Digitalising menus and customer experiences is a trend following social distancing and now we can see large proportions of the industry adopting a digital menu or web-based pay only solution as a standard.
These digital menus can not only help people feel safer whilst dining out, and therefore encourage them to visit, but they also present cost cutting opportunities.
QR Code Payments
Typically, a traditional European grand café, Corbin & King have introduced a QR code digital payment method to a number of their restaurants. They serve fine dining food, dinners, afternoon teas and lunch. The pay & go solution has boasted payments taken in less than 15 seconds, turning tables on average 9 minutes faster, 12 times more tips taken and gives the customer upsell options automatically. It's a testament to the efficacy of these digital solutions that institutions that have been operating for 40+ years are now adopting new ways of interacting with their customers. Interestingly their restaurants also took part in The Augmented Reality Art Gallery.
Credit: @thewolseley on instagram
Outdoor Dining, in the Winter?
Some areas opened up large outdoor venues in the immediate post-covid reopening, allowing restaurants to serve food in a much more covid-safe environment. But now that we're into winter in the UK these same restaurants are trying to continue this outdoor dining experience to keep the increased capacity benefits it offers. Some countries, such as France, have made efforts to reduce outdoor heating but it is still allowed in the UK.
One venue that has made great efforts to create a warm and welcoming outside dining experience is Mala Secret Garden in Manchester. The Mancunians are renowned for having bad weather, especially in winter, so a warm and inviting space is a must for anyone wanting to entertain customers outside. In fact, Mala was able to transform their outdoor space so well that it has become a real attraction with a wonderful Christmas setting and plans for more use of it at least until April 2022.
Credit: @Mala_mcr on instagram
Another setting that's using outdoor spaces effectively is Winter Island, the UK's largest fully outdoor and heated winter market which has arrived at Escape to Freight Island in Manchester. The outdoor space is wonderfully curated to create a whole experience and keep customers happy, comfortable and spending. This Christmas-themed outdoor space is a collection of food and drink vendors, market stalls and an ice rink completing a full experience and night out for families, couples and friends.
Chameleon London have presented a beautiful solution to British alfresco dining, wonderfully set in greenhouses adorned with fresh botanical. The restaurant offers Tel Avivian cuisine and they have really made a great experience of the dining occasion. Chameleon have given groups of people the opportunity to book enclosed spaces outdoors with both comfort and aesthetics to be fawned over.
Credit: @chameleonlondon instagram
Thats all for now…
We hope you enjoyed this month's instalment of what's happening out there, thanks for joining us, if you haven't already subscribed to our newsletter then please do. Also, if you've seen something worth shouting about let us know and we'll add it to the next edition of Restaurant Talk.