Adapt or die – this underlying belief from Charles Darwin means that species that adapt to changing conditions are the ones that will survive.
Now, more than ever, that theory is being put to the test in a world where a virus has changed the way restaurants conduct business. Those that have adapted well are able to survive and, in many cases, thrive in this new world. At the same time, those who did not invest in their brand or website, did not build a database of their customers, or did not make the best use of available technology have struggled greatly to stay in business. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, many restaurants who did not adapt have closed for good.
Safer Restaurant Practices
Since the onset of the pandemic, the way restaurants conduct business has and will continue to change. There is and will be a “new normal,” where online ordering and payment is now the preferred method of purchase, curbside pickup is preferred, and dine-in customers are using QR codes to pull up menus. All these changes have helped to make customers and staff safer, and more changes are on the horizon. It will be incumbent for restaurants to implement these safer practices, and operators who are early to adapt will have a better chance to survive in the “new normal.”
Creating a safer environment not only means utilizing the best cleaning procedures, but also reducing interaction between employees and customers. One new technology that has come to the forefront because of the pandemic is the use of QR codes to pull up menus. This contactless system eliminates the spread of germs and the need to sanitize menus.
Why QR Codes Matter
While placing QR codes on tables in the restaurant is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough. Restaurants that implement systems that allow the full gamut of ordering, including payment and tipping, will truly leverage technology and increase safety for both customers and staff. Not only will this improve safety, it will also help the restaurant become more efficient and ultimately more profitable. In the same way that online ordering reduced the number of phone order takes, restaurants that use QR codes with payment will need less order taking, ultimately leading to less face-to-face communication and lower risk of being exposed to the virus. In this case, less is more. Less expense, more profits. A timeless formula that is needed now more than ever.
Plan for the New Normal
The message is simple: adjust your thinking and start planning for the new normal. The time for QR code technology that allows for ordering and payments is now. It is the next step in the evolution of restaurants, and operators who recognize this fact and implement it will benefit from having a safer and more efficient operation. At some point patrons will return to restaurants, and those restaurants that make them feel safe will be the ones that have adapted to the new normal and will be the likeliest to survive and thrive!