It’s been more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic hit the South African restaurant industry. The pandemic has had a profound impact on our businesses and our lives. But with the Covid-19 vaccine being rolled out, there might finally be cause for some cautious optimism that restaurants might be able to resume the kind of trade that resembles pre-pandemic times again. So what will our post-pandemic operations look like? 

The US restaurant industry is a good indicator of what will happen in South Africa since the country is far ahead of us in rolling out the vaccine. US magazine Restaurant Business, together with leading restaurant-reservation services provider OpenTable,  recently ran a feature on post-pandemic best practices to attract diners as restrictions are lifted. Here are a few takeouts:  

Vaccine rollout encourages dine-in customers 

A study cited in the Restaurant Business article, Technomic’s What to Expect in 2021, states that 43% of consumers said the Covid-19 vaccine is highly likely to encourage them to dine at traditional casual-dining restaurants again.

This is good news for restaurant patrons and operators alike who are looking forward to sharing the dine-in experience again. In a survey described in the Restaurant Business article, diners said they valued several things from the dine-in experience including that the food served in restaurants is fresh and hot, and that they can skip delivery fees. Meanwhile, operators said dine-in customers were more likely to add items to their orders for a larger bill, including drinks, appetisers or desserts. 

Safety remains a priority

Another study by OpenTable and the James Beard Foundation mentioned in the article, What Diners Expect in 2021, found that 31% of consumers had already resumed their pre-pandemic dining-out behaviour and 33% expect they’ll resume their regular dining-out behaviour between April and September 2021. Their findings show that consumers’ biggest concerns when choosing where to dine are about safety. More than 70% of consumers say it’s extremely or highly important for restaurants to require diners to follow safety precautions; have staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE); space tables six feet or more apart, or communicate strict cleaning policies.

Give patrons the best experience 

Staying on top of the many trends in the highly competitive hospitality industry is essential if you want to ensure your survival as we move past this challenging period. Implementing state-of-the-art technology is the best way to ensure that your new restaurant is future-proof. 

Point of Sale software that integrates with a mobile payment solution not only provides a quicker, safer method of payment but also gives you a competitive edge by meeting your customers on the platform they’re most active on. At Pilot, we are always updating our technology and now offer innovations including QRHub, mobile PoS and SmartPoS.

Pilot Point of Sale is your one-stop solution to ensure that your new restaurant has a competitive advantage starting from day one. Our intuitive software and smart, robust hardware combine to give you the power to manage every aspect of your restaurant. 

To find out more about how our PoS software can assist you, download our brochure.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst