7 Benefits of Contactless Menu Options for C-Stores
Imagine being able to offer your customers a way to order, receive, and pay for their food items with limited or no contact with another person. It may sound a bit like science-fiction, but it’s currently available all over the world.
The term “contactless” has become one of the most popular buzzwords to circulate over the past few months, although this concept isn’t exactly new to the food service industry.
In fact, introducing contactless technology was already a growing food service trend by the time 2020 arrived. But as we continue to tackle the challenges of global pandemic and economic hardship, going contactless has never been more important to consider.
Although there are many advantages – both for convenience-store operators and their customers – here are the top 7 benefits you need to know.
Top Benefits for Consumers
- It’s Safer & More Sanitary – with health and safety at the forefront of consumers’ minds, they tend to spend their dollars with businesses they know they can trust to have their best interests in mind.
- It’s Super Convenient – ordering ahead, reducing payment friction, and offering multiple pick-up/delivery options help alleviate pressure on customers’ busy schedules – and project well even into a post-COVID world,
- It’s Just, Plain Faster – no one likes to stand in line (especially under current circumstances), making speed of service a major consideration for consumers as they make their buying decisions.
Top Benefits of C-Store Operators
- It Reduces Risk By Keeping Customers Safe – not only are customers (and associates) safety-conscious, they’re often eager to bury those who break their trust. By making safety a priority, it communicates that you care about your customers’ and employees’ wellbeing and reduces your liability risk.
- It Creates Growing Demand – everyone loves the shiny, new thing. By utilizing contactless technology, you are effectively positioned as forward-thinking, innovative, and cutting-edge, which can be a great competitive advantage.
- It Helps Maximize Transaction Numbers – with less friction on the consumer side, contactless ordering and payment can increase transaction capacity during peak ordering times.
- It Helps Control Labor Costs – along the same lines as maximizing transactions, having a contactless process allows you to sell more while utilizing the same (or potentially less) labor, helping cut costs and improve profitability at the same time.
What C-Stores Need to Offer Contactless Menu Options
Want to know how to begin offering contactless foods, snacks, and appetizers on your c-store’s menu? First, you’ll need to consider your customer’s journey from start to finish.
Contactless Ordering / Payment Platforms
Begin with researching which contactless order-ahead platform or app will work best for your business. There’s no shortage of contactless ordering platforms for c-stores out there, so be sure to do your research.
On top of ordering ahead, you may look to upgrade to contactless card/payment readers, so in-store customers have options to use contactless cards, Apple Pay, or similar contactless payment methods.
Limit Contact During Cooking & Packaging
From frozen to fryer to package to consumer, it’s vital to practice proper food safety and handling at all times.
The National Safety Council recommends face covering and wearing gloves whenever possible as well as washing or sanitizing hands often. It’s also wise to limit your employees’ interaction with food throughout the cooking process to an “only when absolutely necessary” policy.
Packaging plays an important role in the process as well. With proper food safety measures being taken, to-go packaging (such as wrappers, lids, etc.) should be air-tight to avoid contamination.
At Broaster Express, we provide “kitchen-sealed” labels to our branded operators, so their customers know that they can trust proper measures were taken to safeguard their food, snack, or appetizer.
Contactless Grab ‘n Go / Curbside Pick-up / Delivery Methods
Now, it’s time to establish how the food will get into the hands of your customers.
Will you provide a grab ‘n go solution for customers to come inside, send an associate to deliver customer orders curbside, deliver customers’ food safely to their doorstep, or…a combination of the three?
Don’t Forget to Get the Word Out!
Finally, once you have a process in place and tested to ensure any kinks are worked out, it’s time to announce your contactless food service options to your customers.
However you decide to advertise, just remember to keep instructions simple, but make more detailed information available. Customers may be curious or need further validation before adopting a new process.
You may also want to consider teasing out the milestones of creating your contactless process on social media to build hype. After all, transparency is key to connecting with customers and gaining their trust in today’s day and age.
Go Contactless with Help from Broaster Express
Of course, you can have the best contactless processes in place, but if the quality of food being served is low…returning customers will be hard to come by.
One of the greatest advantages to becoming a Broaster Express branded operator is that you essentially get a “Restaurant in a Box.”
Broaster Express Operators receive…
- Your choice of 30+ food SKUs (all in freezer-to-fryer format)
- Operational recipes & coaching
- Flexibility to adapt to local preferences
- Contactless to-go containers/lids/labels
- Menu boards w/ suggested pricing
- Training for employees/associates
And the best part… there are no franchise fees for participating in our trademark food programs, so you get to keep all your own profits!
Are you ready to start offering contactless menu items to your customers? Reach out online today, or give us a call at 800.365.8278.
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