Social distancing and limiting contact are common denominators across the globe as nations attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. On the face of it, that seems a tall task for an industry named for the way customers are welcomed in:
Without close interaction between hosts and their guests, can hospitality still be hospitable? While we are all looking forward to a time when ‘normal’ business can resume, and cozy conversations be held over the bar, hospitality can still be made, and even enhanced with a few simple technologies. These platforms can be used to enable businesses to operate effectively – and hospitably - in the face of local restrictions.
Accessed through a customer’s personal device, digital menus are an appealing way to let customers browse a menu without having to touch a shared card or paper. Limiting multi-use items like physical menus can prevent cross-contamination and minimize the time staff spend disinfecting.
A digital menu optimizes the consumer experience with product descriptions and imagery, real-time updates on item availability, promotional offers and complimentary add-ons. Much more than a simple upload of a menu PDF.
Furthermore, they offer a level of interaction that cannot be found on a physical menu. By segmenting items, adding tags and filters, the customer can quickly navigate to the products they’re most interested in purchasing (ideal for guests with dietary preferences), or items the business is most interested in selling.
The ultimate touchless commerce product, mobile order and pay technology lets customers order ahead of a visit, select a time slot for collection or delivery and pay – all from a phone or computer. Once in-store, the same software can be used by guests sitting at a table to order food or drink that can be delivered to them with little to no previous interactions.
Perhaps the greatest benefit for businesses lies beyond COVID-19. Gathering data on customer orders and preferences helps companies foster closer relationships with their loyal guests.
Pay at Table software has traditionally been used to improve staff productivity, increase table turnover and give customers power over their customer journey. With a simple tap on an NFC tag or by scanning a QR code, customers can instantly access their check on a secure personal payment portal, through which they pay, split the bill and add their tip – discretely. It’s a versatile technology that has been applied to payment journeys in a drive-thru setting, curbside and carpark collection, pay-at-counter as well as, of course, pay at table.
At a time when businesses need to maximize revenue, turning tables to make up for those they’ve lost due to social distancing is essential to survival. Pay at Table is secure, promotes social distancing, frees up staff to manage other tasks and lets managers reduce the number of employees needed on site during any one shift.
You might think that self-service kiosks would be a no-go for businesses once doors reopen, but they are quick and easy to wipe down, sanitize, and combine the best elements of all the above technologies, with beautifully rendered interactive digital menus, self-ordering, and payment.
Kiosks are especially useful for businesses with a retail element. While letting customers scan, pay and go without the need to speak to a shop assistant, they can also play a role in pure-food establishments if proper cleaning routines are in place. Kiosks present customers with an all-in-one ordering journey and offers the productivity benefits, consumer experience and social distancing needed by businesses to meet government guidelines and survive.
QikServe, the enterprise platform for guest self-service in hospitality and member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN). Leveraging Oracle POS Integrations, QikServe solutions provide a friction-free experience for guests, while reducing wait times, boosting revenues, and achieving operational efficiencies for operators. Together, QikServe and Oracle power guests at restaurants for some of the world’s most recognisable hospitality brands.
It’s been commented numerous times that the hospitality industry has been changed forever by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the meaning of hospitality doesn’t have to. Businesses can use digital menus, ordering and payment technologies to meet guidelines, make customers and their staff feel safe in a post-pandemic world, while keeping the guest experience as excellent as it ever was – if not better.