When Maryland’s stay-at-home order was announced in March, Market Street Public House in Denton, Maryland shut down, and owners Michelle and Brian Tyler weren’t sure they’d ever open up again.
Like any great Irish pub, the Public House was all about bringing people together, so the Tylers had never thought much about offering takeout.
“We didn't really know staff-wise how we would do it. But our kitchen staff was willing to try it. So we opened for takeout,” says Michelle Tyler. The Tylers started taking telephone orders, but with a single phone line, customers had to continuously redial until they could get through to the person picking up the phone, who would then enter the order into the restaurant’s Oracle MICROS point-of-sale system to send the ticket to the kitchen. “So I thought, ‘I wonder if there's a way to do something online?’ And that's when I reached out to Oracle,” she says.
After speaking with an Oracle solution engineer about their business and the best options for navigating COVID-19, Oracle connected them with integration partner Eigen Payments. The restaurant ended up with an online POS system and mobile ordering that’s integrated into their restaurant point-of-sale system, as well as pay-up-front capabilities using Eigen’s xDine. Online ordering became an extension of their website, with orders sent in real time to the kitchen. They even added some takeout drink specials, such as their strawberry mojito served in a mason jar.
“It was really simple and removed the burden from the person at the check-in podium,” Tyler says.
The restaurant industry has taken a huge hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, with estimates of at least 100,000 restaurants closing in the past six months, according to a September 2020 report from the National Restaurant Association. At the same time, communities are rallying around the restaurants they love to help them make it to the other side. According to a survey conducted by Oracle Food and Beverage, 59% of US consumers and 47% of UK consumers plan to eat out as soon as they’re able. “Over the course of the last few months, restaurateurs have tested multiple concepts with varying degrees of success. Ultimately, their success is largely dependent upon loyal customers that want to see their local restaurant community survive.” says Simon de Montfort Walker, senior vice president and general manager for Oracle Food and Beverage.
Continue on to the original article for the full post, including additional insights on consumer expectations and the impact of online ordering systems for independent restaurants like Market Street Public House.