During COVOID-19 many kitchens and restaurants were forced to adopt new technology solutions to better serve customers, and in many cases, stay alive.
As restrictions on bars and restaurants increased, establishments needed to adapt quickly to stay in business. With closures, reduced capacity, and limited hours of operations, businesses turned to online ordering, delivery and pickup.
While no one wants to go back to the beginning of the pandemic, there’s no denying there were positive changes that addressed customer convenience. Now that these new technologies are in place and customers have adapted to them, these systems and efficiencies are here to stay.
1. Online Ordering
As many restaurants moved to take-out only, online ordering became a fast and efficient way for customers to put in an order. Digital orders in August 2021 compared to August 2019 are up 131 percent, and down three percent from August 2020, according to NPD Group research.
With this, restaurants big and small have an opportunity to make improvements to their online ordering systems to meet this increase in demand and future-proof for a convenient trend that isn’t going anywhere. Many businesses have been looking for a solution that can easily integrate online ordering into their current environment, and POS printer solutions are available that can capture orders online and print directly to the kitchen.
2. Kitchen Efficiencies
Many restaurants and kitchens have traditionally leveraged what we might call “old-school” methods – handwriting orders on paper tablets or directly writing the order info and name on a bag or box of food.
As kitchens were stretched to their limits in the last year and a half, they looked to solutions that would make them as efficient as possible, including Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) that would help to streamline kitchen operations and facilitate the drink and food ordering fulfillment process. An efficient printer/controller can seamlessly connect to POS systems and directly drive kitchen displays, perfect for controlling order information displays, as well as interactive web-based kiosks that offer self-assisted ordering.
In addition, kitchens turned to liner-free label printers to support order delivery workflow – making it easy to print and personalize on-the-spot packaging labels for both online and to-go orders.
3. Easy Order Pickup
Convenient in-store pickup stations, drive-thru and curbside pick-up became the norm in 2020. Restaurants turned to technology solutions to optimize the ordering process and meet customers’ demands for full control of their purchases.
Restaurants with buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) services were well-positioned to win over customers during the pandemic, and that will remain true as shoppers are now accustomed to the experience and convenience.
Restaurants were met with rising customer demand for contactless payment and socially distanced experiences – whether they were dining at the restaurant or buying online to pick up. Self-service kiosk solutions became essential for hospitality merchants, and many invested in complete POS solutions to help maximize operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.