Where’s Curbside Pickup Headed Next?
Dining out has changed ever since the pandemic began. Sit-down service is still under suspicion, and even dipping inside to get takeout makes many customers uncomfortable. These fears are amplified amongst those who live with young kids, older family members, or people with health issues that make them more vulnerable. Whether because they think it’s safer, less expensive, or more convenient to get takeout than delivery, people are trying curbside pickup.
Photo courtesy of eatOS
Why Guests Prefer Curbside Pickup
For anyone who wants a more convenient and safe experience, this sales channel is the way to go. Guests simply pull up to the designated parking area and follow your restaurant’s protocol for getting orders. For example, many businesses have built their own apps to streamline the process.
Though a relatively new practice, the concept really took off during COVID-19. Depending on the state, some restaurants offer alcohol to-go, or groceries if they sell overstock for extra cash.
The ability to grab food quickly and get back home especially appealed to people with kids. Working and parenting full-time doesn’t leave a ton of room for cooking, too. This way, they can grab dinner on their way home without exposing their family to any additional risk. It saves money on delivery fees too. Pure convenience has made it more likely that guests will continue ordering this way, even after the pandemic ends.
How Restaurants Can Pivot
To get the most out of curbside pickup, rearrange your layout to accommodate the new sales channel. Equip yourself with the latest technology, too, capable of handling more traffic. For example, create specific lanes dedicated just to curbside customers and set time limits so no one lingers. Some forward-thinkers set up conveyor belts to make the process more socially distant.
However, other restaurants have opted for a different solution. When you partner with eatOS, we set up a personalized branded merchant app. Customers can write order notes to make it easier for couriers to find the right car. With a description or a license number, guests have a smooth and completely contact-free pickup experience.
Find any other points of direct contact to eliminate and digitize those, as well. As consumers get more comfortable with curbside pickup, restaurants will need to keep these sales channels strong.
The Future of Curbside Pickup
Uncertainty still surrounds what’s next in this pandemic. From vaccine effectiveness to when we’ll reach sufficient herd immunity to resume life as normal, people still have reservations about dining in or even heading inside for takeout. Curbside pickup will stick around.
To build the strongest possible business, incorporate curbside pickup into the everyday flow of operations. Even as you reopen dine-in services, integrate these various sales channels together with a capable Point of Sale system.
eatOS offers an all-in-one cloud-based eco-system exclusively for restaurants. From Point of Sale to Contactless Ordering, Pay & Order at Table, Kitchen Display System, Customer Facing Display, Online Ordering APP / Website and Workforce Management there is everything to help a restaurant succeed no matter the size. Click Here to Schedule a demo to learn more about how your restaurant can make a smooth transition into the world of restaurant technology made simple.