The challenges of today have really presented a sink-or-swim playing field for most businesses, causing many to pivot pretty heavily – especially within industries in which crowds are common. The restaurant and bar industry has made a major pivot toward a contactless delivery and carry out business model in order to maintain profitability. Some restaurants have seen and will see more success than their competitors
because of how well they’ve been able to maintain customer satisfaction. So here are some tips to improve the food pickup experience at your restaurant.

1. Ensure a Seamless Customer Journey

“Customer journey” is an all-encompassing term that describes a customer’s experience from the second they lay eyes on your brand until they have made a purchase. The goal of any business is to make that
journey as quick and convenient as possible. Some easy ways to do this are:

  • Including downloadable menus on all social channels and website homepage
  • Clear, concise calls to action (CTA) on website for ordering/pickup
  • Updated business hours/delivery info on Google My Business profile
  • Pickup and delivery protocols displayed prominently on digital channels (social, website, app, etc.)
  • Utilizing 3rd-party delivery apps (though, it may not be right for every business)

While most restaurants have traditionally relied on local foot traffic, people now prefer to do everything
online – from browsing the menu, to ordering and paying. Contactless delivery to minimize the amount of time spent in the restaurant is trending, so having the infrastructure to support it is crucial.

2. Food Prep & Order Tracking

A recent survey from Rakuten Ready found that two of the most important factors for customers when placing online orders are knowing when the order is ready and clear details on how to pick up the order.

If you’ve ever ordered online from a pizza chain or from a 3rd-party delivery app like DoorDash or GrubHub, you’ve probably noticed that as soon as you place the order, they give live updates on its status – from when the food is being made to when it’s ready for pickup. If you’ve ordered delivery, they will show exactly where the delivery driver is via GPS tracking.

The reason behind this is simple: keeping the customer engaged and
in-the-know about their order increases transparency, and therefore, trustworthiness. If you are unwilling or unable to set up infrastructure for GPS delivery tracking, consider text message updates instead.

You also might be interested in reading, ‘Playbook for Creating Contactless Experiences.

3. Customer Engagement Through Transparency

There are ways to build trust with your customers other than order tracking. Rethinking your marketing efforts to concentrate on aspects of pickup and delivery orders should be your new priority. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I providing details on pickup and delivery protocol on the website and Google My Business profile?
  • Do we provide accessible, up-to-date employee health policies?
  • Am I leveraging my social media accounts to provide timely updates regarding in-store policies?

It’s important to put potential customers at ease, particularly during these uncertain times. People want to see that you’re taking their health concerns seriously, so give them peace of mind. Open, honest, and frequent updates will win customers more often than not.

4. Remain Contactless

Many restaurants have been adopting contactless delivery and pickup methods. With delivery, the driver simply leaves the food at the doorstep and either calls, texts, or sends picture confirmation that the food has arrived. You may think that contactless pickup is more challenging. Although it may be a new procedure, it really isn’t more difficult.

“Customers want minimal wait times with their orders when they arrive. They also want very clear contactless protocols like designated pickup parking spots or pickup areas, social distancing and contactless handoff.” -Rakuten Ready

By implementing curbside pickup, designated outdoor pickup areas, or other socially distant methods of food pickup/delivery, you signal to the customer that you are dedicated to making the dining process as easy as possible.

Society Insurance is Here to Help Your Bar or Restaurant Succeed

Society Insurance is dedicated to helping businesses succeed by providing industry-leading restaurant and bar insurance. Your business is your livelihood, and we do all we can to help you protect it. Talk to your local Society Insurance agent to discuss your insurance coverage options.