As the whole country looks forward towards a brighter and more hopeful future, the hospitality industry continues to struggle on how to provide safe and luxurious service to all of their consumers. If people have learned anything from the past year, it’s that it will take a lot more than some hand sanitizing stations and a “Welcome Back” sign to keep your customers coming back again and again.
What the modern bar will need in the year 2021 is to establish a sense of safety while also throwing out the status quo in favor of innovation. Business owners will need to invest in technology and business methods that are fast, sanitary, and most importantly, consumer-centered. The following are a few suggestions from Napa Technology on what hospitality entrepreneurs should prioritize to make sure your bar or restaurant will be a success this year, next year, and beyond.
Consumer Friendly Integration
Consumer friendliness doesn’t mean instructing your bartender to give a wide cheesy smile to customers as they walk through the door. Consumer-friendly service is about structuring your business flow-of-service to make sure your customers have a positive experience from start to finish. No one likes to feel as if they had to wait too long for their drinks to arrive or needed to ask their server several questions before they could understand the menu.
In an era where person-to-person interaction must be restricted, business owners need to incorporate technology that can give power back to the customer. Make up for having fewer staff members on the floor by making setting up self-serve drink stations to make the experience fun and easy for everyone. Products like the WineStation not only allow customers to easily choose and pour their own glass of wine, but the display options offer information on the available wine selections. The WineStation can be integrated with multiple POS and other off-line systems, which means a customer can choose their desired selection with the swipe of a card, and the press of a button and the purchase will be automatically added to their final bill. Quicker service like this will likely lead to faster customer turnover and your business won’t need to sacrifice any quality of service.
Efficient Space & Technology
Going out for a drink is meant to be relaxing, and in 2021 nothing will create stress faster than walking into an establishment that is crowded with too many people and too many complicated procedures to follow. Unfortunately, social distancing is not going away any time soon, and until every citizen is vaccinated against COVID-19 it will be up to business owners to maximize operable space and technology.
To take the stress out of Happy Hour look for solutions that will save on time and space, which in the long run will increase revenue. Consider investing in consumer-friendly technology like tablets on every table or phone apps that allow customers to order from the menu and then have their items delivered directly to the table. This simple switch saves time for staff and cuts down on unnecessary in-person interaction.
Another suggestion would be to strategically set up your kitchen and dining room to ensure a distance of six feet can be kept at all times. Many restaurants are already investing in multiple yurts, which is a cost-effective option for providing a sense of safety and privacy. After all, when so many people haven’t seen large groups of other people for so many months, you certainly don’t risk any sensory overload!
Right after mask, sweatpants, and Netflix the buzzword most heard around the world in 2020 was definitely hygiene. Washing your hands has never been more popular and if your business is in the hospitality industry then you won’t be able to cut any corners. Hygiene is going to be one of the most important factors in consumer decisions for a long time to come, so now would be a great time to invest in products that are created with cleanliness in mind. For example, with Napa Tech’s WineStation there can be fewer hands involved in the simple procedure of pouring and serving wines by the glass. The WineStation’s system measures and pours a perfect full, half, or sample of wine directly into the glass at the press of a button, which can be done by the server or the customer themselves. No bartender or measuring tools needed! This machine is so hygienically safe it comes with a contaminate-free & patented clean-pour dispensing head that is not only easy to operate, but it’s easy to clean too! Our 60-day bottle preservation system requires no messy pumps or chemicals between use. When one bottle is empty simply rinse the tube with soap and water and you’re ready to uncork the next bottle.
However, when it comes to hygiene it’s going to take more than a few innovative machines to help your customers feel safe. Before you open or reopen, your new modern bar your management staff should have an in-depth meeting about how you plan to keep the establishment clean during the busy workday. Have a clear maintenance schedule prepared, set-up health and safety guidelines where employees can see them, and then insist that everyone abides by them! The last suggestion should include the management staff leaving enough time for servers and bartenders to properly sanitize every table before a new party is seated, as well as time to wash their own heads as often as necessary while interacting with different groups of people.
What the modern bar will need to survive after the pandemic is to provide a sense of relief as well as familiarity. It’s important for business owners to set a good example by setting up your establishment to accommodate all the concerns customers are likely to have. For almost a full year everyone has been talking about “the new normal” we’re all living in, and now it’s the time to make this “new normal” just simply… normal.
Be safe, create space, and keep innovating.