The restaurant industry has radically changed in a very short period of time. Given government mandates and changing consumer practices driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, owners/operators have had to completely shift their paradigm from improving dining room services to implementing various social distancing measures that make customers feel safer. It is now critically important that restaurants make it easy for customers to order, pay for, and pick up their food with minimal personal interaction. Urban Plates, headquartered in Encinitas, CA, is one of many restaurants across the country utilizing NovaDine technology to meet the changing needs of their customers via a CurbSide Pickup system.
Best known for expansive menu items made fresh in-house from scratch every day, Urban Plates recently began utilizing NovaDine’s Curbside Pickup feature. “NovaDine has been a strong technology partner for Urban Plates,” said Steve Greer, Chief Marketing Officer of Urban Plates. “Innovative solutions like their Curbside Pickup help take friction out of the process for guests and team members.”
NovaDine’s customizable CurbSide Pickup system allows customers to place and pay for their orders online via any device. When the customer arrives, they electronically notify the restaurant of the relevant information needed to deliver their order (such as parking slot number, make/model/color of vehicle, etc.). The system then alerts the restaurant of the customer’s arrival by printing a ticket, displaying the information on a monitor, or both. The food is then brought to the customer’s vehicle, ensuring the customer’s safety and convenience as they receive their meal.
NovaDine’s Curbside Pickup system has been a popular feature at many restaurants for some time now, and NovaDine has recently expanded the system’s features to include Contactless Curbside Pickup. This enhancement takes restaurants’ compliance with social distancing measures to the next level by eliminating any contact that could occur with the server delivering to the customer’s vehicle. It also foregoes the more expensive option of installing locker or cubby systems.
With the new Contactless Curbside Pickup feature from NovaDine, customers are automatically assigned available pick-up slots for their orders, and the restaurant is notified when the customer arrives to pick up their order along with the ‘slot’ or location where the order should be placed. Slots can be any designated and labeled area within a store, whether on a shelf or table. The slot locations and labels can be configured in NovaDine’s system to mirror a particular store’s setup and general layout. This convenient feature provides the functionality of a cubby/locker system (without the associated expense), is available for restaurants to use immediately, and is POS integrated.
Even before COVID-19, consumers were demonstrating a preference for the online ordering and pickup of food. For example, even prior to COVID-19, about 40% of US shoppers were using click-and-collect systems to buy groceries, and that percentage has no doubt grown as a result of the recent pandemic. Many customers now expect their restaurants to provide simplified on-line ordering and pickup in much the same way that they have been buying their groceries for some time. NovaDine is committed to helping restaurants meet their customers’ changing needs in a cost-effective and efficient fashion. The Contactless Curbside Check-in system is the latest NovaDine innovation to help restaurants adapt to the rapidly changing marketplace.
In addition to the new Contactless Curbside Check-in, NovaDine has added features to facilitate to-go and delivery operations for restaurants. New features include no-transaction-fee Delivery As A Service integration with DoorDash and Postmates, and EZ Cater marketplace integration that complements existing integrations with Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates.
NovaDine’s marketplace integration is fully-automated and bi-directional: Menus are kept up to date in real time on all marketplaces, including 86’d items, and orders flow directly to the POS.
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