How Hazlnut Makes Contactless Ordering Easy

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken quite a toll on the US economy, but perhaps no industry has been hit harder than hospitality. Lockdowns, dine-in restrictions, and fears about food preparation have all contributed to many businesses closing their doors for good.

If your business has survived to this point, congratulations, that’s a huge accomplishment! But as a vaccine rolls out and this virus becomes a part of history, a new normal will set in regarding the health and safety standards people want and expect from businesses.

Contactless ordering is a term that has gained a lot of popularity recently, as customers are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with handing a cashier their cash or credit card. So how can your business navigate this trend and continue to serve customers in a way they expect and appreciate? Hazlnut provides a suite of features to make this transition easy for everyone!

Ordering for Pick-up, Curbside, or Delivery

If your restaurant doesn’t have an online or mobile ordering platform, you’re already behind the times and failing to give customers the convenient ordering methods that are essential to restaurants in this environment. Hazlnut’s core order types, pickup, curbside, and delivery, all provide ways that a customer can safely obtain their meal without having to come in contact with other people. And if you need something more tailored to your business, Hazlnut gives you the ability to create a “custom” order type to perfectly fit your unique situation!

These alternate order types make it possible for customers to completely avoid waiting in a line of people, drastically improving social distancing and hopefully helping to stop the spread of this virus. Being able to have food placed at your doorstep or in the trunk of your car can help alleviate some of the anxiety customers have and allows you to continue serving everyone effectively.

In-Store Scanning

Mobile apps through Hazlnut include a very useful feature called “Mobile Pay.” Much like what you’d see at Starbucks, this feature allows a customer to pay for an in-store transaction by simply scanning a QR code at the register. On most Clover devices, such as the Clover Station, you’re able to flip the screen around and let the customer scan on the built-in camera. No extra hardware needed! But for those who expect to do a lot of scanning, we recommend buying an external scanner, which completes this “Starbucks experience” of paying with your phone.

Hazlnut’s apps also have a built-in loyalty program, so each time a customer scans their phone to pay, they’ll also be earning points which can be redeemed for rewards. This can really help generate more regular, loyal customers customers which are even more important to stay afloat during these trying times.

QR Codes on Tables

Another popular way to generate contactless ordering for customers is to use QR codes codes to take customers directly to your online menu. This is done by placing the QR codes on tables or signs around the restaurant. The customer can easily scan it with their phone and instantly browse the menu while giving them peace of mind.

Hazlnut has a few great ways to make this work easier and to be more customized to your brand! For example, by utilizing Hazlnut’s custom order types, you can create an “Order from Table” option and allow the customer to select their table number upon placing the order. That way your employees will know exactly which table to walk the order to. In addition to this, Hazlnut creates a branded QR code template that you can put on every table. This allows you to make sure your brand is well represented no matter how customers place an order!

Learn more about these and other great features Hazlnut offers by scheduling a demo!

Cruise Through COVID-19 with Online Ordering

Deep Dive into Hazlnut’s Future Ordering

During the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants have had a majority of their business moved to online and mobile ordering. This puts a lot of strain on both the restaurant and the ordering platform. At Hazlnut, we make sure that your ordering platform holds up during these high-volume situations. While most providers have run into bugs as a result of the increased volume, Hazlnut has three key features to help restaurants cruise through COVID-19.

1) Forming a Digital Lineup ?‍ – Order Limits on Timeslots

For in-store transactions, lines have been a way to help manage the number of orders being taken. This helps the kitchen to keep track of orders coming in without being overwhelmed. During COVID-19, restaurants have learned that online ordering lends itself to many customers ordering for the exact same timeslot or placing orders at the same time. This can quickly lead to a lot of unhappy customers because the demand can’t be met by the business.

Hazlnut saw this issue and implemented a new feature to fix the problem: Limiting the number of orders that can be placed for each timeslot. For example, if a restaurant can only handle three orders in a five-minute period, the 1PM timeslot would disappear after a third order is placed, leaving 1:05PM as the next available time. At Hazlnut we understand that each business is unique, so the number of orders each timeslot can handle is completely customizable. Whether that’s 3, 5, 7, or even just 1, Hazlnut has you covered.

2) Added Time that Makes Large Orders a Breeze ? – Order Lockout

Most online ordering platforms work off of an average prep time, listing earliest available pickup time based on the average time a restaurant needs to prepare an order. This works well in most situations, but not all. A small taco shack can’t be expected to prepare a $200 order in the same 10-minute window they use for a regular order. So what if an unusually large order comes through?

Hazlnut thought this through and created Order Lockout (Dollar based lockout), which adds additional prep time based on dollar amount. The default setting for this feature is that for every $50, 10 minutes gets added to the prep time, but again, each business is different, so those numbers are completely customizable. In our taco shop example, a $200 order would add 40 minutes of prep time, giving them 50 minutes to get everything ready, preparing the kitchen staff and the customer with a more realistic timeframe. Still need more time? Of course, these parameters are also customizable.

3) Volume Balance for During Peak Times ? – Volume Lockout

There is one other common scenario where average prep time falls short: an unusual increase in volume. Whether it’s a holiday or there’s a sporting event letting out, sometimes overall volume increases to unforeseen levels. While most online ordering platforms cannot account for this, Hazlnut’s system looks at total volume (online and in-store) from Clover and pushes back prep time incrementally based on how busy the restaurant is.

This feature is called “Volume Lockout” and it looks at how busy a restaurant is compared to their typical volume. If it notices an unusual spike in volume, it will add additional prep time to give the restaurant more time to get orders ready until such a time that volume returns to normal.

These three features are just a few examples of how Hazlnut is helping restaurants navigate and cruise through COVID-19. Want to learn more? Schedule a demo today!

6 Creative Ways Restaurants Are Making Money During COVID-19

6 Creative Ways Restaurants Are Making Money During COVID-19

At Hazlnut we are passionate about helping small businesses in our community, specifically restaurants. With most stores closing their dining rooms mid-March, COVID-19 has forced managers and staff to evolve their businesses, to stay afloat, and to prevent layoffs. Through the use of technology and flexible business operations, many restaurants are finding ways to continue to serve their customers, despite the pandemic. Check out our top 6 ways restaurants can make some extra cash while social distancing and staying safe.

Online Ordering

Through the use of an online ordering provider restaurants are able to quickly and efficiently get customer’s orders ready and have them waiting for them at the door.

Online ordering providers that offer direct Point of Sale (POS) integration are the easiest way to start. On the Clover POS, for example, Hazlnut provides a high quality, user friendly ordering page where every order is processed directly on the Clover POS, so there aren’t any processing or transaction fees.

Hazlnut’s ordering platform integrates seamlessly with the Clover Point of Sale (POS)

Curbside Pickup

By allowing customers to stay in their cars and have their order walked out to them, restaurants are able to make money while keeping their customers as safe as possible. We recommend offering to place the bags in the trunk of a customer’s car so that they never have to get within 6-feet.

Using Hazlnut’s system, for example, each customer selecting “Curb side” is prompted to type in the make, model, and color of their car. This information prints out on every receipt, making it very easy to figure out which car each order belongs to.

Free Delivery

In an effort to serve the community and boost sales, restaurants are beginning to offer free delivery. Whether a restaurant does their own delivery or uses a third-party service like GrubHub or UberEats, waiving delivery fees can be a great way to help customers stay-at-home. Free delivery helps to promote well-being of the community and can increase customer loyalty increasing business profit in the long run.

Offering free delivery is great way to generate business during this pandemic

Discounted Gift Cards

By offering gift cards at a discounted rates, restaurants can receive a much needed influx of cash. In a sense, it’s a loan from your customers. They give you funds to help during this difficult time, you give them a little extra money to use down the road when things are better. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Simply offering 5-10% off of gift card purchases will entice plenty of regular customers to buy now.

Wholesale

Why not make money off of food that would otherwise be wasted? Moe’s Southwest Grill is doing this by selling excess rice, beans, and other ingredients by the pound at a discounted rate, much like a grocery store. This serves to help out people in the community, as well as help reduce their loss on excess food.

Selling excess ingredients in bulk is a great way to reduce waste

Ramp Up Marketing Efforts with Purpose

People aren’t going to buy from you if they don’t know you’re open! Designate a specific person to focus on social media marketing to spread the word. One way to go viral is by pledging to give back a portion of your sales to the community or offer a sale to essential workers. For example, Maple Street Biscuit Company uses their campaign #ThankYouThursday to offer $1 biscuits to teachers, healthcare workers, and restaurant industry workers.  Some business is better than no business, and the more people you can get the attention of, the better impact you can create.