Blog/Beyond Texting

How to Set Up Contactless Ordering

Contactless ordering is both safe and convenient. Here’s how to set it up at your restaurant.

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The coronavirus has forced restaurants to get creative to survive. We’ve seen the rise of curbside pickup and an increase in food delivery sales.

Both have offered critical revenue streams. But they’re not the only way to make dining safe.

Contactless ordering has been–and will continue to be–an important measure. It’s why 51% of restaurants now offer it, and 31% plan to add it in the coming year.

Removing as many points of contact as possible helps to maintain social distancing and keep both your guests and staff safer.

So without further ado, here’s how to combine SMS and an online ordering system to create a truly contactless dining experience.

Why Use SMS for Contactless Ordering?

A lot of restaurants use QR codes to link to a menu so you might be wondering why we recommend texting. Taking digital orders is just one element.

With SMS you can encourage diners to text you requests from their table. For example, they might need more napkins, or want the check. 

Using their phones they can send a message directly to your servers reducing face-to-face time. 

It’s the only way to offer excellent service–while maintaining as fully contactless an experience as possible.

Creating a Contactless Ordering Process

To get started, you’ll need a:

The next step is to add a sign to your tables like this one that outlines your contactless ordering system.

When a customer texts the word “MENU” to (833) 222-3059, they’ll receive a text message like this.

Today 8:25 AM
Thanks for dining with us today at the Costava Pacfica Restaurant. You can find our online menu here: If you have any questions about the menu or requests, just reply to this message.

The above is just an example and the word your customers text doesn’t have to be “MENU.” 

In fact, with our restaurant texting service you can choose any keyword you want. (An SMS keyword is a word or phrase that your customers can text to your phone number to receive an automatic response.)

It’s not difficult to set up either. It can be done in two minutes as this video explains.

If you’re wondering what number to use, you can select a number with your area code or even text-enable your business phone.

Text-Enable Your Front of House Team

Once you’ve created a keyword, you’ll need to add your front of house team to your SimpleTexting account. 

Add your staff as teammates so they’ll have access to the SMS inbox. From there, they can see incoming messages, sort them by time-waiting or time-received, and then reply from a tablet or even from our mobile app.

For example, many of our restaurant clients like to text their customers when their food is ready.

Depending on what makes sense for your restaurant, you can have a manager or team lead assign conversations to your different servers.

Choosing the Best Online Ordering Platform

With the contactless ordering process we outlined, you’re going to need an online menu that can take payments. 

There are a lot of online ordering platforms on the market, with many cropping up since the pandemic started.

Some charge a monthly subscription fee, while others retain a commission on every single order. Monthly fees vary widely from $9 to $199. Commission-based fees can start at 5% and go up to 35%. You’ll also want to consider 

It’s worth doing your research to ensure you’re choosing the best system. 

We recommend finding one that integrates with your PoS system. It’s also a good idea to check out third-party review sites and do your due diligence before making your final decision.

The Wrap on Contactless On-Premise Ordering

A contactless ordering process involves giving diners more than just a way to order and pay without having to handle a menu or a credit card machine. It’s about facilitating all elements of the dining experience. 

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