In 2020, restaurateurs have their work cut out, and the remainder of the year is uncertain. Customer expectations for digital dine-in experiences are rapidly changing, and failures to follow local, state, and federal regulations regarding reopening could have severe setbacks. Meanwhile, the issue with finding a balance between the costs of dine-in and delivery orders continues to affect fast-casual restaurants, reports the Financial Post, Alex Rechichi of Crave It Restaurant Group:
“The only possible way to make the numbers work with the delivery apps is by using them for incremental cash flow by selling some extra takeout orders after the in-store business has covered fixed overhead and labor costs.”
If dine-in effectively subsidizes delivery, then it’s game on. And, fast-casual restaurants need to know the strategies that will help them thrive in dine-in services through the remainder of the year.
Let Customers Use Their Personal Devices to Order, Pay, and Connect With Servers
This is the simplest step. By giving customers the option to review the menu, order, and pay via their personal devices, restaurants can ensure safety and streamline service staff workflows. It’s a win-win. Furthermore, offering contactless experiences is now the go-to way to alleviate consumer concerns when dining in fast-casual restaurants. Contactless is the new normal for the restaurant industry, but how do restaurants achieve contactless dining for dine-in customers? It’s a complicated issue.
It’s Time to Start Tracking Cleanliness Better
This year has seen its fair share of setbacks, and fast-casual restaurants are struggling to find new opportunities and ways to cut back, attract guests, and improve dining experiences. One area that’s at the top of the mind for restaurants is cleaning schedules. Cleanliness is not just the quality of a nice restaurant kitchen. It’s now a mandate for all restaurants to stay open as 2020 continues. Furthermore, customers remain leery about venturing beyond their homes, and any opportunity that could pose a health risk to customers will inevitably lead to backlash and potentially harm to your customer base. As a result, start tracking cleaning schedules for everything and after every guest. It’s going to increase labor costs, but it is critical to remain open in 2020.
Emphasize Measures Taken to Improve Safety and Offer Contactless Dining on Social Media
It’s not enough to simply increase cleaning efforts and track sanitation schedules. Fast-casual restaurants need to make these efforts public through social media and any available online presence. Regardless of whether a restaurant is a fast-casual or more formal space, the need for contactless transcends dine-in experiences. It’s a critical aspect of all forms of interaction, including contactless delivery, contactless pickup, contactless service within the dining area, and more. Only by sharing this information will guests be more likely to return to their favorite restaurants.
Use Automation for Predictive Ordering for Food and Liquor Procurement
Automation is another opportunity to save resources in both procurement and food preparation in 2020. Since labor costs represent a major problem in fast-casual restaurants, there are ample opportunities to use technology to prepare food without the human element. According to Restaurant Technology News:
“An example is 3D-printed food. Take pasta—making it is a very labor-intensive process, and yet you can’t charge much for a bowl of spaghetti Bolognese. 3D-printed pasta, however, removes the labor aspect, which can increase profit margins substantially and free up kitchen staff for other tasks.”
It sounds unusual, but it can have a drastic effect on restaurants struggling to stay afloat through the remainder of 2020. Meanwhile, automated reordering of ingredients, liquor, and supplies streamlines management and keeps inventory costs under control.
Overcome Obstacles and Put the Resources in Place That Enable Restaurant Competitive Advantage Now
The year is only half over, and restaurants of all forms are trying to reopen and establish their brands once again. By following the above-listed steps, both fast-casual restaurants and formal dining brands can regain their popularity, expand profit margins, and truly deliver on a positive customer experience. Visit Tacit online to get started.