In our post-lockdown world diners need more reassurance regarding health and safety than ever before, now is the time for restaurant technology to shine.
Customer facing technology in restaurants is not a new thing, in recent years businesses have trialled various types of technology designed to give the customer greater control of the dining experience such as digital menus and order-at-table apps. Up until now, however, most hospitality businesses have been slow to fully embrace such technology.
This could all change of course now that we have entered the post-pandemic new normal, the trading environment restaurants find themselves is very different from a pre-COVID world.
Close interaction between staff and customers was once considered a must in the spirit of hospitality, now in a post lockdown world customers are looking to take steps to reduce contact with people. Gone are the days of the over-friendly waitress sitting down next to explain the day's specials, or even the morning high-five with the local barista.
This is where contact-free order and payment solutions come into fruition.
Where customers may have been reluctant to use their phones in the past, either because they wanted to be present for the restaurant experience and some phone-free respite or were adverse to adding another app to their phone, in a post lockdown world being about to use a device that only they have had contact with is important.
While fears surrounding COVID-19 will hopefully won't last into the future, mobile technology in restaurants will be longer lasting. The benefits that this technology brings to both businesses and customers is predictive of it becoming a natural part of the restaurant experience.
For diners, mobile technology can rapidly speed up the time it takes to pay a bill and leave. In fact, mobile technology gives consumers more freedom and control over their entire dining experience and for operators, such technology can help with marketing and loyalty programmes.
When brands want to stand our from the crowd the technology can be used to give diners a much more bespoke experience, whether through guest recognition and personalised menus or enabling them to prove real-time feedback on menu items. It can also be harnessed to ensure that consumers are automatically aware of any allergens in dishes, further reassuring customers about the safety of eating out.
Once people have overcome the perceived barriers of using technology in the restaurant environment the options are endless and will be a huge driving factor in customer satisfaction heading into the future.