If you compared the way restaurants worked a year ago before the pandemic hit and today, you’d notice a night and day difference. People have started to resort to online ordering, deliveries, and minimal contact with restaurant employees.
Statistics show a 33% decline in orders placed inside the restaurant, as well as a whopping 367% increase in online ordering. This brought on some popular trends that are bound to remain for the foreseeable future, with the following five being some of the most popular.
1. Contactless Delivery
Ever since the start of the pandemic, the caterers had to be creative in their ways to provide safe service to their customers. One of the simplest methods without any additional costs involves contactless delivery, which aims to minimize interaction between the involved parties.
It also pushed restaurant owners to digitalize their services through online menus, website ordering systems, innovative payment methods, etc. Another good thing is that there are many food aggregators that specialize in delivery, which means that restaurants don’t have to go through the struggles of implementing their own delivery system.
Furthermore, contactless delivery is bound to improve the image of a restaurant. When people notice its adaptability and care for customers’ safety, the word will quickly spread around. Still, it’s important to plan it out thoroughly to minimize any losses in the beginning.
2. Table Management System
Keeping track of the number of guests in a restaurant manually is a very tedious job, and people are prone to making mistakes. In the middle of the pandemic, however, it’s important to always know the exact number of available tables in order to be able to control the capacity.
EatApp is a table management software that helps guests leave a reservation through an automated system that automatically monitors how many empty tables are left. This means that the restaurant managers can simply start up the app, and have a visual representation of their restaurant’s layout.
Additionally, guests have a safer, more convenient way to leave a reservation instead of having to visit it or call it beforehand. All in all, it’s a cheap, effective way to promote safety and efficiency in a restaurant.
3. Robot Waiters & Tablet Devices
At this point in time, robot waiters might seem to you like something out of a sci-fi movie. However, there have been serious talks about improving them and eventually implementing them into modern-day restaurants.
For example, certain restaurants in China and the Netherlands are already using robot waiters in order to promote social distancing and minimize the risk of human-to-human interaction. Nevertheless, there’s still a lot of improvement required before they’re implemented widely.
On the other hand, touch screen tablets can be seen in quite a few restaurants nowadays. They allow guests to order, pay, leave tips, without ever interacting with a waiter. A large downside is that a lot of people touch that same surface, which means that it has to be cleaned with every new guest to avoid the potential spreading of the infection. Even with that, it’s a lot safer than the traditional methods.
Offering takeout to customers is the second-best decision, right after providing delivery services. People still want to enjoy restaurant food every so often, but the risks involved with staying in one place alongside dozens of other people are too high.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to allow guests to order what they want, package it up nicely and send them on their way. Some restaurants have even increased their income due to the lower costs associated with waiters and waitresses. Takeout only requires cooks to be working, while the ordering system can be implementing through online methods.
5. Strict Hygiene Measures
Hygiene was a massive problem in many restaurants, even before the pandemic struck. Fortunately, a lot of people have started taking it seriously since and a lot of significant measures have been implemented. Regular handwashing, along with using alcohol-based hand sanitizers has helped reduce transmission, especially when people are supposed to eat food that’s been served by others.
Guests are required to wear masks at all times, as well as respect the social distance. In addition, employees have to frequently clean and disinfect floors, kitchen utilities, and other surfaces. All of these measures are respected in most of the larger restaurant chains around the world.