Currently on the mind or every restaurant operator is how to maximize sales amid current conditions. With state-mandated health and safety guidelines in place, many restaurants that have reopened have done so with only limited capacity seating. Signaling that a return to how everything was prior to the pandemic is highly unlikely. It is becoming vital for brands to adjust their near and long term business operations to deliver on safety concerns while driving critical business results.
Our Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at Punchh, Sastry Penumarthy, recently highlighted the efforts restaurants should consider to balance safety for both employees and guests and profitability by focusing on contactless retail and loyalty.
Contactless retail makes it easy for both staff and guests to be safe by minimizing physical contact between your brand and your customers. Restaurants need to make it easy for guests to order and pay for the food online or through a branded app and/or order in the store, but pay for the food using a mobile wallet.
Also, brands should enable curbside pickup and contactless delivery to customers. Brands must put a system in place that guarantees minimal food contact, communicates accurate, timely pickup and delivery times and isolates food before it meets the customer, whether that means outdoor pickup stations or front door drop-offs. Native systems also provide brands with ownership of their data to drive customer engagement moving forward.
Creating loyalty also facilities profitable customer relationships through the pandemic and into the future. Engaging customers through a loyalty program helps brands drive guest frequency and spend, and specifically higher net revenue. When brands focus on loyalty, they can better understand their guests and their unique preferences to tailor cross-sell offers and up-sell offers that increase check size, while optimizing discount levels.
“By creating an efficient and integrated contactless ordering, payment, loyalty, pickup and delivery model restaurant brands can prioritize safety while still maximizing operations to turn a profit.”
– Sastry Penumarthy, Punchh Co-Founder & VP of Strategy