Contactless transactions are no longer a future concept in our economy’s most hands-on industries.

For the past year, global attention has been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, which uniquely impacted the restaurant and hospitality industries, turning their business model and operations upside-down. The adaption of new trends and technologies was sped up by years as businesses rushed to address the needs of their customers and comply with government mandates.

Many operators saw the life or death of their businesses hang on their ability to pivot quickly to comply with government mandates and safety regulations and to set their customers’ minds at ease.

According to recent data from the National Restaurant Association, 110,000 restaurants had closed temporarily or permanently as of December 1. That number is 17% of the restaurants that were in business prior to the pandemic. Revenue across the industry was down 16% in January as compared to the previous year.

Now, as we continue to manage the continued effects of the pandemic, it’s also time to look forward to how the past year has changed the type of experience and technology customers have come to expect from restaurants.

One thing is certain, however. Consumers are increasingly embracing technology-driven transactions. This includes mobile ordering and payment options, self-service kiosks, drive-thru tech, and even pickup lockers.

The key to success is combining technology with a positive customer experience. Customers are increasingly demanding more options for digital transactions, but still want to be uniquely engaged during the process. The benefit to this is that customers tend to spend 20% more per visit when using technology to place their order.

Fortunately, integrated point-of-sale systems can allow you to implement and manage online and mobile ordering and payments, contactless in-store payments, delivery and pickup options, and menu changes.

“When we worked with [Staley Technologies] on Petit and Keet, the task at hand of creating a database from scratch with an advanced bar program was one of the most daunting that we had ever faced,” said Jake Keet, COO of Little Rock, Ark.-based JTJ Restaurants, LLC. “Their team helped guide us through the process and were always available when we needed help. Quick adaptations like the pivot to reduced capacities in-house made online and digital ordering methods central to our operation to mitigate the lower traffic.”

Some businesses have found a balance between technology and personalized customer service by implementing chat video menu boards that allow customers and employees to see each other and interact without being in the same physical space.

Digital signs and menu boards can also add adaptability and flexibility. They offer a space to easily showcase and update rotating, seasonal, and special menu items, but they can also be used to inform customers of important information and quickly pivot to reflect any unexpected changes.

Really, it’s about finding technology that meets the needs of your customers and your business. Staley Technologies offers operators turn-key technology solutions designed to meet the specific demands of your business and industry.

Many restaurants were caught off-guard by all that happened in 2020 and had to scramble to come up with new ordering, payment, and delivery options. While no one can predict exactly what other challenges may arise in the future, you can prepare your business to withstand unexpected changes by implementing the proper tools ahead of time. Learn more about equipping your business by contacting our team today.

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