That one restaurant trend that will outlast the pandemic

The next time you hear “When things get back to normal”, you should ask “Define normal?”. Like it or not, a new normal has already set in.

The next time you hear “When things get back to normal”, you should ask “Define normal?”. Like it or not, a new normal has already set in. Realistically, if it only takes 21 days to develop a new habit, we have long adapted to living in these times of a pandemic.

In less than a year, we became fixated on washing hands, sanitizing and keeping distance. Social norms changed - from shopping and restaurant visits to entertainment and Friday bars. Consumers changed, so we need to adapt.

What happened to the restaurant industry?

The biggest change that the pandemic brought upon restaurants was online ordering. Consumers quickly adopted ordering takeaway online. Currently, the trend to use an mobile ordering system when dining at a restaurant is exponentially growing.

Mobile ordering at a restaurant or a café means that guests need to download an app or use a QR code to access a menu card, place their order and pay. This way of ordering became extremely popular when restaurants reopened after the first lockdown. Online ordering means a lot less touchpoints that could potentially increase the spread of COVID-19.

Online ordering prevents people from touching the same menu, restaurateurs don’t have to print out disposable menus, payments are managed online meaning no touching of cash or terminals. Overall, online ordering is keeping restaurants’ guests and staff safe.

Will this be needed once we overcome the pandemic?

Research by Bluedot (an outbreak risk software that has been closely researching COVID-19), shows that 8 out of 10 consumers expect to continue with their current dining habits beyond coronavirus. 85 percent of respondents said they plan to keep mobile apps for restaurants and food post pandemic.

Statistics show that online ordering will remain a big part of people’s dining habits. Hygiene may be the main priority right now, but those newly formed habits are here to stay and restaurateurs should adapt to them.

Perks of the new normal

Restaurateurs are actually seeing more advantages of online ordering systems than ever anticipated. To begin with, they need less staff, meaning they have less expenses. Furtheron, the guests get seated, place an order and it gets delivered. No more cranky guests complaining that they didn't get service in time.

Still the biggest advantage of online ordering systems is data. We live in a world where the word “data” is probably used too many times to explain things that too many people don’t understand. So let’s take a step back and see what does data have to do with restaurants?

In order to accept orders and payments, online ordering systems require guests to create a profile. People usually have to fill out their name, email and phone number. Information that so far only third-party delivery services collected and used for their own marketing.

Mobile ordering is changing the game. Now restaurateurs can collect and use their guests’ data to directly contact them with special offers. For example, you can offer 10% off your whole menu on a slow Monday evening and send that message directly to your previous guests.

Systems like Quickorder help you to even sort your guests’ data - for example, you can send a free soda coupon to all of the guests who haven't ordered from or visited your restaurant in the last month. The results, we see from restaurant owners who take good marketing and loyalty programs seriously, are around 30 % more loyal customers and an increase with over 20% of the worth of the average orders. Do you want to learn more about online ordering and loyalty programs? Don’t hesitate to contact us.

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