It’s perhaps no surprise that, as the COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines began, people began buying alcohol in bulk. According to Nielsen, the percent of boxed wine sales increased more than tenfold between Feb. 29 and April 18, 1.75-L spirits were 23 times higher, and 30-packs of beer sales were up 21%.
Though bulk alcohol bar sales were up, however, the population, in general, was not actually drinking more. It seems that enjoying a cold beer or cocktail is something best done with others, and Zoom happy hours just can’t replace the real thing.
As restaurant and bar owners work to open their establishments for the long term, here are 4 ways in which they can streamline and simplify contactless alcohol sales to make those in-person happy hours safer for everyone involved.
For in-person, contactless dining and drinking, a table sensor or QR code can allow the customer to find their own table or seat at the bar and start their own dining experience without the need for contact with a host or server.
Your customer can simply tap a sensor to check-in, which notifies a team member through a tablet or watch that they need assistance.
Systems like those offered by OneDine give diners a choice of drink menus to peruse. Orders can be taken by the server using the tablet, or submitted by the customer on their own mobile devices. The tablet can also be left at the table and switched into self-service kiosk mode. Customers can then add, modify, and pay for their orders independently.
Tap the sensor to order allows guests to go to a table that has a sensor, tap it with their mobile device, and order from their device on the restaurant’s customized menu. Customers can add or modify their orders through the platform. But that’s not all. The table sensor can also allow customers to see your restaurant’s PDF flyer menus, call a server, or view, browse, and build a favorites list from two types of the online menu.
There’s a browsable menu for a more traditional dining experience. This menu is ideal for guests who have a general idea of their drink order. Guests can use the menu as a visual cue to explain their beer or cocktail beverage choices to a server or bartender. Guests can also “favorite” the drinks they’re deciding between, and go back to their favorites to make their final selection.
The orderable menu is tailored for increased efficiency. It’s designed for customers who know exactly what they want to order and is geared to find and select items quickly. This menu feels more like the app experience with quick movements and simplicity.
Guests can toggle between these two menus, and in each menu, you can choose to display a wealth of information, including:
- Nutritional data
- Descriptions and disclaimers
- Larger pictures
In addition, the menu gives guests the ability to favorite specific items, and the ability to modify the order or increase quantities. There’s also a search bar to allow guests to easily find what they’re looking for.
When it comes to alcohol, an important feature of OneDine’s solution is its built-in alcohol ID check capabilities that allow the system to limit your liability risk by screening customers’ IDs before clearing any alcohol sales, as well as to track their consumption over the course of their session at your establishment.
With the OneDine system, guests can experience safe, contact-free payment with a variety of options and in a variety of situations.
For payments inside the bar or dining room, diners can tap the table sensor to pay the check that’s in the POS.
Curbside, drive up, and delivery options include:
- SMS messages with a link to an online payment portal
- A QR code that can be scanned in order to pay
- Ordering online via custom mobile browsing/ordering website with payment at checkout (or upon arrival via SMS or QR code)
- Or, depending upon contactless preferences, guests may walk inside to pay
The restaurant can also decide if they want to allow for tipping, how tips are suggested, how tips are calculated, etc. If the restaurant enables this option, customers can easily tip as they please from the payment screen.
It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed at times when navigating the ever-changing case counts and guidelines and restrictions generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are solutions that can help keep your doors open and your staff employed while minimizing the risk of virus transmission.
The concepts of contactless service outlined above and the technology that makes them possible were already moving quickly to the forefront even before the challenges of 2020. In these increasingly uncertain times, with many bars returning to shut-down mode while others continue to reopen, OneDine solutions can help make service more convenient for customers and safer for everyone involved.