The year 2020 was all about taking precautions to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from going wild. It already damaged our socio-economic structure and changed the way we live. However, authorities worldwide are taking strict measures and implementing policies to minimize the spread and keep people safe.
One of the common policies adopted by many jurisdictions is COVID-19 patron contact tracing. Authorities are encouraging businesses, especially restaurants, to keep track of their patrons’ restaurant check-in records so if there is a COVID-19 exposure, it can be easy to find the people who might be exposed and notify them as soon as possible. In some places, having a dedicated system to ensure contact tracing for restaurants is now a mandatory requirement for running business operations.
Now, the most common practice of contact tracing for restaurants is keeping a giant record book at the entrance. Every time a customer drops by the store, they take the pen and write their name, entry time, and contact details in that giant book (using the same pen). Usually, one staff member is designated to monitor the restaurant check-in process and clean the pen after each check-in. Now, imagine there is a potential COVID-19 exposure! They will have to go through all the contacts and manually notify them!
Sounds like a lengthy, tiresome process, doesn’t it? Especially if it’s a small or local restaurant, handling a manual restaurant contact tracing process eats up a lot of resources and time.
On the other hand, a digital restaurant check-in system works more smoothly, almost without any human intervention. With a digital restaurant check-in system, a customer can simply scan a QR code and fill out a short online form to complete their check-in. In addition, they could alternatively text a keyword to a shortcode to complete their check-in. In both cases, an entry will be recorded in an online, centralized database which is controlled by the business. That entry will include the time of check-in, contact number, and customer details. The customer will automatically receive a restaurant check-in confirmation via SMS. All they need is to show that at the entry point, and they are good to go! In case of an unfortunate COVID-19 exposure, staff can easily reach out and mass notify all customers who were in the restaurant at the time the exposure occurred.
Much better than a manual check in process, right? This process is done without any human intervention.
Manual vs. Digital Visitor Tracking System
You have already learned that a manual tracking system is no match for a digital restaurant contact tracing system. Now, allow us to convince you even more!
There are plenty other reasons why many businesses worldwide are adopting a digital restaurant check-in system instead of going for manual process. Here, we have gathered our top seven reasons why your restaurant should adopt a digital check-in system:
1. Saving time during rushes
A manual restaurant contact tracing system is somewhat effective if there are only a handful of customers at any given time. However, if the number of customers increases drastically, it becomes almost impossible to get everyone checked in without making them form a line. With a digital restaurant check-in system, multiple customers can check themselves in at once.
2. Minimizing human error
In a manual process, a visitor writes his/her details and a staff manually records them in a database. Now, between these two tasks there are risks of making mistakes. It may seem like a petty issue but even one mistake can create a patient zero. On the other hand, a digital restaurant check-in system records every entry straight into a database. So, the risk of human error goes down to near-zero.
3. Leveraging contactless check-in
As mentioned before, a manual system will require staff to remain nearby and monitor whether every customer checked in or not. Also, it is not always possible to clean the entire record book or the pen that is used to write the check-in details. So, the risk of getting exposed remains. With a digital system, people can simply scan a QR code or send an SMS. They can check in without breaking the social distancing customs.
4. Customizing the check-in report
In a manual restaurant check-in system, if you need the data of all customers who visited your business within a custom date range, you will have to extract those from a pen-and-paper system. Quite troublesome! Alternatively, in a digital system, you can simply filter the date range in the database and find all customers’ data quickly and easily.
5. Tracing contacts faster
Need to find someone in the giant restaurant check-in record book in a few minutes? Other challenges aside, you will have a rough time deciphering your customers’ handwriting! Now, when you are using a digital contact tracing system for restaurants, you can simply put the desired name in the search bar and VOILA! You will get the specific individual you are looking for.
6. Keeping visitor data safe
Data security is one of the biggest concerns in the digital era. There have been incidents with manual restaurant customer check-in system regarding data security. The physical record book can be stolen or lost. But, in case of a digital system, all customer data is kept in a centralized, online database. If the message transmission is encrypted and the database is secured, then your customer information will be stored safely.
7. Sending instant exposure alerts
What happens if there is a COVID-19 exposure? Do you call all contacts manually? That’s a time-consuming task; however, with a manual check-in process you need to stick with that process. However, with a digital check-in solution, you can easily filter out all customers who might be in risk of COVID-19 exposure and alert them either by voice, SMS, or email. Only a few keystrokes are enough to alert them.
Interested? We have a ready-to-go solution for you
By now, it is safe to assume that you are pretty much convinced that a dedicated contact tracing system for restaurant works best for your business. The question is: how do you get one such solution? Even if you have all the tools needed (an SMS solution and CRM system), are you willing to build a solution from scratch and do all the technical integration and streamlining by yourself? It’s too much work.
Therefore, SimplyCast brings you a complete restaurant check-in solution. Using our SMS marketing tool and CRM software, along with our powerful automation technology, we have built a ready-made solution that can check in millions of customers at the same time. All the technical aspects are handled, and codes are written. Our solution uses a complete visual interface; so, you can use the solution right from the moment you sign up.
SimplyCast is an ISO 27001:2013 certified digital engagement provider with data centers in the USA and Canada. We also strictly follow best digital security practices and comply with anti-SPAM regulations. Which means, your data is completely secure with us. We boast a minimum 99.5% uptime with capability of checking in 150,000+ customers per hour. With us, you don’t need to worry about checking in the customers visiting your restaurant anymore.
Don’t wait! Secure your business today with the world’s #1 digital restaurant check-in solution. Click the button below for a one-on-one demo!