ALEXANDRIA, Va.—One out of four consumers say they are willing to dine at a fast food restaurant within the next 30 days after restrictions are lifted, while an additional 17% say would do so within the next three months, according YouGov survey of more than 1,200 Americans.
Coming out of the slip in sales during the pandemic itself, foodservice providers must ask themselves, “What would make my customers feel more comfortable?” In the YouGov survey, 53% of respondents said sanitization of tables and chairs in between customers would help make them feel more comfortable, as well as free hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations for customers before entering the store. Nearly 40% said limited seating to allow at least six feet between tables and removing shared condiment stations would also ease concerns.
Technology also can lift perceptions of safety, including systems that reduce contact and speed transactions, according to an article by restaurant.org. Some of those advancements include:
- Electronic menus, as opposed to plastic and paper options
- Tableside ordering, to reduce the need for paper and pens
- Self-order kiosks, which shorten lines and decrease contact
- Contactless payment systems, like mobile wallets and tap-and-pay cards
- Digital check presenters, which allow diners to facilitate their own checkout service.
These are just some of the things restaurant owners are exploring to put their customers at ease as they welcome them back.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.