Around 73 per cent of consumers have admitted they are worried about the risk of Covid-19 infection at sit down restaurants as the hospitality industry reopens following lockdown in the UK, according to independent research commissioned by BookingTek, the hospitality software provider and creator of end-to-end contactless customer journey app for restaurants, TableRes. This is despite Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s call for the public to eat out to kickstart the economy.
As a result, nearly half (43 per cent) of those surveyed admitted that they will visit restaurants a lot less frequently, and 17 per cent said that they will not visit restaurants at all. A whopping 81 per cent cited handling things that have been touched by many people, such as paper menus, as one of their core concerns if visiting a restaurant.
As an alternative, over one third (36 per cent) said they will switch to takeaways or order food for pickup from restaurants to help avoid the risk of infection.
Interestingly, the survey, which polled 1,000 consumers from the UK, also found that 55 per cent would be more likely to visit a restaurant, if it can guarantee a contactless customer experience: using technology, such as a smartphone app, to aid the process of ordering and paying for food, without the need for face to face contact or to touch printed menus.
A significant 57 per cent admitted that they would view a restaurant more favourably if contactless technology was utilised and a further 50 per cent of consumers also agreed that they are more likely to order food for pickup from a restaurant if these contactless features were in use.
Three quarters (76 per cent) even agreed that the government should help restaurants introduce contactless customer technology.
Matthew Stubbs, CEO & Founder of BookingTek told B365:
“Both customer and staff safety should always remain the top priority in restaurants, takeaways, bars and other hospitality venues. We have seen this week how restaurants and bars in many US states are being forced to close again, shortly after reopening without good social distancing tools in place. In these trying times, it’s essential that the hospitality industry equips itself with touchless technology to help manage social distancing at all stages of the customer journey.
“This will not only ensure staff and guests remain safe, but it will also ease the minds of prospective customers who are, quite rightly, still concerned about the risk of infection at close quarters in enclosed spaces.
“TableRes is a tried and tested application that is now available free of charge to all medium and large chains worldwide.”