5 benefits of contactless dining

Since the start of the pandemic, people have been dining out (and in) differently. Many sources have pointed to the emergence of contactless dining in restaurants as a trend that is here to stay:

  • According to an article by CitrusBits, 46% of consumers expect restaurants to offer online/mobile or kiosk/tabletop ordering functionality, and 43% preferred mobile payment during the pandemic.
  • Based on a report by Datassential, 82% of customers think it would be right for restaurants to offer contactless payment after pandemic restrictions are lifted, and 81% feel the same way about contactless ordering.
  • In a global study by Mastercard, 8 in 10 respondents viewed contactless as a cleaner, faster, more efficient way to pay.

And the list goes on. So, now you might be wondering, what exactly is contactless dining and why should I consider it for my restaurant?

What is contactless dining?

Let us start by defining contactless dining. Contactless dining is a simple, easy, and effective technological solution to dine-in service that removes or reduces points of contact between the guests, the restaurant staff, and the sharing of common items.

Of course, contactless dining is not meant to weaken the quality of the dine-in experience. Servers and hosts can still interact with customers and provide hospitality; In fact, with properly implemented solutions, servers will have more time to interact with their guests.

Contactless dining is supported by technology such as QR codes and NFCs to let customers view digital menus, order food to their table, and pay for their meals entirely on their own. You can see examples of this service on our own site through our contactless table service and mobile ordering pages.

Now that you know what contactless dining is, we can dive into what it can do for you. Here are 5 benefits of contactless dining that apply to just about any establishment.

5 benefits of contactless dining

1. Turn static menus into flexible ones

Imagine this: you printed 50 new menus for your restaurant. They look amazing, with all your best dishes proudly displayed on the front. But then, someone points out a typo. What do you do? Do you leave it and hope no one notices, or print out 50 new menus?

With contactless dining and digital menus, this is a headache you can avoid. Digital menus allow you to be flexible by changing the design, items, and pictures of your menu on the fly. This is even better for holidays like Valentine’s Day or Christmas, where you might want to offer special deals or bundle packages. With digital menus, you can adapt your menu to whatever your customers want to eat or whatever you want to offer at no extra cost. For example, you can emphasize certain menu items to try to get increased sales from high-margin products.

2. Reduce customer waiting time and improve order accuracy

One of the most important reasons for implementing any solution in your restaurant is to improve the experience for customers. Contactless dining does exactly that by simplifying the ordering and payment process so that customers can get in and out with as little friction as possible. Thanks to contactless dining, customers won’t have to wait for servers to bring them menus or checks and can focus more on enjoying their meal and the atmosphere.

What’s more, by digitizing the ordering process, ordering accuracy improves because customers take the ordering process into their own hands. No longer will chaotic, noisy environments or muffled voices behind face masks cause misunderstandings between customers and the kitchen. This leads to both happier customers and less stressed kitchen staff.

3. Increase the quality of service and staff productivity

Without contactless dining, your staff spends much of their time moving from table to table; handing out menus, taking orders, distributing bills, and taking payments to name a few.

By letting technology take care of standard tasks, your staff will be able to focus on what makes them and your restaurant extraordinary, i.e., the quality of service and care towards your customers. By giving staff fewer responsibilities, they can be more productive and make sure that customers’ needs are attended to.

4. Faster table turnover and more revenue

Remember when we talked about reducing customer wait time? Well, that has the dual effect of speeding up table turnover. With customers using contactless dining solutions for rapid ordering and payment, your restaurant will be able to serve more customers in less time, effectively improving your bottom line. 

Beyond this, contactless dining also improves your bottom line in another way. Customers order and reorder more when they order for themselves. They enjoy the fact that they have more time to customize their orders, add extras, and think about what they want to eat. Without the pressure of a server, customers no longer feel rushed when making their orders specific and extravagant. This results in larger average checks and more profit for your business.

5. Shows your guests that you value their time and safety

This final benefit is less tangible, but important nonetheless. This past year has been shocking, to say the least, and people are still coming to terms with the realities imposed by COVID-19. Now more than ever, people value safety when eating out. After all, it has been reported that a majority of customers now rank safety above aspects such as affordability, taste, and even quality.

Beyond safety, customers also value establishments that share their concern for the health and safety of the community around them. By implementing contactless dining, you can show your customers that it is safe to dine at your establishment and that you care about making them feel at ease when frequenting your restaurant. Admittedly, this isn’t the only way to show your customers that you care. However, it is undoubtedly a great place to start.

Looking to try contactless dining in your restaurant? Click here to get started today.

5 tips for optimizing your social media to increase online ordering

Let’s face it: 2020 was a year that shook up the restaurant industry like never before. In the blink of an eye, your guests went from eating out to almost exclusively ordering in. In fact, the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University released a report in November 2020 that revealed a 15.8% increase in the number of Canadians making food orders at least once a week, totalling around 4.2 million people.   So, as we set up takeout solution after takeout solution, we started to do some research. What we found was that online ordering was far from just a trend. Going forward, 49.4% of Canadians intend to keep ordering online at least once a week once the pandemic is over.  

So, the question becomes: what can you do to keep up? You’ve already implemented online ordering, but now it’s time to do more (using a tool that is completely free!). Two words: social media. Using social media to your advantage will help you reach a massive market of gen-Z and millennial consumers. According to a report by Restaurants Canada, 79% of gen-Z consumers and 71% of millennials order food or beverages from a restaurant at least once a week. This tech-savvy group of consumers is one of the most important markets for the restaurant industry today and could be critical to your success and growth during and after the pandemic.  

All that being said, here are 5 tips to help you leverage social media to increase your online orders.

5 tips for optimizing your social media to increase online ordering:

1. Grab your guests’ attention with high-quality food images

Nothing triggers a food craving like seeing a mouthwatering photo on your social feed.

According to a recent study by Snappr, you can increase your orders on restaurant ordering apps by 35% by simply including high-quality photos of your food.

Make sure each and every picture you post on social media is eye-catching and clear; this means taking it in a well-lit area with a clean, uncluttered background. Take pictures with your food as the centrepiece and think about how you can grab someone’s attention while they are scrolling through social media. If you’re looking for an example, take a second to explore one of our sample digital menus.

For more tips on how to take photos that can create a 35% increase in orders, check out our free guide to food photography for restauranteurs!

2. Make ordering easy by setting up your Facebook call-to-action button

Imagine this: your guests are scrolling through Facebook when all of a sudden they stumble upon a mouthwatering photo of your food. They head to your profile to place an order but realize that they have to leave Facebook. They decide to finish browsing, quickly forgetting about their spontaneous hunger and all the hard work you put in to make your food look so appetizing.

Now imagine that, instead of having to leave Facebook, your guests can order or book straight from your Facebook page. All you need to do is change the big blue call-to-action button at the top of your page to better suit the action you want your visitors to take. It’s easy:  

  1. Navigate to your page and click the grey button under your cover photo
  2. Select “Edit Button” from the drop-down menu that appears
  3. Choose your desired call-to-action, such as “Start Order”

With this button, your visitors will be redirected to another tab where they can start their order right away – if you don’t have a digital menu yet, head to app8solutions.com/digital-menu/ to get started today!

3. Earn your guests’ trust by responding to reviews on Facebook

Did you know that 90% of guests do research online before visiting a restaurant? That’s why it’s essential to enable Facebook reviews on your business page so that new customers feel confident about placing an order with you.

 To enable reviews on Facebook, follow a few simple steps:

  1. Navigate to your page and select “Settings” on the left-hand side
  2. Select “Templates and Tabs”
  3. Select the “Reviews” tab
  4. Flip the switch to enable visitors to leave reviews of your restaurant

To make the most of this function, you need to respond to your reviews as well. Tell your positive reviewers that you appreciate their time, and tell your negative reviewers that you’re considering their suggestions. Onlookers will see that you truly care about your customers, bringing them one step closer to ordering from your restaurant.

4. Serve your guests better by filling out your profiles completely

Whether you’re building a new profile from scratch or updating existing accounts, make sure your bio is complete and comprehensive. There’s nothing worse than having a visitor that’s ready to buy from your restaurant give up because they can’t find basic details! Put your important information front and centre so that guest feels confident placing an order.

Make sure your profiles include:

  • Hours of operation (and COVID restrictions)
  • Current offering (dine-in, takeout, delivery)
  • Link to your website (that goes directly to your order page)
  • Address (or addresses, if you have more than one)
  • Contact information (email, phone #, social media)
    • On Instagram, adding an email address or phone number to your bio generates a button that users can click on to call or email you. This makes it super easy for your guests!

Bonus: On Facebook, you can add other important information for your customers such as cuisine type and price ranges.

5. Make it easy to place an order by linking your menu to your Instagram

Remember the customer that saw your food on Facebook but decided to finish browsing their feed instead of ordering? Well now they’re on Instagram and the same thing is happening!

Luckily, there’s also a way to let your customers order food straight from Instagram. The instructions to set up food orders on your Instagram business page are as follows (coming from the official Instagram website):

  1. Go to your Instagram profile
  2. Select “Edit Profile”
  3. Under “Public Business Information”, tap “Action Buttons”
  4. Under “Select a Button” choose “Order Food”
  5. Select a partner for your business’s food orders
  6. Add the relevant menu link
  7. After you’ve entered the website, tap “Done”

Your followers will now be able to order your food through the “Order Food” button on your Instagram profile. Don’t stop there though—you can also put this button in your stories! Remind customers of the great food you offer and make it even more tempting by making it just one click away. It’s simple:

  1. Start a story with a picture or graphic
  2. Go to your stickers by clicking on the third icon on the top right of your screen.
  3. Find the action sticker that says “Food Orders”
  4. Place it anywhere on your story and post. This sticker serves the same function as the “Order Food” button on your Instagram profile

Try out each of these tips and watch the online orders start rolling in!

If you’re looking to give online ordering a try, go to https://app8solutions.com/online-takeout-ordering/ to get started today.

6 tips for creating the ultimate contactless menu

The way you work and the way you serve your guests has changed drastically, and though we’re all looking forward to the day we don’t have to seat guests 6 feet apart, many aspects of the new dining experience are likely to outlast the pandemic. According to a recent study by McKinsey, guests now expect the safety and convenience of a digital experience with more than 75% of consumers using mobile and web for menus, ordering and payment. Use these six tips to create a menu that works for you and your guests!

1. Optimize for mobile

The vast majority of your guests will view your menu from their phones. Mobile viewing is often an afterthought when menus are designed as a PDF or web page. This leads to a poor guest experience with guests having to zoom in and out or scroll endlessly to browse your menu. Start the guest experience off right with a menu solution that’s optimized for mobile viewing and allows your guests to browse intuitively. 

2. Include photos

No amount of descriptive text can grab someone’s attention like an appetizing photo. Make sure your digital menu includes images of your actual dishes. If you have an extensive menu, start with your best sellers and if you don’t have professional photos of your menu items already, check out our free guide to food photography for restauranteurs to get started taking your own photos. 

3. Allow for real-time updates

It takes time for your guests to discover your restaurant and browse the menu. The last thing they want, is to find out the items they decided to order are unavailable. Avoid this situation by choosing a menu solution that allows you to make real-time updates from a mobile device. This will keep your guests happy while also saving you time.

4. Include your branding

You spend plenty of time and money creating the perfect ambience and guest experience in your establishment. For takeout guests though, your menu is the only window into the experience your restaurant provides. Ensure that your menu captures the personality of your establishment by customizing it with your logo, fonts, and colours.

5. Use a durable access point

The common access point for digital menus in the restaurant is a printed QR code. When the pandemic started, this solution was a great quick fix, but with 73% of diners saying that their experience is improved by restaurant technology, it’s clear that contactless dining is here to stay. Your menu access point should meet the same standard you expect from everything else that goes on your table. 

Choose an access point that:

  • Has an attractive design
  • Is water-resistant 
  • Is tear-resistant
  • Abides by your region’s health and safety rules

6. Allow guests to order directly from the menu

A digital menu is only the first step in providing a contactless experience. When choosing a digital menu solution, it’s important to think about where the industry is going and how your situation is going to evolve. According to a dataessential study, over 80% of respondents said that a restaurant needs to offer contactless payment and ordering options for them to feel safe returning to dine-in. Choose a solution that’s more than a menu and create a seamless guest experience with dine-in and takeout mobile ordering

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google