The pandemic has drastically affected the restaurant industry. For most restaurants, the focus remains on delivery and pickup to serve customers. The pandemic’s toll on restaurants was more limited than otherwise because of delivery services.
Even remote parts of the world embraced restaurant and food delivery apps like never before. For example, queries for app development in Ireland was high because many restaurants and essential service providers wanted to build mobile apps to take on delivery business opportunities.
Mobile chatbots equip restaurants and food delivery apps to do many things. They make it easy to tune into customer needs and address customer issues. The chatbot-powered delivery and pickup service since then has become a key component of the restaurant app development process.
Before we explain the role of mobile chatbots for restaurant delivery and pickup, let’s first look at the key changes that restaurants at this time should adhere to.
Prioritize Health Concerns
Restaurants would always adhere to food safety standards. But in the post-Covid world, the situation is more significant. Covid-19 impacted customer service in new ways. The entire food business industry has adopted contactless operations to minimize the risk of contagions.
Apart from regular practices corresponding to cleanliness and hygiene, restaurants enforced measures and practices to ensure contactless operations. Adjustments include single-use menus, disposable cutlery and plates, sanitizing tables and all areas open to human touch, allowing a limited number of guests for dining in, and others.
Though customers exiting lockdown are now lining up at restaurants, the limited capacity, strict measures, and new variants can be deterrents to eating out. There will still be an emphasis on the delivery and pickup of food. With the fluctuation of Covid protocols, restaurants need to stay on top of how to best reach their customers.
Employ Innovative Digital Solutions to Improve Customer Experience
Since most restaurants now embrace online delivery and contactless ordering, innovative technologies play a key role in customer service. Restaurants are using things dynamic restaurant menus, chatbot support, geolocation-based delivery tracking, personalized menus, and delivery options based on customer choices to satisfy customers.
Take these Key Steps to Enhance Delivery and Pickup
How can restaurants switch from the traditional dine-in business to a business focused on delivery or pickup? Here are key considerations in the post-Covid scenario:
- Focus on the most popular menu options: Offer minimum menu options to prevent overproduction.
- Maintain hygienic packaging: This is imperative for restaurants resorting to the delivery model.
- Contactless payment and transactions: Facilitating smooth and contactless payment and transactions through mobile wallets and other means is a must for restaurant delivery apps.
- Partner with delivery services: Restaurants and food chains also can partner with leading food aggregator on-demand delivery apps and other delivery services if they don’t have their own app for delivery and pickup.
The Role of Chatbots for Restaurant Delivery and Pickup
In the post-Covid world, customers will continue to find restaurant apps and food delivery apps important. There are certain technologies and features that ensure a far better customer experience. Chatbot support for facilitating orders, addressing customer queries, and solving customer issues is popular across all leading restaurant and food delivery apps.
A chatbot is a software program that can engage in conversation with customers based on certain rules or optional choices. A restaurant can also integrate a chatbot with its social chat messaging app like Messenger or WhatsApp.
Chatbots automate communication with customers. They also help push more engagement and enhance customer satisfaction. Since contactless and remote communication is normal, it makes sense to take food orders from customers through a responsive chatbot.
A chatbot can perform many functions. For example, it can inform customers about their delivery status. Chatbots can also get precise locations and offer additional options for customers to choose from. Apart from these rule-based capabilities of regular chatbots, a restaurant can also develop a more customized and intelligent chatbot based on AI technology. AI chatbots are capable of communicating in a more humane fashion and based on customer intent.
Apart from providing support, chatbots can also play an important role in promoting products and services. As soon as a customer engages in a conversation, a restaurant chatbot can send promotional messages with various offers and special items. Thus, chatbots can also push conversions and boost repeat sales.
Mobile apps will continue to be relevant business tools for restaurants in the post-Covid world since food delivery and pickup will remain more popular than dine-in for the foreseeable future. Mobile chatbots will play a major role in providing customer support and driving sales through meaningful interactions.