St. Louis, MO, March 18, 2020 — St. Louis-area restaurants are scrambling for innovative ways to keep their businesses afloat as local government officials order the suspension of dine-in services. Restaurants and bars are required to close dine-in service beginning at midnight on Thursday, March 19, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Only curbside pickup and walk-up or drive-through service is permitted, with no date established for the end of the restrictions.
“Online ordering is the answer,” says Jeff Minnis, CEO of PlazSales, a point of sale (POS) system provider based in Manchester, Mo. “As popular as online ordering has become, however, many St. Louis area restaurants don’t have the capability.”
Taking online orders requires restaurant systems with the right technology and payment capabilities. Some restaurants rely on third-party online ordering platforms, but what that looks like in practice is often a cumbersome system of multiple tablets logged onto different ordering platforms. When orders come in, employees need to stop what they’re doing and rekey orders into the restaurant’s system to get them to the kitchen, hopefully, without making a mistake. “It’s an inefficient system under normal circumstances, and it will be totally unmanageable when online orders skyrocket,” says Minnis, “not to mention that online ordering platforms take a 20 to 30 percent cut of each order.”
The best solution for keeping operations running and meeting the community’s need for meals during this time of social distancing is accepting online orders directly. “It’s a more efficient way to operate, and you hang on to more of your profits — to process a credit card it costs less than 4 percent vs. competitors’ 20 to 30 percent — so when this crisis is over, you still have a business,” Minnis says.
Tech solutions are also available to help restaurants with dispatch management, delivery, texting their customers directly with information on their status or other important updates, and revenue-driving features like automatic upselling that can help businesses survive during this crisis.
Minnis points out that although restaurants are facing a mandate to close dine-in, the majority of local consumers have made their own decisions to stay home. “It’s not only impacting restaurants. Other businesses are seeing a drop in foot traffic,” says Minnis. He adds that it’s also a good idea for those business owners to evaluate their online presence and how establishing offers such as buy online, pick up in store can benefit their businesses.
“It will help you now, but it will also help your business excel far after the threat of COVID-19 has passed,” Minnis says.
For more information, contact Minnis at (636) 256-7901.
Established in 2008, PlazSales is a secure, paperless business solution that combines point of sale (POS), accounting, payroll, purchasing, and customer and ticket management to help merchants maximize productivity, sales, profitability, and customer relationships. The PlazSales system tracks rewards programs, inventory, and workflows, as well as helping merchants to save hundreds of dollars per month in payment processing fees. The Windows-based system is backed by 24/7 support. For more information, contact Jeff Minnis at 636-256-7901 or [email protected], or visit https://plazsales.com.