in delivery services. By offering a full online ordering solution, you will help your restaurant customers succeed for years to come.
Another trend that was on its way to becoming mainstream, but got a serious boost during the pandemic, is contactless payments. These payments, which are made by credit and debit cards and smart devices like smartphones and smartwatches, use radio-frequency identical or near-field communication (NFC) to enable secure transactions without the need for consumers to make any physical contact with cash or payment terminals that can harbor germs. Instead, customers simply wave or tap their card or device near a payment terminal that accepts contactless payments.
While many consumers turn to contactless payments as a way to avoid unnecessary contact with common surfaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, the added convenience of this method of payment is sure to make contactless payment options alluring well after the pandemic passes.
Speaking of contactless, another tip you can share with your restaurant customers to enable an even safer transaction is to turn their restaurant receipt printer toward their diners so that the diners can collect their receipt themselves, further eliminating potentially dangerous contact. If your restaurant customers use Star Micronics printers, you may also share the official Star Micronics Printer Cleaning Guide with them.
Free Resources During COVID-19
Now more than ever, safety is a priority in retail and hospitality environments. Star Micronics is proud to offer a line of solutions and resources for businesses during this challenging time, designed to keep consumers and employees safe, as well as mitigate business impact caused by COVID-19.
Protective Sneeze Guards
Avoiding contact with other people’s germs is something that has become a priority to the public at large. What’s a restaurant tool that can help with that? Sneeze guards!
Sneeze guards – or acrylic or glass screens designed to protect people or food from droplets caused by coughing, sneezing, or talking – have been around for decades but have gotten a refresh and become mainstream at restaurants and retailers of all sizes and types during the pandemic. Instead of simply being found at salad bars and buffet lines, sneeze guards are now located at the point of sale to protect employees and customers alike.
Although they may sound simple, not all sneeze guards are the same. Here are some key features of a convenient and high-quality sneeze guard:
- Easy to install
- A lightweight and portable design, with no countertop mounting or drilling required
- High compatibility with features like an adjustable mounting pole and compatibility with the restaurant’s existing POS or mPOS terminal
- The ability to be easily relocated for future store redesigns, flu seasons, and more
Last but not least, self-service kiosks are restaurant tools that boost safety during a pandemic – and enable success in a post-pandemic world.
During these challenging times, safety is a priority, and did you know that self-service kiosks can help protect a restaurant’s employees and customers? Not only do the kiosks reduce face-to-face contact between an employee and a diner, but they can also feature antimicrobial glass that effectively reduces bacteria’s ability to multiple as well as a simple, one-piece glass screen design to eliminate the nooks, crannies, keys, and buttons that can contain germs and viruses.
While safety and cleanliness will always be a priority, self-service kiosks also have long-term business-boosting benefits for restaurants. Did you know that:
- Customers spend 30% more when ordering through a kiosk
- 20% of customers who had not intended to order a beverage would buy one after it was offered on the kiosk screen
- Kiosks enable diners to customize their orders, something that 72% of them expect when dining out
To conclude, the restaurant tools that benefit and safeguard restauranteurs now – like online ordering technology, contactless payments, sneeze guards, and self-service kiosks – will likely continue to be in high demand from both your restaurant customers and consumers, even in the post-pandemic world. As a reseller, set your restaurant customers up for success by offering the right one-stop shop solutions today.
Star Micronics is proud to offer a variety of free resources including on-demand webinars, cleaning guides, solution information, and more in its COVID-19 Solution Toolbox.
Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.