Contactless service has taken over the food and beverage industry and, since Covid, has accelerated in popularity. While some businesses embraced the trend to halt the spread of germs, countless more see contactless service as a means to increase efficiency and productivity.
Contactless service does not mean lack of service. Contrarily, it enables frictionless service and results in an enhanced customer experience. Contactless service allows staff to focus on anticipating guest needs, preparing orders, and ensuring speedy service. From delivery to dine-in, continue reading to see how your venue can implement contactless service.
While Ghost Kitchens are not a new concept, their popularity has soared in the era of delivery apps. Ghost Kitchens are meal preparation kitchens without front of house seating or services. Food is prepared and then sent out for delivery, either through the kitchen’s own staff or food delivery services such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, or GrubHub. How are Ghost Kitchens different from restaurants simply offering takeout? Because Ghost Kitchens are delivery only, consumers don’t have to know where the restaurant is located. This allows Ghost Kitchens to set up shop in more affordable areas, even sharing space and resources with other restaurant concepts.
Why would Ghost Kitchens want to share resources with other restaurants? The Restaurant Times explains, “With shared kitchen spaces, everything is centralized. It is easier to oversee the quality of production as the restaurant operations are not spread out over multiple areas. These kitchens are located in areas with high demand and relatively low supply and are better placed to capture the market. Ghost kitchens brands operating from commercial kitchens can negotiate a better deal with the aggregators. Multiple orders of different brands can be picked up from these hubs in the same period. This significantly reduces the cost of delivery from the aggregator’s side as well.”
If you have an existing brick and mortar restaurant that has thrived with outdoor dining and to-go orders, Ghost Kitchens may be a great opportunity to pursue a new concept.
Like Ghost Kitchens, Digital Kitchens are meant for to-go orders and do not offer on-site dining. Restaurants like Chipotle are embracing the concept that invites customers to place their orders online and pick up on location. Bring Your Own Device (or BYOD) technology is commonly used throughout the ordering and pick up process. The customer places their order online and receives a QR code as a receipt. They then scan that QR code at pickup in exchange for their food, minimizing employee/guest interaction and speeding up service.
While Ghost Kitchens and Digital Kitchens are great options for pursuing new concepts or opening new locations, there are additional options for implementing contactless service at existing venues.
Tap Walls and Mobile Bars
While Sestra has touched on the tap wall trend before, its practicality remains relevant. Touchless tap walls allow guests to pour their own beverages, reducing the need for employee-guest interaction. Mobile bars provide the same ease of use and can help spread your guests throughout your venue. So how does it work? Venues place QR Codes at tables, allowing guests to scan and view menus and place their orders. The guest then receives their own QR code as a receipt that they then scan at the tap, unlocking the tap to dispense the perfect pour of beer, wine, cocktails, coffee, and more. Not only can guests order and serve their own beverages, tap walls and mobile bars allow multiple guests to order and pour at the same time. Guest accessible tap walls and mobile bars minimize wait, offering guests instant gratification.
Thinking about adding tap walls or mobile bars to your venue? Sestra offers an end to end solution or we can integrate our solutions and services with your existing hardware. Either way, working with Sestra means embracing solutions that are connected and futureproof.
Grab and Go Markets
You’ve seen and probably used Grab and Go Markets before. Featured in airports, train stations, hotels, and lounges, Grab and Go Markets allow consumers to select, pay for, and receive salads, snacks, drinks, and more any time of day or night without venues needing to set up a full service bar or convenience store.
No Brick, a Grab and Go Market that Sestra is proud to partner with, offers designs and configurations for any space and any need. Each No Brick station has a “Pay” module and additional modules for coffee, cold beverages, snacks, frozen meals, or wine may be added. The wine module features Sestra’s tap and technology, meaning our partners have access to continued customer service and solutions that grow as they grow.
Payments and Identification
Payment and identification technology goes hand-in-hand with contactless service. Paying through apps has decreased the need for cashiers. Biometric identity checkers (like Clear) decrease the need to manually check IDs. Solutions like No Brick require users to have their ID checked once before having functionality unlocked for the duration of their stay, outing, or experience.
Technology is constantly evolving and contactless trends will become even more common and accessible as more people and businesses recognize the ease of service and cleanliness that contactless service provides. Sestra can help your venue keep up. Whether you are interested in implementing tap walls, mobile bars, or No Brick, Sestra’s Dispensing as a Service ensures your hardware and programs are future-proof. Contact us today for more information and let us know how your venue has embraced contactless service.