COVID-19 is changing everything – especially how we eat. How consumers dine-in, dine-out, and even think about their meals is evolving rapidly as concerns rise about cleanliness, protection, and how we experience physical spaces.
In this installment of our 4-part restaurant series, we’re using insights from our recent consumer research to solve for the pain points of off-premise dining. Our research identified 7 shifts in consumer behavior that will have lasting impact.
Focused on addressing the behavioral shifts that will most impact re-entry for off-premise dining – Contact Avoidance, Protecting Personal Space, and Staying Virtual – the team explored a variety of solutions that could be used in the re-entry period. We invented a fictitious brand, Better Burger, to illustrate cost-effective solutions for re-entry into a new normal and reimagining what’s next.
Better Burger addressed changing consumer needs with the following considerations:
Maxed out drive-thru.
Depending on available space, the drive-thru could be optimized by staffing for in-line tablet ordering, adding a window, or adding lanes. An added lane could be dedicated to online pre-orders to streamline pick-up.
Contact-free payment, a safety shield window adaptation, and contactless pick-up shelf add safety for both customers and staff while speeding service. For maximum throughput, additional distanced windows could be installed.
A clear one-way path through the restaurant and expanded open-shelf pick-up staging eliminates human contact and bottlenecks. Safety seal packaging features a sticker that highlights the customer name along with a freshness timestamp and name of the employee who prepared the order.
Solutions ranging from pop-up pick-up and remote pick-up outposts to modular pick-up lockers (heated/cooled) and vestibules (heated/cooled) allow customers and third-party delivery to quickly pick up orders without going into the restaurant or coming too close to other people.
Better Burger also uses location-aware technology that recognizes customer location and provides the estimated wait time. Every parking space is numbered, allowing customers to text the space number upon arrival. An overhead awning protects runners and customers from inclement weather.
A sharp rise in mobile ordering is poised to become a habit, so Better Burger’s packaging is the only branded touchpoint, designed to preserve quality for longer delivery times, utilizes partnership marketing to create dining entertainment, and provides build-your-own family-style options.
As you work through the immediacy of response, how will you plan for re-entry?
Contact us to help you reimagine what comes next.