The global Covid-19 pandemic has touched us all, socially, emotionally and economically, especially those who work in the UK hospitality sector, writes Niels Nielsen.
I’ve never seen anything like this in my working life. The 2008 financial meltdown was similar. But nowhere near at catastrophic. Our entire sector — employing 2.9 million workers and generating over £130bn cash — shut down overnight in March. 70 million pints of beer were poured down the plughole.
Threat is real
Although business tax cuts, cash grants and financial support for furloughed employees have helped, the threat to hospitality businesses is very real.
According to Statista, experts expect 85% of hotels, 79% of pub restaurants and 77% of wet-led pubs to bounce-back. They were less optimistic about the late night sector with only 69% of establishments expected to re-open.
Many takeaway businesses have already reopened after adopting government Covid-19 Secure guidelines.
- staggering employee/customer arrival and departure times,
- adopting “one-way flow routes”
- introducing hand-washing and hand sanitation areas and having different building entries and exits.
At the time of writing, we anticipate many England’s pubs and restaurants switching on their tills in early July.
The new normal
Many hospitality operators will have to get used to the ‘new normal’. This means following government risk assessment, social distancing, hygiene and home working guidelines.
In this world, operators have a responsibility to alter operating procedures and the layout of premises. Technology will help you implement practical processes and procedures to ensure customer safety and confidence in your business.
Here are some practical technology tips to get in shape for the bounce-back.
Use the floor-plan function in your reservations system to design new layouts and routes through your hospitality venue. This ensures you, your staff and your customers are best able to observe social distancing rules.
Highlight sanitation points
These floor-plans will show people what areas of the venue are closed and where to avoid potential bottle-necks (such as queuing or standing at the bar).
The floor-plan can also highlight sanitation and hand washing points. You can add QR code posters (see paragraph below) for customers as the safest purchasing option.
QR codes are integral to a mobile order & pay (order & pay at table) systems that help you respect social distancing guidelines, reduce physical contact points between people and eliminate the need for customers to touch venue screens and menus.
This payment systems can standalone or complement your existing solutions.
All customers have to is use the online system, activate the QR code that takes them to your website’s menu, simply sit down, order, pay and wait for their food and drinks. There are no apps to download.
No need to register
As a customer you don’t need to register. You simply pay using Apple, Google or Paypal payment solutions. All transactions are automatically processed and added to your EPOS system.
With many operators introducing or expanding their takeaway offerings, click and collect and pre-ordering technology allows you and your team to focus on preparation free from large queues and sudden unexpected influxes of customers. Managers and their teams can concentrate on producing and bagging up orders whilst observing social distancing rules.
To put the above in real life terms, one customer who was using a well-known delivery company paid £250 delivery takeaway fees in one day alone. On the same day, our click & collect system processed more orders and only cost £4.50 in total fees.
Talk to us today
These are just a few examples of how technology can help you bounce-back from Covid-19. There are many more.
As EPOS-based technology experts, we have the expertise and experience to advise you on how best to deploy or enhance your existing tech.
To help you prepare, we’ve published a technology bounce-back White Paper. You can download it here.
Alternatively, call us on 0800 655 6264 today.