The past two months have defined new operational challenges for businesses in the foodservice industry.

With table-side dining either restricted or suspended for most restaurants, there has been a push to a new contactless dining model to serve hungry patrons and diners while abiding by the recommended safety protocols.

This article will make a case for why virtual kiosks should be part of your contactless model moving forward.

Is online take-out and delivery enough for your guests?

For the most part, restaurants have pivoted to online take-out & delivery as their sole distribution channel.

However, as more restaurants adopt these services to keep operations viable during this time, restaurant owners are starting to wonder what else can they offer guests that fit within the contactless dining model to stay competitive and grow their reach.

With summer just around the corner and COVID-19 restrictions slowly beginning to be eased, we will see an eventual uptick in foot traffic and with it a revival in our interest to visit storefronts and physical locations again.

Restaurants will look at how they can attract potential customers that happen to walk by their stores, or actual customers looking to pick-up food themselves to perhaps enjoy their meals outdoors.

What are Virtual Kiosks?

Through a 100% touch n go order and payment platform, self-service virtual kiosks allow restaurants to process contactless payments and orders.

Virtual kiosks are breaking ground in the contactless solutions market and are increasingly finding favor among restaurants, stadiums, and arenas.

They are flexible, fast, and a low-cost solution for businesses looking to offer a mobile first-party ordering option to their guests.

Virtual kiosks are becoming popular for their use case during COVID-19, as restaurants seek out ways to grow their operational capacity and revenue stream while prioritizing the health and safety of the community.

How can my restaurant benefit from having a virtual kiosk?

Increase in Sales

They allow you to increase guest orders per hour without breaking table-service restrictions currently in place or compromising guest safety and experience quality through long line ups.

Achieve higher lock-in with guests

Since COVID-19 restrictions began, your guests have been forced to purchase products through third-party delivery apps. Virtual kiosks can help you take control of the guest experience again, by offering them an opportunity to engage with your restaurant in-person while minimizing risk.

No hardware

Unlike other technology investments for your restaurant, the biggest benefit is the fact that they aren’t any upfront hardware costs to offer self-service virtual kiosks at your restaurant. The only cost you bare is in printing QR codes, which could be displayed on a simple piece of paper, a plastic stand, or a poster board.

Support impulse purchase

Aside from offering your regulars an additional dining option to online ordering, virtual kiosks are great for attracting potential diners that might walk past your restaurant. The virtual kiosk makes dining with you as simple as using a vending machine, but much safer with the current public health concerns, given their contactless functionality.

How does it work?

  • Restaurants will need to place the QR code or designated URL at a desired physical location, either inside or outside your restaurant, e.g. decals on windows and doors or posters on a pedestal. You should place the QR code on at least 2 or three spots to ensure multiple guests can place orders without needing to line up.
  • Guests can either scan the QR code using their phone camera or visit the URL to access the menu.
  • This triggers the interface to read the menu from your Squirrel Point of Sale or other restaurant pos systems. It doesn’t require a specialty menu.
  • Guests can then view the menu, place their order for immediate or future pick-up, and pay directly from their phone via NFC tap (including mobile wallet such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc).
  • Orders are pushed directly into your Squirrel POS.
  • Restaurants can modify confirmation field to include guest’s phone number, email, name, car type for curbside pickup, etc. for easier pick up.
  • When the order is ready, the restaurant can contact the guest via the field mentioned above.

We have partnered with Ready to bring virtual kiosks to restaurants and support them in their pursuit to retain customers and grow business during these uncertain times. Learn more about the Squirrel and Ready offer.