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To see the original publication of this article visit Forbes.
This past year has been hard on all of us in so many ways. The restaurant industry faced unforeseen challenges across the globe, and I can't over-emphasize the resilience and tenacity required of us to persevere in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have learned a lot over the past year, and we should take many of our newly adopted practices and perspectives with us into the new year — as well as keep an eye on what business will look like beyond the pandemic.
Contactless Food Service
I believe curbside food pickup and delivery will continue to be mainstays, as they offer customers convenience and the ability to control their own dining experiences. Even once we move beyond the pandemic, customers will continue to enjoy tailoring their dining preferences through apps and online services.
Many restaurants didn’t understand the importance of app-based ordering and food delivery until Covid-19 hit. But many customers have adopted mobile restaurant apps for the first time in 2020. Mobiquity research (via Restaurant Business) looked at restaurant app reviews and found that the number of reviewers who said it was their first time using a QSR restaurant app increased 36% year-over-year.
During the coming year, you may be able to reach an even broader customer base through your dining app. Data suggests that customers are using digital dining interfaces now more than ever, so it’s important that your restaurant meets the demand and offers the best possible experience and ease of service. For example, our interactive app gives guests the opportunity to peruse the menu, place orders and apply for reward programs. Make it easy for your guests to enjoy their dining experience with you however they see fit.
Limited Time Offers And New Menu Additions
While restaurants should continue to follow stay-at-home orders and CDC guidelines, they should not stop innovating on their menus and offering limited time offers (LTOs) that appeal to and make their guests happy, even in this new dining landscape. For example, we came up with our Summertime Lemonade LTO in July of this year, in the midst of the pandemic, and we see no reason to stop creating and providing special deals moving forward.
Keeping Staff Safe
Restaurants are working hard to adopt measures to protect their customers, but safeguarding employees is an equally important — if not somewhat greater — challenge. What safety measures can you enact to make sure everyone is as safe as possible?
One idea is to reduce the number of staff in the building. It's also important to continue monitoring employees' health. Technology can also help keep staff safe. For example, kitchen display systems (KDS) are tools that staff can use to send orders from front-of-house screens to the kitchen without physical contact.
At Wayback Burgers, we don't take our success for granted, and we owe everything to our franchisees who approach their business with an unmatched level of tenacity and dedication to their team members, guests and communities. As restaurants move forward, they should bring the same attitude of positivity, creativity and care as they did in 2020 toward all that they do.
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