Let’s start with a definition

“Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission.”

Only a few months ago, writing the above lines in an article addressing hospitality professionals would seem obscure; yet, this is a reality in the era of COVID-19.

Still, the intention here is not to repeat something you already know and are probably sick and tired of hearing. The aim is to understand whether social distancing or people avoiding physical contact, will become a new modus vivendi or will be a thing of the past as we navigate to post coronavirus times.

Although most likely social distancing, as a matter of social practice will wither away, being inherently against human nature, we believe a few practices that helped facilitate social distancing will still be in place in the future. This is simply because they come with benefits such as convenience and time savings.

Contactless ordering at the forefront

One category of such practices is using technology for contactless ordering at restaurants, bars and cafes. A lot of businesses are currently seeking options that allow their customers to order at their table using their mobile phones. How? By logging into Wi-Fi or scanning a QR code or by just approaching an NFC tag. This leads to a digital menu, branded and styled in the businesses’ look and feel pop up at the customer’s phone.

Payment also takes place directly at the mobile phone device, hence service (in person) is only required when bringing the food and drinks at the table. This means that you can order at your convenience, spend as much time as you wish deciding what you will mostly enjoy from the menu, browse through as much information as you like on your handheld device and when ready send the order directly to the kitchen, skipping the queue!

As people are getting more familiar with using technology to order at their table, they will experience two things: Firstly, a kind of “why haven’t I been doing this before” eureka moment and secondly, that this gives them more time to enjoy true customer service where it matters, for example asking for advice on food and drinks or talking to staff about things to do in the area, if they are not local.

Gen Z to lead change

Finally, a reason why ordering at the table using a digital device will be more often the case in the future and probably at some point the only way, is because the younger generation (Gen Z) that is now the hottest target market group (millennials are already a thing of the past) is used to doing everything in front of a screen and this is inherently in their nature; they were born like this, not trained to it like their predecessors.

Arch ordering solutions

For more information on online ordering using web or application-based solutions visit our website www.arch2order.com