The pandemic has presented vast challenges for businesses around the world, with many having to close completely due to local restrictions put in place to stave off climbing infection rates. Rather than remaining stagnant, businesses took the opportunity to look into ways in which they can serve customers in new and innovative ways.
Bars and Restaurants turned to takeaways and deliveries because they were unable to welcome guests into their dining area. Although they would always prefer to sit customers down to offer the complete experience, many have found the offering a takeaway service is highly profitable as it reduces the overheads involved. As a result, even once restrictions have been lifted, they have continued to offer service via digital methods.
The Rise of Collect and Deliver
Customers are now used to ordering food on apps, so much so that many prefer to enjoy food from their favourite takeaways and restaurants this way. Convenience is the overriding reason why, because the consumer does not have to leave their home and barely lift a finger – simply placing an order on a device that was probably in their hand, to begin with.
Apps are no longer the future because they are very much the present. For years now, businesses have been offering their customer base the opportunity to buy through apps and, with the rise of various food markets now offering delivery services, it was only a matter of time before more and more restaurants, bars and other businesses jumped on board. If anything, the pandemic only serviced to accelerate the move, rather than change its direction.
As well as offering delivery, collection options have also been a key offering. Customers that are out and about, socialising with friends and family, shopping or out on business won’t necessarily have the luxury of having somewhere their food and drink can be delivered. Therefore, having a base is still important for the business, offering somewhere that customers can quickly drop in.
Customers do not want to wait in line, especially during Covid times when we are constantly reminded of the need to distance ourselves. Customers want to be able to drop in, skip the line, pick up their food and be on their way. By ordering in advance, that is made possible – the customer received a notification for when their order is ready and when they can expect to pick it up. That means leaving more time for doing what they want to do, and less time doing everything else.
Business Moving Forward
Business won’t be moving back any time soon, if ever, and this new way of serving the customer is set to stay. Digital has well and truly taken over and it is up to businesses to utilise the technology available to them to make their customers’ life as simple as can be. Given the choice between actively going out, waiting in line, placing their order, waiting for the order and heading back home/to the office or ordering at the touch of a finger and having the food brought to them, the majority of people will opt for convenience.
There will always be those that prefer more of a human touch and enjoy the social interaction involved with being at the shop or restaurant, and that’s fine. Businesses can flourish by offering both options, as many are doing right now.
How businesses was conducted in 2019 is dead, and now it is all about jumping on board with the way that business has been forced to operate during the pandemic. It’s here to stay.