With over a million restaurant locations in the U.S. alone, the restaurant industry was hit harder than any other industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. As widespread dining room restrictions and consumer wariness of traditional restaurant experiences continues, restaurant owners are left to figure out new strategies to serve guests. This has challenged restaurants to turn to new ways of serving guests safely while meeting the demand for contactless and mobile-enabled guest service. Many restaurants, both corporate chain and independents have adopted the following new service models.
- Dine-In, Occupancy Tracking & Contact Tracing
- Third-Party Delivery
- Curbside Delivery
- Outdoor Dining
However, these too presented challenges due to costs that leave razor thin margins or are limited solutions due to seasonality and cold weather.
Among these ideas, curbside delivery showed growth opportunity at a relatively low-cost for restaurants without drive-thrus or margins to support third-party delivery. Also, restaurants realized that curbside delivery offered the added value of control of food quality and the guests' delivery experience.
Restaurants and guests are moving toward curbside delivery as a faster, cheaper alternative to third-party delivery and drive-thru service.
Diners are also more interested in curbside pickup because of convenience at no extra cost per order. And, if the restaurant is within a 10-mile radius of their home it could potentially be faster than having their food delivered by a third party.
Restaurants are realizing that curbside delivery is a real opportunity to secure a long-term reliable service model that increases sales which tend to be 20% to 25% higher than an in-store purchase.
Customers want convenience, an enhanced digital experience, and contactless payments.
To get started, some restaurants simply designated parking spots for their curbside delivery customers and dedicated staff to serve and deliver orders quickly.
But, guest experience and operational efficiency continue to be high priorities. With reduced staff due to rising labor costs restaurants have moved to SMS text technology such as FindMe with Arriva™ to notify staff via pager when a curbside customer has arrived, their location, vehicle description and the order number.
FindMe with Arriva™ frees up staff so they can manage multiple service areas while also ensuring a great curbside guest experience. With the information FindMe with Arriva™ sends to the staff the guests' wait time is minimal and staff can greet guests by name and deliver orders hot and to the right vehicle.
Curbside delivery is a Win-Win!
Curbside is a powerful revenue opportunity and a competitive option for restaurants that are competing with the growing QSR segment. With curbside delivery, full service and fast casual restaurants can offer guests the dining choice of their favorite restaurant on premise or on-the-go.
If you want to learn more about curbside delivery technology solutions contact one of our experts.