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The coronavirus crisis accelerates the implementation of digital payments and orders in restaurants

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all technology innovative that appears on the market goes through several stages. At first it timidly bursts in, being adopted by consumers more in tune with new technologies. Then, as it gets traction, it's the turn of the general public, than encouraged by the good reception among techies, are encouraged to try the news and the benefits that the tools bring with them. Finally a maturity stage where almost all consumers use technology, and there are hardly any new users. This process takes years, and even decades.

Nevertheless, when there are world events that change consumer habits and people's needs, some of these technologies can benefit tremendously from accelerated adoption. If there is to be found a positive point to the current health crisis that we are undergoing, it's just this, that has energized the expansion of technologies that will bring great value to both consumers and merchants.

This is the case of the methods of payment contactless. This is the name given to those forms of payment that do not require any interaction between the customer and the cashier. If the cash was in the process of disappearing, now it is the cards that could end up being a thing of the past, because with the risk of coming into contact with some contaminated surface (for example the keys of the card readers), everyone prefers to use their mobile terminal to make payment via digital wallet.

The same goes for applications to make reservations or orders online. Although no one escapes that companies like Just Eat O Uber Eats have been operating in our country for years, it is enough to review the showcase of associated premises in our cities to see that only a small percentage of existing restaurants and bars have a digital presence on these portals. These and other smaller companies have seen a large number of establishments enter the digital world for the first time due to the pandemic of coronavirus, confinement and alarm status.

Some analysts have quantified this increase in the speed of adoption of the targeted technologies by monitoring the reviews left on the download portals of applications such as the App Store of Apple O Android Apps from Google Play. The coronavirus has significantly enhanced the reception of these solutions.

A clear example of this are the apps own mobiles of some of the most important organized catering brands in the world. Taking into account McDonald’s applications, Burger King, Chipotle, Domino’s y Pizza Hut, a consulting firm has discovered that in 2020 the number of new registered users is one 36% higher than in previous years. This phenomenon is easy to explain if one takes into account that during the worst moments of the pandemic, only those restaurants that had the possibility of offering delivery they could continue operating.

As we already anticipated, these changes are not only positive for customers, restaurant professionals can also get a slice. And is that this is the ideal time to pounce on these changes, because society is receptive. Restorers who implement business-based solutions online and virtual purses will project a security image that will attract diners, and at the same time that they improve the traffic of visitors to the premises, can take advantage of collect information about your consumers such as preferences, consumption habits and profile characteristics. Data that used intelligently can take the restaurant to a new level through changes to the menu, in the mode of operation or in your strategy marketing, to cite some of the more common approaches.

On the other hand, the coronavirus crisis has had a second effect on these technologies. And it is not limited to disseminating them among the population, it has also caused them to evolve incorporating new utilities and tools.

The restaurants that have joined the digital transformation in this wave brought by the SARS-2 They have demanded a whole series of novelties that were not yet included in this type of software. A) Yes, pick up on the sidewalk, vehicle geolocation, the traceability of the capacity, scanning barcodes or QR codes to access menus and compatibility with digital wallets are some of the points that have been addressed in recent months.

This revolution that affects personal mobile terminals is detrimental to some pieces of digital furniture in the restaurant. This is the case of tablets and autopedido kiosks, which due to their commonly used touch screens now cause reluctance among visitors and also require additional maintenance in terms of cleaning by the restaurant, which is added to the already excessive sanitation measures, safety and prevention that have been imposed by common sense and request via regulations from the administration and public bodies responsible for the welfare of the population.

Given the current circumstances and the changes that are taking place in the industry, it is normal for some analysts to reflect on the future of the sector. Some think that the consumption habits that we currently observe will not be temporary, but they will last over time.

If true, face-to-face meals in restaurants would go awry. The pre-existing trend already pointed towards a greater weight of the business to carry compared to the tastings in the physical location, but in this 2020 restaurant meals have dropped almost a 40% Over the previous year, and instead customers prefer the drive-thru, he pick-up or home delivery, modalities that have experienced an increase in their use of 40%, 400% Y 300% respectively.

It is clear that the future goes through business online and virtual wallets will be the most convenient associated payment method. The time to investigate what benefits these technologies can bring to our restaurant, is now.

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Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.

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