Technology for Restaurants Adhering to Social Distancing
Now more than ever, restaurants must adapt to survive. With restaurant processes permanently reshaped by the Coronavirus outbreak, operators need technology that helps them create memorable guest experiences amid social distancing rules and the many obstacles a pandemic creates. Here’s our guide to how QSR technology can help you achieve it, whether it’s pivoting to an off-premise dining strategy, simplifying the one you’ve got, or optimizing your restaurant service overall.
ConnectSmart® Kitchen (CSK) — Kitchen Automation that dynamically passes orders around the kitchen, enabling seamless operational efficiency.
ConnectSmart Kitchen facilitates social distancing and off-premise dining through features and benefits like:
- Screens Per Section — Giving each chef in the kitchen a separate display to work from reduces contact and adheres to proximity requirements.
- Eliminate Paper Tickets – Using screens removes the need for paper, thus reducing touchpoints (and material costs!).
- Efficient Food Production – CSK has been shown to cut ticket times, increase guest counts, and increase revenue.
- Order Routing – Quickly manage orders with different destinations, offering flexible options for takeout vs. eat-in.
- Smart Integrations – CSK integrates with all QSR hardware and 65+ POS solutions for a fully-automated, contactless workflow between stations.
- Order accuracy – By printing sticky labels for off-premise orders, staff can index items to ensure higher order accuracy and fewer mispacks.
- Accurate Promise Times – CSK quotes a pickup time for food readiness based on the item’s actual cook times and the kitchen’s capacity.
- Scalability – Activity levels allow for variable workloads, changing with the amount of traffic and staff in the kitchen.
- Rich Data – Capturing data down to the item level, you can analyze detailed reports to identify slow-moving items, rush times, and bottlenecks.
- OrderReady Screens – Display monitors show customers the status of their order in real-time, avoiding crowding, and social contact.
- Dynamic Notifications – When an order is prepared, CSK triggers a notification to the front-of-house (when integrated), which sends a status update via SMS text to the customer.
ConnectSmart® Kitchen can run on:
- QSR-specific hardware or self-supplied units
ConnectSmart®Host (Formerly DineTime)® — A table management solution for reservations, walk-ins, and seating optimization.
ConnectSmart Host facilitates social distancing and off-premise dining through features and benefits like:
- Suggested Seating – ConnectSmart Host will recommend the next-best place to seat customers given a current floor plan, ensuring server rotation and table priority.
- Remote Table Status Views – With updates from CSK and the POS, ConnectSmart Host displays the current status of each table clearly, without the need to check manually.
- Dynamic Waitlist with Quote Times – Utilizing historical table turn times and current seated status, ConnectSmart Host accurately forecasts wait times.
- Table Management – Easily reduce the number of open tables based on social distancing requirements.
- Two-Way SMS – Allow customers to leave the premises but remain on the waitlist, knowing they’ll be contacted when a table is ready; Texting reduces crowding to help you adhere to social distancing.
- Reservation Management – Easily manage reservation availability day-by-day based on social distancing capacity rules and requirements.
- Guest View – Show customers the current queue and their status within it, reducing their need to contact the host or to touch pagers.
- Takeout View – ConnectSmart Host will display all orders marked for takeout, removing the need to check food status manually in the kitchen.
- Capacity Metrics – Keep track of current capacity, wait times, and table utilization with in-depth reports.
- Embedded URLs — Include URLs in SMS messages from ConnectSmart Host, allowing operators to send links to menus and pre-ordering websites and minimize contact.
- Reservation Widget – Allow online reservations via the ConnectSmart Host widget on a user’s site or through third parties such as Google, OpenTable, and more.
ConnectSmart Host can run on:
- QSR-specific hardware or self-supplied units
ConnectSmart® Go (CS-Go) — An app that enables you to view and manage all your off-premise orders in one place, automatically communicating with both your kitchen your customers picking up orders for takeout, delivery, or curbside.
ConnectSmart Go facilitates social distancing and off-premise dining through features and benefits like:
- At-A-Glace Order Management — CS-Go separates incoming, outgoing, delivery, and to-go orders, into one centralized location.
- 2-Way SMS Capabilities — Coordinate easy contactless pickup and delivery through mobile texts, reducing social contact, and touching.
- Connect the Front and Back-of-House — By integrating with CSK, your staff can mark orders as released, arrived, or fast-track, or cancel them, all without setting foot in the kitchen.
- Get the Full Picture — Track your milestones for active, upcoming, and completed off-premise orders; Access and report on every datapoint along the dining journey.
ConnectSmart Go can run on:
- iPad only (requires ConnectSmart Kitchen and ConnectSmart Host).
How has the pandemic altered your course? Click the link below for our page containing helpful restaurant resources for the COVID-19 outbreak.
About the Author
Amber Mullaney provides and guides all things marketing for QSR. A proud Texan native, she graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Public Relations and spent her career in the healthcare industry before making the switch to QSR, saying she loves a good challenge. Amber has a long list of things she loves, including tacos (especially tacos), sweet tea, Texas, the outdoors, and traveling with her husband and two daughters.