IndustriesRestaurant Marketing Software
5 min read
5 min read
Rob’s Fine Dining is a famous restaurant in the fictional city of Kentington. Mr. Rob Harrison is the owner of this popular dining spot and he has been running this restaurant for more than 20 years. It was a slow start but for the past few years, he consistently had to increase his staff because of the growing number of customers. Everything was going well until 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the whole industry. The city imposed stern restrictions on dine-in services to prevent the COVID-19 spread.
However, after the city authority dealt with the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it decided to lift the restrictions on dine-in facilities under one condition: restaurants need to keep a time-stamped record of every patron who visits them, which basically calls for a mandatory contact tracing system for restaurants. This regulation is to make sure that if there is a COVID-19 exposure at any restaurant, they can immediately inform every customer/patron who visited the restaurant at that time.
So, everything should be running smoothly, right? Sadly, once Rob started the customer check-in process, he found that it is getting difficult to track customers as he is getting his crowd back. Rob delegated one full-time staff member to greet customers at the door and ensure they provide their names, time of entry, and contact details. Still, it was taking time and there would often be large lines of annoyed customers.
That’s not even the biggest concern though! Often, customers write their contact details down in a rush and make mistakes. Rob also had concerns about contacting visitors in the event of an exposure because manually contacting people from a paper-based restaurant check-in system would take a lot of time.
So, what can Rob do to make this process more efficient? Let’s find out!
Given the scenario above, if Rob wants to keep his restaurant running, he needs to find a solution that automates contact tracing for restaurants, increases accuracy, and reduces the time it takes to check in customers. Fortunately, it is entirely possible to automate the visitor sign-in process where patrons do not have to write anything down manually and the restaurant does not have to delegate an employee to monitor whether customers are checking in.
How? Instead of all this fuss, a customer can simply send a text message to complete the mandatory check-in.
Yes, it's that easy!
Let’s explain how it works.
Say, Rob’s Fine Dining has a digital check-in solution that uses SMS automation technology and CRM software. They have a designated SMS keyword for the restaurant. Let’s say the keyword is FINEDINING. Any customer who wants to visit Rob’s restaurant must type “FINEDINING [Space] [NAME]” and send that to a shortcode number. A time-stamped entry will be automatically recorded in the CRM and the customer will receive an SMS confirming the check-in. Then, the customer simply needs to show the confirmation SMS at the front door and enjoy the food.
For instance, let’s assume, Madisyn is visiting Rob’s restaurant. Rob has a huge sign board hanging at the restaurant entrance that asks visitors to text FINEDINING to 11011. Madisyn takes out her phone, crafts a text message with the message body being FINEDINING MADISYN and sends it to the shortcode number. In the CRM, a new entry will be recorded with Madisyn’s name, phone number, and her time of entry.
To make it more interesting, here are our top five reasons why you should adopt digital contact tracing for restaurants.
Imagine hundreds of customers are visiting your restaurant only to wait outside for other customers to finish writing their contact details in a large record book. You certainly don’t want your customers to have to wait. With a digital check-in process, hundreds of customers can simply send an SMS from their cellphones and check-in all at once. You don’t even need to delegate a staff member to observe the check-in process.
We all know that writing something using a pen is a pain these days. No matter how carefully someone writes their details, there is always a chance to make an error. And a single error is enough to cause mayhem during the COVID-19 pandemic. Imagine, there is an COVID-19 exposure and you have alerted everyone who was present at your restaurant during the time of exposure. Some numbers were inaccurate, and one of them was exposed to COVID-19! That person may become the next patient zero for the third wave.
With digital contact tracing, nobody is writing down mobile numbers and nobody is making entries manually in that huge record book! Every time a visitor checks in, the mobile number is automatically registered so there is absolutely zero risk of recording an inaccurate contact number.
Imagine what might happen if you accidentally lose the record book, someone steals it, or someone takes some previously checked-in customers’ information? I know it sounds a bit unlikely, but can you really take the risk in the digital era? Your customers' security should be your utmost priority. So, when you are using a digital contact tracing solution, no data is being recorded on any paper. Only authorized users can access the data.
All these contact tracing regulations are imposed for one reason: prevent the spread of COVID-19. If a customer who visited the restaurant and is diagnosed with COVID-19 later, management and health authorities should notify the customers who visited the restaurant when the exposure occurred. With a paper-based system, how does that work? You basically turn page after page, find the list of the people who visited that time, and notify them one by one. That’s a time-consuming task when, unfortunately, you don’t have much time. With a digital check-in solution, all the entries are stored in a dynamic CRM. Which means, you can find ALL CUSTOMERS who were present at the restaurant during the COVID-19 exposure with just a few clicks.
So, you have found the list of customers who were present at the location during the COVID-19 exposure. What now? You must notify them, right? If you want to do it manually, then you need to call them one by one. With a digital restaurant check-in solution, you can leverage communication technology to notify every single customer in that list. You just need type your message and select the list of the customers who might be at risk and send the message. Every customer will get a personalized notification about the potential exposure, how they may be at risk, and what next steps they should take. If you want, you can also ask them to confirm the notification receipt by performing a specific action in response to your message.
Here's a comparison chart to show you how digital SMS-based contact tracing for restaurants outperforms the manual contact tracking process:
SimplyCast is offering an SMS-based check-in solution to restaurants to help them manage their patron information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SimplyCast is offering the most complete contact tracing solution for restaurants, powered by its SMS engagement, contact relationship management, and engagement automation manager platforms. All the back-end work is done for you and the complete restaurant check-in solution is ready. All you need to do is to sign up!
Once you sign up, you will receive a designated keyword and access to a shortcode for your restaurant. Then, you just need to put up signage (an example is given below) at your restaurant entrance informing your customers how to complete the check-in process before they enter. Once your customers start checking in, all their entries will be recorded automatically in the CRM. You can access the data form anywhere, any time.
Our SMS-based restaurant check-in solution is secure, scalable, and reliable. SimplyCast is an ISO 27001:2013-certified service provider with data centers in the USA and Canada, which means your customer data is completely secure.
There are no hidden fee and no installation charge! You are getting a ready-made check-in solution without any technical hassle.
Why wait when you can protect your patrons and staff in the most efficient way possible?
Sign up and get started today! Click the button below to book a one-on-one demo with one of our automation experts who will be happy to show you how the solution can work for your restaurant.