RTN20 eBook - Off-Prem Playbook

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RTN Off-Prem Playbook Quick Hits, Tech Tips, Checklists & Practical Advice for Optimizing Off-Premises Dining







In immediate response to the COVID-19 industry crisis, the Restaurant Technology Network (RTN) began executing weekly calls with 50+ restaurant technology experts to collaboratively build an OffPremises Playbook to help restaurants tap revenuegenerating alternatives to dine-in business. While many restaurants have pivoted to off-prem or limited-seated dining, the Off-Premises Playbook aggregates technology expertise from the most talented voices in the industry, and provides a quick-hit best practices guide for long-term offprem success. As the restaurant industry moves towards cautious reopening, it’s clear that off-premises dining will continue to be a primary way to serve consumers. The goal of this RTN Playbook is to help restaurants stay open for business and adapt to changing consumer needs during this crisis and beyond.

VP and Brand Director, HT Co-Founder, RTN 973.607.1358 alorden@ensembleiq.com

ANGELA DIFFLY Co-Founder, RTN 404.550.7789 angela@restauranttechnologynetwork.com

PATRICK DUNPHY CIO, HTNG & RTN 312.690.5039 patrick@restauranttechnologynetwork.com

ROBERT FIRPO-CAPPIELLO Editor in Chief, HT 917.208.7393 rfirpo-cappiello@ensembleiq.com

ANNA WOLFE Senior Editor, HT 207.773.1154 awolfe@ensembleiq.com

MICHAL CHRISTINE ESCOBAR Senior Editor, HT 224.632.8204 mescobar@ensembleiq.com

RTN Mission

KATHERINE WARE Senior Account Executive, HT & RTN 785.424.7392 kware@ensembleiq.com

The Restaurant Technology Network (RTN) is a membership community solely dedicated to the restaurant technology industry. Through access to valuable benefits and powerful connections, our members shape industry standards and share technical guidance to help restaurateurs run successful businesses and better serve their customers.

NOELL DIMMIG Account Executive, HT & RTN 973.607.1370 ndimmig@ensembleiq.com

LEAH SEGARRA Senior Account Executive, HT & RTN 973.610.8391 lsegarra@ensembleiq.com



Table of Contents Introduction............................................................................................................................. 2 Cleanliness & Consumer Confidence............................................................................ 4 Employee Training............................................................................................................... 6 Contactless Technology..................................................................................................... 7 Menu Management, Optimization & Publishing...................................................... 10 Marketing Checklist............................................................................................................ 12 Online Ordering/App......................................................................................................... 14 Curbside/Take-Out............................................................................................................. 15 Delivery/Packaging............................................................................................................ 18 Drive-Thru............................................................................................................................. 20 Consumer Feedback......................................................................................................... 22

Key Contributors





Senior VP Sales

VP of US Operations

RYAN PERSHAD Global Operations Manager



VP Sales




Executive Director, Product Management



Sr. Director, Product

Copyright 2020 Restaurant Technology Network (RTN). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or information storage and retrieval systems, without express written permission from the publisher. RTN is a wholly owned subsidiary of EnsembleIQ, with principal headquarters at 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631.



Cleanliness & Consumer Confidence These tips can help you operationalize and verify cleanliness for the safety of staff and guests, and communicate those efforts to build confidence. NOTE: Health and safety requirements may vary due to rapidly evolving state and local legislation - which you should consult for the latest guidance.

Practice Good Hygiene • Identify and certify • While not fail-safe, the team members as use of temperature “cleanliness champions.” monitoring for These champions employees and guests are responsible for can demonstrate that a addressing questions brand is doing all they from team members can to ensure safety and guests. This and instill staff and ensures accuracy and consumer confidence. consistency in sharing • Minimize the amount information. of doors and surfaces • Designate team a customer or delivery member(s) to driver needs to touch clean dining rooms in order to pick-up an throughout the day. order. • Ensure all employees wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves, at all times. Train staff on and require effective handwashing.


contactless payment, evaluate your payment process and minimize the touchpoints wherever possible. For example, don’t hand a receipt to the guest. Ask first if it’s required.

• Consider what is being put into the order package. For example, don’t include condiments on top of the order packages; ask the customer if they want condiments, and • Set up an order staging place them in a separate table with clear marking container or bag. so customers and delivery drivers can • Utilize labels and pick up orders at safe QR codes wherever distance. they can help to fortify cleanliness and consumer confidence (tamper-proof seals, contactless/digital menus, etc.). • If you do not offer


Be Transparent

Solicit Feedback

Communicate with consumers about what you’re doing around safety and post these messages online and in-store. • Post a consumer-facing hygiene and cleanliness statement. • Provide proof of this statement, such as a list of the tasks being completed around sanitization, cleanliness, and the use of proper PPE. This instills consumer confidence and may result in a quicker return to normal versus restaurants that are not proactive in providing proof. • Post pictures and videos online of actions you’re taking to ensure safety and invite questions directly from consumers. • Use existing digital displays to update consumers on safety protocols. Add dashboards on drive-thru and at POS to provide consumer confidence that guidelines are being followed. • Relay information to consumers that it is safe to get food delivered (FDA Advisories). • Post your safe distancing and best practice options on your website/social media/order confirmation/front door or window, so customers and delivery drivers can read them before entering the restaurant.

Actively encourage and incentivize feedback on interactions with your restaurant, from both customers and delivery services. It’s vital to constantly gather feedback to identify gaps in safe service execution. Ideas include: • Real-time consumer feedback technologies • Email follow ups after an order • A chatbot or “contact us” on your home page • Feedback cards pointing to website survey inserted in every order, etc.

• Consider phone etiquette. Prepare guidance or a script for phone orders, to let customers know the safe distancing options for takeout and delivery.


Cleaning Methods for Elo Touchscreens (COVID-19) HP Business PC & Print Devices Cleaning Guidance: Helping Businesses Address Coronavirus NCR POS Cleaning Guide PARTech: Tips for Cleaning POS Terminals, Drive-Thru Headsets and Fingerprint Readers Kiosk Manufacturer Association (KMA Guidelines) |5|


Front of House Employee Training Most table service restaurants have had to layoff or furlough FOH staff and may be rebuilding largely from scratch, with commensurate training costs. Safe service training for FOH/HOH involves behavior change, and will have to move from a one-time event to an ongoing process. Best practice behaviors will have to be consistently reinforced via training and coaching, often over time. Start with identifying the behaviors, knowledge/skills, and information required to execute consistently, and most profitably, and establish processes and procedures accordingly.

Consider tapping into new eLearning employee training tools. Well-developed eLearning uses cognitive science and gamification to deliver engagement and ultimately sustained behavior change.

Reinforce upselling with your staff, particularly if your menu has been reengineered with high-margin products or includes new suggestions for pairing sides, alcohol, groceries, meal kits.

Identify and train around opportunities to reduce expenses, for example, how to improve order accuracy and reduce refunds.

Develop and deliver ongoing training and supportive tools, such as checklists and templates, and reinforcement methods to develop and modify employee behaviors as needed.

SPECIAL SUPPORT FOR TAKEOUT & DELIVERY TEAMS There are many moving parts and potential points of failure related to takeout and delivery. To optimize, operators may benefit by designating a job role for this purpose, and training multiple employees for this role.



As your staff is trained on best practices, set a goal of 100% employee compliance with safety practices. This will help improve and/or protect brand reputation. You’ll need to manage, monitor, coach and reinforce these practices every day to drive long term behavior changes.

Contactless Technology For restaurants, the role of technology is shifting from silent facilitator to meaningful, but largely contactless, touchpoints flowing throughout the guest experience. How restaurants adapt to change, how they evolve their service proposition, and how they engage customers will determine success. Digital adoption and self-service will become the norm in foodservice, aligning with evolving consumer requirements. Consumer safety, new store design and functional pay benefits will create continued demand for contactless technologies, like mobile devices and voice, while the use and acceptance of cash will decrease. Much of the focus around contactless is focused on the last mile at the pickup, but considerations around the entire customer process can deliver innovative ways to promote a contactless solution.

Market may change monthly, or even weekly in the near-term, requiring strong consideration for investments and nimble insights on how each restaurant or brand is responding to conditions.




CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS Pay-ahead technology and contactless payment options include online, virtual kiosks, mobile, tap-to-pay (NFC). Some governments are requiring tap/NFC payment as a condition of re-opening.

Digital ordering helps solve the ongoing issue of increasing front-of-house (FOH) labor costs amidst talent scarcity by enabling more coverage per server. The market can expect to change monthly and even weekly in the near-term, making realtime digital insights critical for knowing how each restaurant is meeting the conditions and how each market is performing as the country gradually re-opens.

DIGITAL MENUS Digital menus yield significant cost efficiencies including printing, shipping, proofing, pricing, and versioning.

MOBILE ORDERING Mobile ordering technology can unlock benefits and revenue drivers, over and above health, financial, and regulatory implications of COVID-19. Mobile ordering provides a foundation for innovation and connectivity to improve guest experience, insights, and operational adjustments, in ways that were long overdue.


MOBILE ORDERING HIGHLYCUSTOMIZED EXPERIENCES INCLUDE: • Varying versions of digital menus, during varying times of the day • Express menus, with easiest-to-prepare items • Premium items, only available to certain seating areas/individual tables • Guest feedback collection, in real time, down to the individual menu item level


Some POS systems can support location-based ordering systems, so that each table or bar location has a unique QR code enabling guests to be seated, scan the QR code, place an order and have their order and the table location sent to the kitchen, enabling a quick delivery with a minimum of interaction with staff.

Consumers can use their own mobile devices as virtual kiosks, placing orders either in advance or on-site. Successful implementations of virtual kiosks enable guests to scan a QR code, bringing customers directly to the restaurant’s ordering page. Customers can place orders and process payment, directly from their phones, bypassing the need for physical interaction with staff.



PICK-UP LOCATIONS/ PICK-UP LOCKERS Pick-up locations can be specifically designed for orders placed via virtual kiosks. Pick-up locations should include designated areas, well-signed for easy identification. Reimagined designated pick-up areas can be further enhanced with secure Pick-up Lockers integrated with your order-ahead platforms. This technology ensures consumers or third-party delivery drivers only touch the orders meant for them, reducing unnecessary extra touches and increasing consumer confidence and reinforcing your brands’ commitment to health and safety.

5 Ways Technology Improves the Contactless Experience

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

ENSURES CONTACTLESS PAYMENT OPTIONS Minimizes health and safety risks for your consumers and your employees and increase confidence and trust in your brand. OPTIMIZES ORDER THROUGHPUT Predictive arrival technology allows employees to prep orders and ensure they are ready on-time. Understanding the size of orders and when customers will arrive can increase order throughput, allowing restaurants to become proactive instead of reactive in determining how to best prepare, or stage orders ahead of time. LOWERS WAIT TIMES Adopting contactless technology throughout the entire customer journey impacts wait times downstream. For instance, prepayments and reprioritizing your order queue minimizes wait times, improving overall customer experiences. DRIVES MORE OFF-PREM SALES Promote on social platforms, such as Facebook, Nextdoor or Instagram, to communicate technologies available for faster, easier, more convenient curbside pickup increases adoption. MEASURES GUEST SATISFACTION & OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE Continuous feedback helps restaurants identify under- and overperforming operational areas, both from a guest satisfaction perspective as well as operational performance insights (measure new procedure successes and failures across teams, e.g. location-level, franchise-level, brand-level).



Prep Your Menu for Off-Premises Dining As restaurants respond to rapidly-evolving guest demand, supply chain, and staffing situations, menu content will be in constant flux. Restaurants must plan for greater menu variation as well as differences by location, and manage them quickly and efficiently. Menu design and presentation will likely evolve as brands respond to long-term changes in health and safety perceptions. Brands can take this opportunity to prune menu offerings to improve profitability, operational execution and refocus their strategic positioning.

Menu Options

Solutions will vary in terms of how in-restaurant menus are accessed, used and/or cleaned. Beyond the menu itself, changes will extend to ordering solutions and contactless payments, so think about the entire transaction as you explore new menu options.



Will still be a part of daily operations, but we expect they’ll be single-use and printed in-house.



Will be used on edge-sealed laminated menus.



Menus and ordering platforms are emerging. Ask your current technology vendor when they expect to deliver this functionality. The more requests they get, the more likely they are to prioritize these features.



Can push information to the guest’s own device both inside the restaurant and curbside.



Can let guests place an order pre-visit and be seated upon arrival. Consider using menu boards, both digital and physical, and/or kiosks and tablets with antimicrobial screens.


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How to Evaluate Your Menu For Consolidation Shrinking the menu helps drive higher margins, and can avoid line abandonment in online channels. Using menu satisfaction data balanced with sales and margin, aim to reduce your menu size to a minimum over the near term — aim for 25% of its original size ­— with an eye to add more as necessary and as markets rebound. Here are some tips:

• Eliminate unique SKUs and menu items which have been on the chopping block but faced consumer resistance. The consumer will be more forgiving as the industry rebounds so use that good will to your benefit. • Reduce items with long prep and cook times, so that you can reallocate that time to cleaning tables and chairs between guests. • Include best sellers and high-margin items only.

• Focus on family/bulk meals that feed 4-6 people, and eliminate small sizes. • “Comfort food” side dishes are often highmargin, travel well, and stay well for days in the refrigerator. • Practice ingredient synergies to simplify food production and reduce cost. • Enable flexible ordering — modifiers, etc. ­— to the extent your kitchen can support them.

• Don’t forget dietary guidelines (calories, gluten/dairy/nuts/etc.) • Model all changes to ensure margin, FC and PPA. • Menu innovation will continue to drive new product categories, including family meals, alcohol kits, pantry items, and at-home meal kits. • Expect a slow return to catering with individual meals instead of buffetstyle catering.

Consolidation Longer Term Consolidation will be key both now, and looking ahead. Fewer items mean fewer SKUs to bring back, and we expect some suppliers to exit the business. Weakened manufacturing infrastructure, product availability and distribution stability could cause product outages that will require more frequent menu updates now and moving ahead. Fewer sales results in pack-life and shelf-life issues, which will exacerbate waste and increase cost. However, fewer items also mean fewer recipes to train when rebuilding the workforce. Use this as an opportunity to consolidate stations.

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REOPENING TIP When you’re ready to reopen, use your table management and reservation systems to decrease availability to allow for longer table turns with deeper cleaning.


Marketing Really Matters:

Customers Need to Know You’re Open Customers need to know what you’re doing and have easy, actionable ways to connect. Use these ideas to communicate about the status of menus, promotions, service options and operating hours. Think about channels inside and outside the restaurant, including the brand website, social media and third-party channels.

Each channel should enable action, where action is making an order.

Collect Real-Time Guest Data

Pair technology with marketing, showing consumers the way.

• Ensure a feedback mechanism pre- and post-order

Add clear links to the order channel.

• Collect info via QR codes on boxes, menus, during delivery, etc.

Add clear location information, with map and directions. Leverage your solution provider’s marketing capabilities and/or partner with companies to identify complementary marketing opportunities. Use templates and marketing frameworks to build content at a macro level that can be adjusted at a micro level. Use SEO and consider advertising for things like grocery options, delivery time and price. For example, market to consumers looking for grocery delivery who may be experiencing a considerable shortage of delivery windows. Promote bundled meals and/or repeat delivery programs. Leverage your email database and solicit opt-ins from all new customers. Update CRM with COVID-19 communications, orders, preferences. Build a customer database for post-COVID-19 promotions.


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• Measure guests’ receptivity of evolving menus, service, and safety standards to discover what’s working and what needs improvement. • Try integrating live data feeds of in-moment guest feedback for integration into CRM, BI, and staff communication tools.

BE A PART OF THE COMMUNITY Have and tell a philanthropy story. Consider

Social Media Tips

responders. Look for other ways to participate

• Post live videos, covering safety measures, specials, behind the scenes, kitchen, how easy it is to order curbside, delivery, from the app, etc.

in your community to strengthen bonds and

• Post daily.

help during difficult times.

• Don’t count likes. Typically 1-5% of customers actually see your posts.

a “pay it forward” strategy, allowing customers to buy a meal for hospital workers or first

“Real-time feedback has never been more important than in this ill-defined, ever-changing post-Covid landscape.”

• Use the 80/20 rule: 80% should be about your community, employee recognition, etc., and 20% should be your sales and specials. • Stay on top of incoming messages on all social media platforms. (Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM). • Make sure to not overlay too much text on your images especially if you’re using them in ads. • Use Facebook Creator Studio • Don’t use auto-posting as you can use Facebook free program • Follow the 25% text rule

DAN DILLON VP, US Operations Yumpingo

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Online Ordering & Mobile Apps In this “new normal” it is critical to offer consumers choices. An omnichannel approach to ordering, delivery, and feedback is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s now expected. Omnichannel doesn’t have to mean significant ongoing expense. Use tools you already have. Regardless of your methodology, there is a low, medium, and high input to enable your brand to discover and meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.

Getting Started with Online Ordering

• You can use any white label platform that allows you to create a website or app that will plug into your POS for tracking and data collection. • Ensure your online orders fit in with your phone orders, aggregators, etc. Understand your channels, and look at workflows for each. For example, Grubhub and UberEats orders are different from your direct-to-consumer orders. • Look for integrations when possible to allow for a simpler setup. When you begin to understand how different channels work and integrate, you can start to build out a more robust interface. • Encourage mobile ordering via apps, not just websites. Apps can offer geolocation insight, for example distance to your drive-thru, allowing you to better manage arrival timing, car sequencing and kitchen tickets.

Networking Tips

• Missing an online order is not an option, so plan for backups for broadband connectivity. Use automatic cellular failover to the server receiving online orders and to POS devices. • Network traffic steering can shape bandwidth priorities so that, in case of intermediate bandwidth struggles from the ISP (as opposed to total loss), the most critical applications like those involved in receiving and processing an online order are less likely to encounter disruption. • Remove all technology roadblocks by considering a non-integrated, nonInternet required solution to facilitate nearly overnight deployment. Orders received via email can be sent to an email distribution list on every team member’s mobile phone.

Marketing Your Online Ordering Channels to Consumers

Turning it on isn’t enough. You’ll need to nourish direct lines to your customers. Have a conversation that is unique to you and your brand. Share offers and promos, company news, and goodwill to enhance loyalty. • • • • •

Deploy text-to-order or online ordering through Facebook Messenger. Offer a discount for first-time users to encourage adoption. Utilize chat marketing/messenger marketing. Focus on hyper-local strategies using all social media platforms. Include a coupon or message with every third-party delivery order to drive traffic to your own channels (eg., business card and QR codes). • Build a database and remarket to your customers.


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Curbside Service: People, Process & Technology “Pick-up orders have historically represented a smaller portion of a restaurant’s off-prem business, around 5%. During the pandemic, we have seen this increase fourfold. The rise in pickup orders is a trend we hope continues, as it’s typically one of the more profitable off-prem channels for a restaurant.” STERLING DOUGLASS, Co-Founder & CEO, Chowly, Inc.

PEOPLE • Train and communicate clearly with everyone who will be a part of the transaction: customers, staff and partners. • Provide dedicated training for employees on curbside pick-up best practices. • As you move to contactless transactions, give employees a “Safe Credit Card Handling” refresher to maintain PCI DSS compliance in situations which may be new to them. • Customer behavior is a critical part of a safe and efficient pick-up or drive-thru process. They expect orders to be ready when they arrive so they don’t have to wait in long lines and increase their exposure. Provide clear instructions for their pick-up process both online, and at the physical location. • Third-party delivery providers need clear instruction, too.

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• Encourage mobile ordering via apps, not just websites. Apps provide the ability for brands to understand location and distance for curbside, helping to better manage arrival timing, car sequencing and kitchen tickets.

• Order for pick-up information displayed on an app enables easy check-in.

• Process for pick up should be very clear, with appropriate signage as well as directions in the mobile app. • Use QR codes and automation to simplify the process. • Designate dedicated curbside pick-up windows. • Allow customers to call if there are any issues with the curbside experience. • Execute contactless transactions via touchless credit card handling. Encourage NFC taps, ApplePay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay for payment options.

• Tap location technologies for approaching alerts and auto check-in upon arrival. Predictive arrival technology allows stores to be ready before customers arrive. • Curbside pickup ideally includes curbside payment options, meaning wireless POS device and extended and securely segmented Wi-Fi to maintain payment security. • Similarly, drive-thru line-busting also requires extended properly-segmented Wi-Fi coverage. • Broadband connectivity interruptions compound problems. Automatic cellular failover assigned to POS devices can avoid issues. • Network traffic steering can shape bandwidth priorities, so that in case of temporary bandwidth struggles from the ISP (as opposed to total loss), the most critical applications are less likely to encounter disruption. • Integrate mobile order for pick up into store POS for seamless operations.



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CHECK OUT THESE VIDEOS FOR MORE TIPS! “Based on our data, restaurants saw nearly a 4x increase in YOY offpremises transactions on Mother’s Day. This is impressive, given there was a 25% overall decrease in kitchen transaction volume, and a 93% decrease in dining room guests.”




CURBSIDE MARKETING TIPS Provide incentives to customers using curbside. Encourage loyalty by rewarding multiple visits (frequency). Be concise in your messaging about how to place and pick-up your order. Answer and respond to customer inquiries as quickly as possible to avoid losing loyal customers over a bad review or order errors. Now is the time to solicit and respond to all reviews. Run contests posts (win a gift card, free pizza/wings for life). Solicit guest experience photos, tap user-generated content. Emphasize customer safety with order for pick-up curbside. Make restoring consumer confidence a key message point.

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DELIVERY: Third-Party and Native Delivery Considerations Take Orders via Multiple Channels


Ensure that all orders run through the POS to track revenues properly and receive payments.


Automated or manual ticket process.


Send Directly to Kitchen



Prep & Packing Use the empty dining room to layout orders efficiently. Separate self deliver orders from aggregator orders.


Track assets (human and physical capital) in real time. This allows you to communicate with customers in an automated fashion so they know when orders are coming, allowing you to stop fielding calls about order location and focus on bringing in orders.


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Delivery Management


Owned Delivery Primer Bringing delivery in-house via “owned” or “native” delivery has benefits and challenges. Here are several key considerations as you evaluate owned delivery for your brand. LIABILITY: Restaurants can accept liability and find the right provider to help, or provide a waiver and pass liability to staff as a condition of accepting the position. SAFETY: To minimize your exposure as a business, ensure your facilities are pepped to handle sanitary requirements and provide PPE to all your employees per federal and state guidelines. TRANSPORTATION: Restaurants will either need to provide a vehicle, which will factor into your overall cost, or more commonly employees will use their own. STAFFING: Try to understand your volumes during various times of day. Ensure you have enough drivers available during peak times. This assessment should also factor in fulfillment staff who act as inbetweens kitchen and drivers. PACKAGING: Look at packaging as a way to market your brand and create a positive user experience. Look into custom-branded packaging and driver uniforms. Make sure that your food travels well. Experiment to see if you need special packaging to fit your dishes. Look for a way to expand your in-restaurant experience to your customer’s front door. ECONOMICS: An assessment is recommended to ensure your owned delivery channel is profitable. Create a minimum for orders, if necessary. With high volumes, delivery fees can be waived to add to the customer experience.

Third-Party Delivery

Marketing Your Delivery Service • If you are promoting third-party delivery companies, you are relinquishing the customer, and paying hefty commissions on your own customer. • If you have your own channels, like a website or app, market them. Use signage to promote your owned channels when dine-in returns, and encourage word of mouth employee and customer referrals to your owned channels. If you have the budget, explore digital marketing for additional exposure. • Emphasize the cost savings, build a loyalty program that rewards consumers for ordering multiple times. • Create signage, promote on social and customer channels, and strive for word-of-mouth referrals.

If you’re considering using delivery providers, here are several key considerations. TECHNOLOGY: Requires integration via API for custom solutions or native integration with online ordering providers integrated with logistical delivery providers.

• If someone calls, tell them about your digital products.

PACKAGING: Look at packaging as a way to market your brand and create a positive user experience. What will this experience be like for the consumer?

• Interact directly with your customers, and create a database you can market to.

ECONOMIC IMPACT: For consumers, delivery fees will be higher than marketplace orders. How do restaurants subsidize fees to make it appealing? Tips collected for online order and delivery are generally attributed to the driver with contract language stating minimums.

• Reorders = compound growth, even if it is a small percentage monthover-month.

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Drive-Thru First and foremost, don’t over-complicate getting customers their food. Even season drivethru brands will need to re-evaluate processes for sanitation and consumer confidence. • Develop processes that do not require employees to touch physical credit cards. Contactless payment at drivethru minimizes contact and reduces risk. Encourage NFC taps, Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay for payment options.

• Network traffic steering can shape bandwidth priorities so that the most critical applications are less likely to encounter disruption in case of intermediate bandwidth struggles from the ISP, as opposed to total loss.

• Reuse/repurpose parking lots for additional customer space, and consider trunk delivery.

• Line-Busting Tablets: Lightweight, reusable solutions (tablets, phones) are better than proprietary or single-use devices, as they will carry some residual value if the solution doesn’t work. (LTE/4G Tablets give “anywhere” access and minimize PCI risk).

• Wipe down the drive-thru window for each customer upon approach. • QR-code links to guest-driven ordering placed in queue or parking areas can enable a direct link to order management and increase volume. • Drive-thru line-busting requires extended and securely segmented Wi-Fi to maintain payment security.

“It’s not about how people order, it’s about how they feel.”

• Broadband connectivity interruptions compound problems. Automatic cellular failover assigned to POS devices is a recommended way to avoid trouble.

ZACK OATES, Founder/CEO, Ovation

A FEW DON’TS • Don’t expect quick-turn solutions to solve ALL guest needs on day one. • Don’t be afraid to layer in technology as software partners release it. • Don’t be afraid to shift tactics or platforms to meet guests’ needs.


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Good, Better, Best Scenarios for the Customer Journey The Pick-Up Journey GOOD



ORDER: Customer calls restaurant to order.

ORDER: Customer orders online via your white-label ordering system.

ORDER: Customers use the restaurant’s own app to place an order.

PICK-UP: Customers can scan QR codes when they arrive in the parking lot, or text tool associated with a platform or a device in the store.

PICK-UP: Restaurant is geofenced to receive automatic notifications when the customer arrives.

PICK-UP: Customer calls restaurant when they’ve reached the parking lot. Post signage with instructions, letting customers know how to notify you of arrival. Ask for full name (or other order identifier) and car make/color in order to quickly locate the customer. FEEDBACK: Customers use a free survey tool like Google forms to provide feedback.

FEEDBACK: Customers use an automated text survey to provide feedback.

FEEDBACK: Customers respond to automated surveys to provide feedback.

The Delivery Journey GOOD





Restaurant signs up with a single delivery platform.

Restaurant staff members use their own vehicles.

Restaurant has multi-delivery, aggregating to single platform, with separate entrance/pickup for curriers.

Restaurant leverages delivery networks while maintaining its own online ordering.

Third-party delivery with

Restaurant utilizes its own fleet.

direct integration to the POS.

“Now that I’ve made all these operational and contactless changes to align with guest preferences, how is the satisfaction of these changes perceived through the eyes of my guests?” ALEX BELTRANI, CEO/Founder, Tattle | 21 |


Ask, Ask, and Ask Again: Tips for Guest Feedback As your operations move to off-prem and your customers begin to have unique experiences with your brand, it’s more important than ever to understand customer sentiment around the services you’re providing. You need to ask the right questions at the right time, and respect the time customers are dedicating to share responses with you. Without asking customers, you’ll find out about the mishaps on If you have a door, a phone line, and a poster, you have the minimum for what it takes to process off-site/curbside orders. Add these ideas to capture meaningful feedback.

“UBERIZE” YOUR POST-TRANSACTION SURVEYS: On-demand guest experiences require an instant survey after the transaction in order to ensure the highest response rate, much like Uber fires off after your ride. Integrate with all transaction channels to send surveys directly to guests’ smartphones.

CAPTURE FEEDBACK FOR EACH CHANNEL: Drive-Thru, Delivery, Curbside, and Takeout are now the bulk of your restaurant’s revenue, you must create a different survey for each experience in order to ensure proper benchmarking, i.e. which channels are over or under-performing in the eyes of guests?

EXPAND YOUR COLLECTION METHODS: While text is the most-used method of communication (95% of texts are read within 3 minutes), email, Facebook Messenger, and other tools can be effective to meet the customer where they are.

EMPOWER STAFF WITH ONGOING ACCOUNTABILITY: Set monthly goals, i.e. improving meal packaging from 76% to 85% satisfaction, and communicate these goals to all GMs and DMs. This helps teams stay aligned and mobilized. Monthly kick-off, midmonth progress, and end-of-month results are effective ways to encourage progress.

Guests experience a 4X higher rate of incidents with off-prem orders compared to dine-in. It is essential to know which channel is most responsible for a higher-volume of guest dissatisfaction for more deliberate improvement.


(source: Tattle)

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Topics to Cover In Your Survey Guests care about certain operational areas more than others and, with a reduced staff, you should focus on areas with a high correlation to overall satisfaction scores. • Ordering process

• Meal Packaging

• Hospitality

• Food Quality

• Speed of Service

• Cleanliness

• Accuracy

• Sanitation

Did you know? The most negative factor within the accuracy operational category among pizza providers is uneven topping distribution.

A Few Tips for Replying to Guests • Thank You: For every guest that provides feedback, it is not only an opportunity to respond via email with appreciation, but to also highlight sanitary measures the team has employed to deliver their meal, i.e. masks, gloves, distancing, cleanings, etc. • Apology: Since guest incidents are three times higher via offprem, it is imperative to apologize wholeheartedly to guests, as well as send an Oops! card or digital reward for the next order. • Be Prompt and Personal: 91% of people are satisfied with a response if it is prompt (within an hour, ideally five minutes) and personal (includes a name and addresses their issue).

79% of the time, overall guest satisfaction can be improved by boosting satisfaction in one high-impact area. You do not need to focus on everything with a short staff. Focus solely the areas guests care about most. (source: Tattle)

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RTN Vision

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In an industry built on service and entrepreneurial spirit, purposebuilt technology fuels success. The Restaurant Technology Network aspires to help restaurant professionals and solution providers work together to solve problems large and small and inspire bold ideas for the future.

If you have a vested interest in the restaurant technology industry, join us. Collectively, our members shape the industry by creating and disseminating technology standards and technical guidance to benefit members. Through our cornerstone virtual think-tank workgroup meetings, our members solve industry challenges and prosper inside a unique, collaborative environment. + VIEW OUR MEMBERS

www.restauranttechnologynetwork.com RESTAURANT TECHNOLOGY NETWORK

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