As living creatures, humans have basic needs that need to be fulfilled. One of them is food. Before COVID-19 hits the world, restaurants are spots where human beings are not only able to fulfil their needs for food and enjoy their meals, but also to socialise. That is why restaurants play an important role in a community. However, restaurants have become one of the riskier places to be visited ever since COVID-19 breaks out.
The Danger of COVID-19’s Variants of Concern (VOCs)
With the distribution of vaccines being in progress, some nations have decided to lift the restrictions and allow businesses to reopen for the public, including restaurants. Many people thought that things have finally gotten better. Little do they know, this deadly virus strikes again with an even bigger threat than before.
The most concerning issue right now is the arrival of the new variants of COVID-19. WHO proclaimed that there are four Variants of Concern (VOCs) so far. These strains are more infectious and dangerous, especially the Delta variant. The most recent news has revealed that it only takes 5-10 seconds of encounter to actually get infected to the Delta strain. Lara Herrero, Griffith University virologist, stated that “the Delta [strain] is certainly looking like it’s the most transmissible strain so far.” Therefore, everybody needs to increase their level of caution. That being said, with these new variants around us and the situation is admittedly getting worse, it is imperative for people to practise social distancing and obey other health and safety protocols.
Restaurants Must Take One Step Further to Keep Their Staff and Customers Safe
Businesses need to take that recent news as a warning or encouragement to actually do the best they can to keep their staff and customers safe. Sure, businesses have already applying health and safety protocols, but they need to take one step further to ensure close contacts are minimised, especially for high-risk places like restaurants.
In restaurants, queuing can be one of the reasons social distancing cannot be fully put into practise. Restaurants’ seating arrangements are important, but so is crowd control. Discouraging and avoiding crowded waiting areas or dining areas are possible with Business Smart Solution (BSS)’ queue management system, SMARTQUEUE®.
What Restaurants Need during the Pandemic and How SMARTQUEUE® can Help
SMARTQUEUE® is a queue management system that will give your customers a new and safer queuing experience during the pandemic by utilising technology to its fullest potential. This one seamless integrated system provides solutions to help restaurants face the current challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of them:
- Restaurants need to minimise crowd within the premise and avoid queue congestions or bottlenecks.
As a solution, SMARTQUEUE® provides virtual queuing, virtual caller, and SMS notification features. SMARTQUEUE®’s virtual queue system enables customers to check in virtually and place an order through provided QR code. With virtual caller, through a single interface, staff can call customers and provide information when their table is ready or when their food is ready (for take-out or drive-through options), without the need for staff and customers to be in close proximity. Furthermore, as an alternative and an additional module, the SMS notifications feature allows customers to wait remotely and off the premise if they want to when the restaurant’s dining-in capacity is full or while they wait for staff to prepare their take-out food. With this feature, they will get notified when the table is ready for them or their ordered food is ready to be picked up.
- Restaurants need to obey local regulations on the capacity of customers.
As a solution, SMARTQUEUE® provides an appointment booking system. This system allows customers to reserve a table ahead of time. Hence, it is possible for staff to anticipate crowd levels within the premise and prevent an overcrowded location. Furthermore, through any web-based devices, customers can check the real-time availability of a table before they make a reservation. Therefore, they would know whether the dining-in capacity is full, enabling them to opt for take-out or drive-through instead. Customers can also check the waiting list status once they have checked in. Therefore, crowd within the premise can be controlled easily and social distancing can be put into practise.
- Restaurants need to maintain their quality of food, quality of service, and focus on increasing customer experience (CX) even during the pandemic.
SMARTQUEUE® supports continuous CX improvement through feedbacks and comprehensive analytics. To help restaurants thrive, SMARTQUEUE® provides dashboard monitoring, centralised reporting, and Customer Feedback Solutions (SMARTSURVEYS™). Through dashboard monitoring and centralised reporting, restaurants can get insights into their current activity, service performance, customer flow, and many others. Our solutions produce comprehensive and thorough statistics and KPI reports, allowing restaurants to easily evaluate service and staff performance, along with recognising areas of improvement. Additionally, with SMARTSURVEYS™, restaurants can easily obtain feedbacks directly from customers through various format options. Hence, enhancing CX during the pandemic is more than possible.