We are now operating in a “contactless economy.” For years, the rise in popularity for food on-demand has prevailed and today more restaurants have added curbside delivery, order ahead apps, and home delivery to help hungry customers receive food quickly and conveniently. Companies like DoorDash, Seamless and GrubHub have grown exponentially thanks to consumer demand for quick & simple food delivery. While demand for contactless delivery and payment was predicted to trend upward this year, the pandemic accelerated those trends at record pace and introduced the requirement for contact-free solutions.
Restaurants Go Contactless
As restaurants take steps to adhere to new social distancing rules, customers want to keep physical distance as much as possible while still enjoying their favorite meal. The contactless service and payment options adopted during mandated social distancing will remain in place. Drive thru, curbside pickup and leave-it-at-the-door home delivery are the new norm.
Payment methods like typing in a pin number and even tap-and-go technology still happen less than 6 feet away from another person. Customers don’t want to swipe their cards or tap-and-go to pay because it still is not contactless.
Contactless payments are not just a preference, they’re now a requirement. Paying by text is a solution that keeps both customer and restaurant staff (delivery, server, drive thru window, etc.) safe. A Mastercard study showed that almost half of all consumers now prefer to use mobile payment options due to infection concerns, plus nearly eight in 10 say they already use contactless payment.
Let them Pay by Text
Paying by text couldn’t be easier – for the restaurant and for the customer. The customer places an order and receives a “heads up” text when the delivery is on the way. When the food arrives, the customer receives a text with a link to pay by text, they open the secure payment link, add a tip, and tap to pay. The restaurant instantly sees payment and texts back a personalized “Thank you” message.
Raise Effective Customer Engagement
While paying by text and two-way messaging make a big difference without any bells and whistles, restaurants can also maximize customer engagement with features that make the experience even more personal, such as:
- Integrating text payment and messaging with a pre-existing POS
- Setting up a “How was your food?” text survey
- Updating customers with a text messaging campaign announcing COVID-19 Hours of Operation
- Building a customer contact database with SMS marketing campaigns around special deals and discounts for those who opt in
These are solutions that restaurants can implement quickly or gradually – either way it means they’re connecting with customers and providing a safe way to collect payments, which is exactly what restaurants need right now.