With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants can no longer function the way they normally do. Governments have imposed lockdowns. Social distancing is the norm. Restaurants are prohibited from offering dine-in services. Online delivery is perhaps the only channel available to restaurants to serve their customers and keep their business up and running. However, delivery must be done in a safe and hygienic manner. Enter contactless food delivery.
As a restaurant owner, you must be fully aware of how you can go about implementing contactless delivery at your restaurant. This is what we will cover in this article.
- What is Contactless Delivery?
- How can you implement Contactless Delivery at your restaurant?
- Restaurants effectively implementing contactless delivery in India
What is Contactless Delivery?
Given the current state of affairs, restaurants have had to change their conventional methods of operation entirely. As governments all over the world have made social distancing compulsory currently, restaurants and cafes simply can’t deal with work the way they normally would. Neither dining in nor takeaway of food is an option in India anymore. Due to these changes in rules, restaurants have to resort to food delivery as the sole option they can reach their customers with.
But at this juncture, people are quarantined at their homes. They’re trying to limit contact with outsiders as much they can, given that it is the best measure of prevention. Needless to say, most customers are anxious and skeptical about ordering food and coming into contact with delivery personnel that they don’t know. After all, anyone could be a carrier of the virus.
So, as a measure of prevention, many restaurants have started to offer Contactless Delivery. It is a safe practice of food delivery to limit contact between restaurant executives and customers. Customers can still order food from their favorite restaurants and food joints, without having to worry about any health risks at all. In Contactless Delivery, the customer and delivery personnel do not come face to face at any point in time. The order is made online and the payment is done online too, not by cash or swiping a card. The food is usually placed outside the customer’s house at a particular point that the customer instructs the delivery personnel to leave it at. Once the delivery executive has placed the food at that particular point, he takes a photo of it and sends it to the customer. In this way, any contact between the two parties involved is largely minimized and there isn’t a risk of infection. Today, contactless delivery is extremely important for the well being of your customers as well as your employees.
How can you implement Contactless Delivery?
You can begin to implement Contactless Delivery in the following ways:
Add ‘Contactless Delivery’ Option on your App or Website
If you have an application or a website that customers can use for food delivery, make sure that you add an option for ‘contactless delivery’. The option should be clearly visible to the customer. You also need to provide the customers with a place where they can instruct the delivery personnel where exactly the food has to be dropped off. This is in the best interest of your employees and your customers.
LimeTray’s Online Ordering platform comes loaded with the contactless delivery feature, an essential add-on in the current scenario.
Intensify Sanitization Practices
With COVID 19 doing the rounds, you need to step up your sanitization methods. This means that every surface on the restaurant premises needs to be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly. The orders you send out also have to be packed and sealed effectively, ensuring that there is no increased risk of infection. All areas in the restaurant need to be sanitized frequently during the entire day. Further, surfaces such as restaurant POS systems, keyboards, tabletops, counters, doors, and doorknobs which are touched often by multiple people need to be disinfected every half an hour. Employees need to wash their hands every time they enter the room too. During the preparation of food, employees must wear gloves at all times. There should be no direct contact with the food or any ingredients at all. Utensils must be washed regularly too. All delivery personnel entering the restaurant should be made to sanitize their hands as soon as they enter. It is best to have a handwashing zone designated for them at the entry. Further, you need to equip your delivery personnel with good quality masks as well as gloves that they need to wear the entire time they’re out delivering food. This is extremely important to minimize the risk of infection.
Check on Employees Often
While you’re out there trying to provide the best possible service to your customers, you need to focus on employee well being too. First and foremost, discuss with them all the changes in protocol that are being implemented right now. Next, put up posters and guidelines for hygiene and safety all over the restaurant. Ensure that you have an ample number of napkins, paper towels, disinfectants and cleaning solutions available for the near future. It is a good idea to set up a temperature screening point at the entry of your restaurant for all employees. If an employee shows any minor symptoms, insist that they stay at home and only return to work once they’re absolutely fine. Make sure you provide your staff with paid leave.
Detailed Heating Instructions
Given that food delivery is the only option that customers can avail right now, it is a good idea to provide detailed heating instructions to them. For instance, along with the food item you’ve sent, you could also mention what the ideal heating time is for that particular dish. This way, they can get maximum satisfaction from their food.
Offer Options for Online Payments
Taking cash payments increases the risk of infection, given that one is exposed to germs that may have been transmitted from another person to coins and notes. It is best to stop accepting cash altogether for now. So, you should offer all the options out there for online payments- Google Pay, PhonePe and so on. The more options you offer, the better it is for your sales.
Use Social Media
Given the current scenario, most customers will think twice before placing an order from their favorite restaurant. After all, their food is being prepared and delivered by complete strangers. It is important that you reach out to your customers and assure them that you’re doing the best you can to ensure their safety and well being. Clear communication on your part is vital at a point like this. Use your Facebook and Instagram pages to post about how your kitchen follows the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation. You could even post on Instagram stories how the process of contactless delivery works or how a customer’s food is prepared without the chefs directly touching the ingredients. If you’ve set up temperature screening and washing zones for your employees, you could give your customers a virtual tour too. In these ways, customers can rest assured that they aren’t facing any risk at all.
Behind every business are its employees. Show the human side of your restaurant to your customers. Communicate with them how the pandemic has brought about major changes in operations and how you all are handling it. This clear communication creates a sense of trust and empathy in their minds too.
Restaurants Effectively Implementing Contactless Delivery Across India
Reputed food delivery apps such as Swiggy and Zomato now offer contactless delivery to their customers. The option to pick contactless delivery is visible right when a customer opens the application.
Quick Service Restaurants are putting in the effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus while keeping customers satisfied at the same time. Major players such as McDonald’s, KFC and Dominos have made sure to communicate with their customers the measures they are using to make hygiene practices more stringent and effective. They want customers to rest assured that they provide good food prepared in safe and sanitary conditions.
Restaurants such as Behrouz Biryani and Biryani Blues are also providing food delivery where customers can order food without having to come into contact with the delivery executives. Social distancing is maintained at all times. Faasos has also launched contactless delivery.
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc in the whole world. Major economies are stooping to all-time lows and businesses are being hit hard. However, if you want to carry out operations during this challenging situation, you need to adopt safe and hygienic practices instantly. Keep in touch with your employees and customers at all times.