Since the Covid-19 crisis began, the shift towards mobile ordering has increased rapidly across the global hospitality industry. At Wi5, we’ve signed-up and been in conversation with hundreds of hospitality operators in recent weeks, all looking to mobile ordering technology to help them welcome back customers.

It’s not just about offering click and collect or delivery whilst venues are closed to diners, there’s a wide variety of reasons operators are looking at technology to help both during and post-lockdown.  Based on our extensive dealings with hospitality operators, here’s the main reasons so many are now looking to mobile ordering.

1. New revenue streams

As the most obvious and immediate reason, we saw a huge uptake early on in the crisis, as restaurants, bars and cafés diversified to takeaway and delivery to keep serving customers during lockdown. Interestingly, this shows no sign of easing as restriction begin to lift.  More and more operators are looking to launch or improve their mobile order ahead services, with some level of restrictions set to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

2. Hygiene and social distancing

Due to both changing customer expectations, and new social-distancing criteria being set by government, it’s imperative that hospitality operators do everything they can to remove unnecessary contact. Research shows that there will be a huge decline in customers wanting to order from a shared kiosk or stand too close to staff, and venues will become cashless. Enabling customers to order and pay from their own devices, either ahead of a visit or from their table, will be vital in ensuring a safe reopening. This is true for pickup too – customers can no longer stand in busy queues, so enabling easy order ahead is vital.

3. Cost savings

The industry is clearly under unprecedented pressure, and every opportunity must be taken to reduce costs to help operators return to profit.  By automating processes and using the customer’s own device, mobile Order & Pay technology can make a major difference, reducing the need for staff to manage orders and payments, and replacing expensive hardware such as PDQs and kiosks.

4. Increasing sales per visit

Mobile ordering is proven to increase sales per visit by enabling simple re-ordering and upselling. In the “new normal” this will become both more important to customers and more vital than ever to operators. With strict social distancing measures in place, customers in restaurants, bars and cafés will no longer be able to pop over to a busy bar for an extra order. With simple and fast re-order features from mobile, hospitality operators will maximise the opportunity for additional sales.

5. Maximising throughput

It’s not just sales per visit that will be vital to operators after lockdown, there will be huge pressure on the industry due to the reduced capacity required by social distancing criteria. Mobile ordering will be invaluable in two ways: firstly, by helping significantly reduce the wait for ordering and paying, operators will be able to speed up table turnover and maximise throughput at peak times. Secondly, with the CRM opportunities offered by mobile ordering, operators will have increased ability to manage capacity throughout the week. The proliferation of customer insight, and increased communication opportunities afforded by mobile will make it easier to encourage off-peak visits.

If you want to find out more about how Wi5 can support your reopening, contact us today.