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5 Factors That Will Define The Restaurant Experience In 2021

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It’s 2021 and everyone is excited to flip the calendar and put 2020 behind us.

Today I’ll be sharing the best ways that you can prepare your restaurant for success in the new year.

Let’s dive right in.

QR Codes

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One of the most popular strategies we’re seeing in the industry is the use of Quick Response codes, commonly called QR codes. Essentially, this is just a barcode that you can scan with your phone that automatically directs you to a website, video, profile, etc.

The best part about QR codes is that you can create them yourself super easily and place them anywhere. They’re a great way to minimize contact and maintain a hygienic restaurant environment.

Restaurant owners have been implementing them in lots of different ways to inform and direct customers wherever they want them to go. And this isn’t just for the hip young people!

Marketing firm BeaconStac has found that more than 52% of restaurants across the whole United States have already started utilizing QR codes! That means that this percentage will only increase, so if you’re not already using QR codes you have to jump on board.

Now let’s unpack 5 ways that QR codes can help transform your business in 2021!

1. Curbside Pickup

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The first way to minimize contact in 2021 is with curbside pickup. This isn’t a new concept, but we can really take it to the next level with this technology.

One smart restaurant printed a huge QR code on a banner, and put it on the side of their restaurant. This way people in cars driving by or waiting in the parking lot can just quickly scan that QR code and view their website!

From there customers can either save it or order food, and it just comes out 15 minutes later! That’s a curbside pickup experience that you want to be able to offer your customers. Another variation is placing the code in your window if your storefront has a lot of walking traffic.

Utilizing QR codes is huge when it comes to curbside pickup since it limits contact and always provides customers with the most up to date menu.

2. Contactless Payment

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Contactless payment has become crucial over the past few months. The reason being that paying the bill is another touchpoint with the potential to pass germs.

Instead of bringing your customers a physical bill, you can simply print a QR code that takes them right to your website/POS system so they can pay however they’d like!

Now why is this important? In 2021 everyone’s mindset is focused on hygiene. Your customers are thinking about whether dining out is safe or not. Even regardless of a vaccine, it’s all about the perception.

The greater peace of mind you can provide for your customers, the more comfortable they will feel dining at your restaurant. Being comfortable means they’ll return again and again and even tell their friends because they’re confident in your business.

3. Contact Tracing

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Most establishments already have to adhere to lots of different rules given by the government and contact tracing is one of the most popular.

If this isn’t the case for your business, contact tracing requires every customer that comes into your establishment to record their name, contact information, and date so that the government health authorities can actually trace the virus and contact the people who may be affected.

How can QR codes help with this process? Instead of dealing with paperwork and sanitizing pens, your customers can just input their information via a QR code link on their phones!

This method also allows you to log your customer data for your marketing needs. You’re able to see how often they visit, how much they’re spending, and how many people they dine with so your can strategize tactics to get them to come back again and again.

Another benefit with using a digital form is that everything is automatically stored on the cloud. This way when you need to share this information with the government authorities it’s super convenient.

4. Virtual Hygiene Tours

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What do I mean by a virtual hygienic tour?

Basically you just take your phone or camera and record the process of how you’re taking your health and safety precautions to the next level so your customers feel safe to visit. Highlight the ways you ensure that your food is prepared in a proper manner with no cross contamination. Make sure to include your take out and delivery procedures as well!

Right now, every business is telling the world how clean they are, but customers need to see it and experience it themselves.

After you record all these type of content, all you have to do is upload on YouTube and link the video to a QR code!

Then when people come in, you can share this with them or you can leave the QR code on the table where your customers are dining. Let them know, “If you want to see our top-notch hygienic practices, you can check them out here!”

You should also put that video or QR code on your website, social media, and even in your window, to actually communicate this to all your customers no matter where they find you.

Why? Once again, this gives them the confidence to come in and dine at your restaurant!

5. Gathering Reviews

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Reviews are never going to go out of date. Just one half-star rating increase on your profile accounts for more than 30% of reservation orders! That could equate to hundreds if not thousands more orders every single week.

Everyone decides on where to eat through online reviews, and most importantly, their friends and family. This is why you need to make sure that you have a proper system of gathering reviews.

How do you get more reviews? A really simple way is including a QR code with the bill or on take-out orders and asking customers to scan it and just type in their honest review! Automatically, you’re going to get more reviews for your restaurant.

QR codes are super valuable because it removes any friction. It eliminates the steps of having to go online, find the review site, make an account, etc.

Another useful thing to include on your QR codes is your brand story. Communicate what you’re all about with your customers. This could be a video or just a short paragraph to tell them what you value and why.

By sharing your story, customers get to be involved in your journey and understand what you’re all about. That increases your brand loyalty and creates more loyal customers.

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There you have it, 5 easy ways to create the perfect dining experience for your customers in 2021.

It’s all about health, safety and the hygiene that you provide and communicate to your customers. As you can see, one of the best ways to do this is through QR codes.

BeaconStac is the #1 proximity marketing company and luckily they have extended their 30-day free trial offer so you can use their services to create a very powerful and secure QR code I personally vouch for them, and you can take advantage of that offer here!

For more great resources on tackling 2021, check out my YouTube channel here and consider joining our Profitable Restaurant Owner’s Facebook Group here.

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