No matter when the world regains a sense of normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that “normal” will mean something different. The novel coronavirus has made people more aware of how diseases are spread and what they can do to help keep vulnerable populations safer. Whether the future holds long-term social distancing, more masks in public, a permanent transition to telecommuting or other safety requirements, it is safe to assume that life has changed.
One of the most obvious ways in which life has changed is how we dine at restaurants. In addition to maintaining distance from other patrons and paying closer attention to proper sanitation practices, how we pay for meals is different. As many became wary regarding cash transactions and as the national coin shortage began, the number of electronic payments rose, according to CNBC.
Experts believe the risk of transmitting the virus through banknotes and coins is relatively low. However, many consumers have chosen to err on the side of caution and avoid physical currency. Any restaurants that did not already have a multichannel approach for accepting payments must implement one now or else be left behind by the shifting trends.
Furthermore, the world of the near future may require eateries to adopt multiple methods for completing transactions, some of which might have been unfamiliar even a year ago. In addition to contactless payment systems such as tap-to-pay kiosks, many establishments will need to utilize wireless card readers for curbside and delivery orders. Other technologies with which restaurateurs should become familiar include scan to order/pay functionality, voice-purchasing options through digital assistants, or in-car systems that allow drivers to pay through dashboard touchscreens.
Even after it becomes safe to open dining rooms to patrons again, the way restaurants do business will be different. The infographic below details many of the ways in which the post-pandemic world might change when it comes to accepting payments.