Click ‘Walk' & Collect is the next big thing. Is your business prepared to transition out of lockdown?

As countries have already started to transition out of full lockdown, with many more following suit soon, summer presents many opportunities for business. The public will be craving their favourite foods, coffee & treats, and will be happy to get outdoors to find them.

The last few weeks have been extremely challenging for the F&B industry, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Exactly how and when restaurants, pubs, bars and coffee shops will reopen is still in debate. It seems clear that elements of social distancing will remain for months to come and restaurant businesses will need to adapt to this new norm. Businesses in the UK wanting to get off to the best possible start have already started to search for ways to adapt using new technology. 

Web Solutions for Restaurant
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

So what can restaurants, pubs, bars and coffee shops do to prepare for the ‘new normal’? How can businesses take care of their customers, and give themselves the opportunity to get back into business as quickly as possible? 

Many US merchants have been adapting in areas where they have been allowed greater flexibility. Some businesses such as coffee shops & juice bars we work with, who initially closed their doors to public access, have continued to achieve “pre-Covid 19” sales levels, simply by using In App Mobile Ordering, for Click & Collect and Curbside Pick Up. 

As we’re coming into summer it should be easier for customers to select “pre order” to grab their coffee or their lunch and go for a walk or sit outside, while social distancing.

Web Solutions for Hospitality
Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

As lockdown measures are eased, social distancing will remain in some form. Many of the general public will still be cautious and will therefore gravitate to those businesses helping to protect them through sensible precautions. Technology can help play a major role in attracting customers back to your business through app-based pre ordering for pick-up, and in time, in-store ‘order to table’ and ‘pay at table’ solutions.

Charles Hall, CEO of Pepper, added

We expect some in-store dining to start again before too long but with reduced capacity and protection measures to ensure social distancing. We believe that enabling features such as ‘order to table’ and ‘pay at table’ will provide a significant added level of reassurance and comfort to diners looking to minimize social contact yet enjoy an in-restaurant experience.

In summary, technology can lend a helping hand during challenging times. Hospitality operators can use digital ordering capabilities to their advantage, not only to generate new income streams but to collect and own the customer data for loyalty and rewards. 

App Solutions For Cafe

When looking to invest into such in-app ordering technology for your business, it’s important to understand how each feature will impact sales and operations to ensure you find the right solution for your specific needs. 

Click & Collect and Curbside Pick Up

...For Coffee & QSR

  • Customers queuing for pick-up only, limited or no people in store.
  • More orders taken via the app and faster order processing with in-app payment.

…For Restaurant & Pubs

  • A commission-free sales channel for your business, which you may not have previously considered, and another option for customers... (instead of aggregators such as Deliveroo & Uber Eats)
  • After being in lockdown for weeks, people will be more eager than ever to get ‘out and about’ and grab a bite from their favourite pub, instead of sitting in for another delivery. 

… For Bars

  • Already a big trend in the US - ‘Grab & Go Cocktails’ are the next big thing.
  • Bars are offering takeaway cups so people can grab a drink and go for a walk (an opportunity to embrace sustainable packaging too!)

Order to Table & Pay at Table

  • Helps provide customer protection in all dining situations when in store dining returns.
  • Also perfect for pubs & restaurants with outdoor seating and beer gardens. Fewer journeys for staff to be interacting with customers. 

Loyalty & Rewards

  • Providing customers with loyalty and rewards increases customer frequency, and can be implemented as a stand alone feature or added to ordering. Now is a time to show your customers their spend and patronage is recognised.
  • Successful hospitality businesses incentivise and reward customers who use click and collect, encouraging customers to adhere to social distancing. Offers such as “Double points or stamps for Pre orders” are proving to be very popular. 

There are so many opportunities to stay ahead of the curve and provide a service to your customers, while filling a genuine customer need at this time.

Pepper offers advice and cost-effective ordering solutions for any businesses looking to increase sales and start contact-free collections for customers. Get in touch to arrange a call back here.