The Improved Contactless In-store Experience
When everybody is in a bind together, talking about ‘opportunities’ can sometimes give the impression of being a show-off, of being detached from reality, of being out-of-touch and lacking human empathy. But the truth is, it’s at times like this when we all take the most pleasure in stories of good, in seeing people do well, in watching them grow and prosper. We need the success of others to keep our hopes high.
Because the truth of the matter is that it is in tough times that you sometimes find the inspiration and motivation to grow. The fact is, whenever circumstances change, there will be some people who are affected negatively by that change, and some people who are affected positively. For instance, many of us have found time to pursue hobbies or fitness objectives that we couldn’t before, have re-found a connection with nature, or have come to re-appreciate the importance of the relationships we hold with our family and friends, and found new ways to honour them.
And that, we think, is the key element of ‘finding advantage’ during difficult times: finding ways to share success and happiness, to find opportunity during a crisis in a way that doesn’t just benefit you, but also benefits others.
And the same is just as true in business as it is in our personal lives.
At RCH, we’ve seen an opportunity; an opportunity that will benefit restaurants, and ultimately, their clients. It’s an opportunity that allows a vital part of the economy (food and beverage) to continue in a near-to-normal way. It’s an opportunity that allows restaurant workers to keep their jobs. It’s an opportunity that allows the public stuck at home to maintain access to food, to have something to enjoy, something to look forward to.
That opportunity is improved contactless in-store experience: in-store ordering, made contactless, safe and efficient.
How things look when they go wrong
Many restaurants have tried to solve the problem of social distancing by migrating their systems entirely to a hands-off, remote ordering system that customers access through their phones. In theory, this is an excellent idea, if it is done right (and watch this space, because RCH have some serious ideas about how to ‘do it right’).
But the problem with the current app-based remote ordering ecosystem is probably best expressed with a story a friend (Ben) told us about his recent visit to a pub for a drink.
I went to the pub the other day for a drink with a friend. I needed to sign in with their app for their version of track and trace. It wouldn’t recognize my number, which was perfectly valid as a phone number, and this was annoying and frustrating – it already put me in a bad mood.
Then, inside, we spent seven minutes trying to place our order through a hugely unintuitive app; only for the waitress herself to come over directly to our table and tell us that particular beer was out of stock, and we couldn’t register our table number without signing in. Why was this so difficult!?
Frustrated at having to wait more than 20 minutes simply to order a drink whilst there were three members of staff behind the bar (and we were the only people in the building), we walked out.
What does this story tell us? Two customers lost in times when customers are like gold dust! Simply because their ordering experience was inconvenient and annoying.
The reason? The ‘virtual’ user experience hadn’t emulated or simplified the traditional mode of ordering, it had made it exponentially harder. Bad GUI design – not properly thought through – loses customers. It’s that simple.
The problem is, the recent pandemic has significantly impacted the ‘traditional’ ordering process, and the way that wait staff can interact with their customers (as well as with each other and their environment). Hygiene and social distance are more important than ever, and customers need to feel safe and comfortable in their surroundings.
Whilst app-based ordering in restaurants is one solution, it doesn’t have to be the only one.
ATOS to the rescue
The RCH ATOS cash desk system provides almost endless opportunities to maintain your natural practices, but adjust them to accommodate new guidelines and social norms. The software basis of the underpinning technology means that many units can speak to each other and coordinate activities through the cloud. This, for instance, means that each member of staff can be issued with their own handheld device, reducing the amount of shared contact at central POS units. Handheld devices also mean that staff can approach tables (at a distance), rather than having customers approach the bar or order point.
These are really just a few basic ways ATOS can help you to navigate new rules and new ways of operating. The incredible flexibility of a software-based POS solution is that it allows you to use creativity, ingenuity and innovation to develop the solution that best suits your business.
Keeping things normal
Nothing is more valuable that your reputation and the social connections you’ve formed with your customers. If you’ve spent years building up a reputation as a restaurant that is marked by the personal touch, ambiance and environment you offer, then it’s important to keep on offering customers the same experience. With creativity and the right tools, you can maintain that same feeling, whilst still ensuring that staff and customers feel safe.
By embracing the kind of power, flexibility and intuitive design that RCH offers, there is genuinely an opportunity that awaits restaurant owners in the upcoming twelve months – and RCH is working hard to bring even more ways to help you grasp that opportunity.
Embracing opportunity in a crisis isn’t wrong if you do it right. And RCH can make it right, every step of the way.