Guest Expectations: What Customers Want as Restaurants Reopen

While some restaurants are starting to reopen for indoor dining, the pandemic is still rampant across the United States. For a successful reopening, it is vital that restaurants consider what customers expect of them. 

Customers have received a taste of the ultimate effortless experience this year. Mobile ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup apps made customers feel safer during the lockdown. Pain points like calling to order via phone, walking into the restaurant, waiting in lines, and even driving to the restaurant at all were eliminated. 

While more customers will be venturing out in public, restaurants need to make sure these pain points do not return. After experiencing effortless experiences, waiting in lines will cause intensified frustration. 

Restaurants must keep the effortless ordering trend alive, even once their doors are open for dine-in. Technology and mindful implementation are key to keeping this trend alive. 

How Can Restaurants Reopen Successfully?

Master the Setup

First and foremost, restaurant owners need to make their customers feel safe. Restaurants need to be clean, with hand sanitizer available and social distancing measures in place. Masks must be worn properly by customers and employees. Put adequate space between tables.  

Implement Self-Ordering Technology 

The last thing customers want is to wait in a long line during a pandemic. Self-ordering kiosks are proven to reduce wait times while increasing sales. When you take advantage of restaurant kiosks to reduce wait times, you can also reduce contact between customers and employees. This supports social distancing measures and will make your customers feel safer.  

Keep Mobile Ordering and Delivery Options 

Constant communication between wait staff, cashiers, and customers is a thing of the past. Most customers prefer ordering online or from a kiosk. It is not only the safest option for ordering food during a pandemic– it is also easier for the customers. It reduces ordering mistakes, increases upsell, and reduces pain points for customers. 

Don’t Forget about Cash

While some establishments have stopped accepting cash for fear of germs, cash payments account for 20 percent or more of revenue in most cases.  Not accepting eliminates customers who do not have the ability to pay by card, while also reducing your overall revenue. 

A solution to both of these issues is a kiosk that accepts cash. This limits the contact your employees have with the germy cash while allowing customers to continue paying with cash. 

2020 has transformed the way industries do business, and the restaurant industry is no exception. Consumers prefer to engage with technology more now than ever before. Lockdown trained them to expect an effortless experience and it is our job to continue adapting the definition of quality customer service with good technology.