There aren’t many markets that have been untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. One of the hardest hit has been the restaurant industry. With orders to shelter in place and maintain social distancing, eating a meal at a restaurant surrounded by a hundred people was clearly unsafe. As a result, dine-in restaurants have felt the sting. In fact, some reports estimate that U.S. restaurant sales are down 70% over the past few months.
Thankfully, in the time since initial shutdowns, we’ve learned more about the transmission of the virus, healthcare professionals continue to be better equipped to treat patients, and our leaders are establishing best practices that will pave the way for re-opening businesses. Still, it’s safe to say that it will be some time before things return to anything close to normal, and restaurants might never be the same. Facing social distancing guidelines that won’t let up any time soon, restaurants should be pivoting their business models to operate in this new landscape. However, to do that, they will need your help.
Restaurants that survive will have a few common characteristics when it comes to their technology:
- they’ll offer online ordering
- they’ll offer takeout or delivery
- they’ll offer safe and convenient electronic payment options
- they’ll be focused on a positive customer experience
If guests can’t visit a physical restaurant location, the next best thing is to give guests the ability to order the food they love online easily. Whether a restaurant ultimately chooses to offer takeout or delivery services, cash transactions should be minimized, and electronic payments should be standard. The World Health Organization has cautioned that paper money could serve as a transmission method for the coronavirus. By sticking to electronic payments, restaurants reduce risks to both their guests and employees.
The good news is that electronic payments provide many benefits over cash:
- easier and faster than paying with cash
- tips tend to be higher with electronic payments
- fewer errors during end of day reconciliation
- faster end of day reconciliation
- reduces employee theft
- electronic payment technology dovetails with customer engagement activities such as loyalty and gift cards
Software developers partner with NMI for next-generation payment technology
While all the above might sound good, the truth is that today’s electronic payment technology goes way beyond a cash vs. credit card debate. With the right cloud-based e-commerce payment technology, restaurants can truly transform the way they do business. Consider these recent stories from software developers who worked with NMI to help restaurants thrive during these difficult times.
- SpotOn, an intelligent payments solution company, recently rolled out integrated online ordering and curbside pickup for its restaurant customers, waiving the setup and monthly fees until January of 2021.
- Arryved, a POS system for the craft beverage industry, pulled together an online ordering system so their customers could continue to sell while remaining physically closed to the public. This includes a mobile payment app to support contactless payment for walk-ups as well as future on-premise sales. The system is free for current customers, fully integrated and easy to set up — breweries are going live with their online stores within days, allowing them to supplement lost revenue quickly. In the long run, these businesses now can follow their customers across multiple channels and deliver personalized experiences post-pandemic.
Powerful functionality can come easy
For restaurants to successfully launch an online ordering solution, it’s essential that customers who engage can easily come back again. The shopping experience should be frictionless, offer multiple payment options, make loyalty enrollment automatic and include rewards for emailed receipts and sign-up. This might sound like a tall order, but NMI has the cloud-based omnichannel commerce and payment tools to make all this a reality.
Today, restaurants need help more than ever. Contact NMI to learn how one simple and fast integration can supercharge your software and help your restaurant customers to not only survive but thrive in the months and years to come.