Even before the pandemic, the restaurant industry was adjusting to consumer tastes and behaviour, gearing towards a modern and more convenient virtual ordering experience. This trend was only made more apparent with the onset of the current pandemic. People are searching for the safest options to place food orders and pay for their meals so they can adhere to health protocols as much as possible. Thanks to the latest technology it’s now easier to offer contactless payment and even contactless dining to consumers. Find out how you can incorporate a contactless ordering experience for your loyal customers.
What Is Contactless Ordering?
Contactless ordering is when people can place their order and pay through the use of their gadgets or mobile phones. This makes it possible to perform transactions without going near other customers or restaurant staff,
The guest simply needs to scan the QR code displayed in your restaurant using their mobiles, immediately accessing your digital menu. From there, the customer places their food order and then inputs their credit card details to pay. The staff will then receive the new order, prepare it, and either call out their order number for the customer to pick-up or deliver it to the customer’s table.
This ordering method doesn’t require customers to wait in lines, place their order in front of servers, or scan physical menus shared between customers.
Setting up a contactless ordering and payment system at your own restaurant can be done in these next few steps:
1.Create a digital menu with an online ordering system
The first step in creating a contactless ordering experience for your customers is to make a digital menu that they can access from their phones or gadgets. The most ideal way to do this is by using an online ordering system that syncs all data between your online menu and orders placed in-person through the point of sale (POS). This ensures that the ordering and sales data will be collected in one centralized location, without the need for comparison and analysis of data within various systems.
2.Create and display the QR code at your restaurant
Now that you have your online site, the next step is to generate the QR code for your digital menu. You can easily do these using various free QR code generator sites. Once your QR code is created, you can save it as an image file and print it out.
Finally, you can display the printed QR code anywhere within the restaurant where customers will be able to scan like at the front entrance, on the wall, or at your dining tables.
3.Guests scan the QR code and send orders from a mobile phone
Once the QR code is displayed in your restaurant, all your customers have to do is whip out their mobiles and either uses their iPhone camera or any free QR code application from their phones to scan the code.
Once scanned, your customers will be taken directly to the digital menu, where they can choose menu items to add to their virtual cart. Next, guests will be able to send their order, and either enter their credit card info to pay while placing the order or choose to pay at a later time at the restaurant counter.
4.Orders are sent to the kitchen and the staff prepares the order
Once your customer submits an order from their mobile phone, you’ll receive an email with all the order details and will be informed about it through a notification on your POS screen. The order details will also appear in the “Orders” section of your POS and can be re-accessed and opened from there. You can then ask your kitchen staff to prepare the order. It allows you to manage your restaurant with less staff since it eliminates the need for servers to take the customers’ orders.
5.Orders are sent to or picked up by the customer
Once the food is ready, you can deliver it to the customer directly at their table or announce the order for the customer to pick up on their own. This also allows you to manage dine-in with minimal physical contact.
The entire process allows your customers to get their food more quickly, safely, and efficiently than if they order in person.
Advantages of a Contactless Ordering Experience
The advantages of a contactless ordering system include:
- Increase in the speed and efficiency of your ordering process
Since customers are ordering and paying on their own using their phones, they no longer have to wait around for the waiter to come by their table. Your customers can now order at the pace they would like, get their orders and pay faster, thus enhancing the overall experience. It also decreases the possibility of human error than if your staff were to manually take down customers’ orders directly at the table. Not to mention, it makes it possible for you to manage takeaways with zero physical contact.
- A safer experience for your customers
Your guests will feel much safer and more at ease about ordering and making payments via a contactless menu, allowing you to stay competitive and maintain your sales during this difficult period.
The customers will no longer have to stand in line with other guests or have your staff wait by their table to take their order. They also won’t have to worry about using a physical menu that has been touched by other customers or handing out their credit cards over for payment.
- More Savings
By giving people access to a digital menu, with customers ordering from their mobile devices, you’ll save money by no longer having to produce physical menus. Moreover, since the contactless ordering experience allows for less error in the ordering process, it decreases the chances of having to toss out food made in error. Since you only need to hire a few people to take orders, you can cut costs on your payroll as well.
- Remain competitive with an innovative ordering experience
Another advantage of utilizing a digital menu at your restaurant is that it gives your guests an innovative, distinct, and more convenient ordering experience, allowing you to enhance customer engagement and stand out from your competitors.
As discussed above, employing a contactless order experience at your restaurant is crucial now, with a profound shift in consumer behaviour and expectations, especially with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. You have to innovate to remain relevant and that involves simplifying and speeding up the order process and the customer experience.
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