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How the Retail & Restaurant Industry Can More Safely Operate in the Covid-19 Awakening

March 27, 2020

written by Jared Antista

The retail & restaurant industry is a big part of American culture. For all that’s being made of online e-commerce and the AMAZON effect, retail has quietly grown at 4% every year since 2010. According to the National Retail Federation, there are now more than 1 million retail establishments across the United States. Similarly, the State of the Restaurant Industry Report predicted a 4% growth in 2020 from 2019. Restaurant guests were eager for convenience and value offerings. Business was booming and then Covid-19 stopped us in our tracks. As a service provider in the retail & restaurant industry, BrandPoint Services has a history of forward-thinking in this category. We recently sat down with Michael Cato, Sr. Director of Business Development who works with one of our larger retail clients, to discuss how restaurants & retailers can succeed in today’s environment. “There’s been a lot of reactionary movement due to the recent healthcare issues and rightfully so. The way that people engage with each other will forever be different, because of this we’ve been working with our retail & restaurant clients on a wide variety of methods to keep their employees and customers safe.” says, Cato. 

Here Are Four Ways Retailers & Restaurants Can Offer A Healthier On-site Experience 

Sneeze Guards/Shields 

sneeze guard or shield“Social distancing” and “six feet of separation” are two phrases that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. And while Covid-19 will pass, it will have a lasting impact on shopping behavior. Sneeze guards and shield technology during checkout help provide a safer experience for staff and guests. Many retailers are already adding these to the frontlines including Walmart & Kroger. It’s important to find the right solution that offers employee safety while still preserving the brand and face-to-face relationship you have with your guests and customers.

BrandPoint is able to develop a custom solution for our retail client that is easily removable and causes no damage to counters or equipment in the check-out area. Additionally, with our large trade network spread out across North America, we can get your locations up to speed quickly! 

Signage & Floor Decals 

online pickup floor graphicIn addition to the above, key messaging is crucial to influencing and reminding customers of the new way. “The protocol has now changed and because we have experience in this area, we can help shape consumer behavior through a proper signage strategy.” says, Michael Cato. Working with retail & restaurant clients’ existing space, BrandPoint can install floor graphics and signage as a reminder to safeguard your employees and customers. 

Pick-Up Tactics & Execution 

We believe Covid-19 has and will continue to affect consumer behavior for the foreseeable future. Many consumers are now more cognizant of how they engage in retail and restaurant environments. On-site pick-up locations offer a different way for consumers to still support your store or restaurant with online purchases, and get products quickly. There are many factors that should be considered before installation including, location, signage, organization, queue management and scalability. Speedy service for Buy Online-Pickup In Store (BOPIS) and a less-trafficked storefront now appeal to the consumers. Talk to one of our sales representatives about how we can help you with a creative pick-up area that improve sales and offers guests peace of mind.

Self-Check Kiosks 

digital checkout kioskWe work with quite a few clients who first tested and since implemented self-check kiosks. It’s not a new technology but it’s now on the top of everyone’s mind. In fact, one of our larger clients is on their path to implementing them into thousands of locations across the country. Not only does speed and convenience factor into consumer experiences, but it allows for one employee to keep several kiosks moving, disinfecting after customer use and answering customer questions. With the recent Covid-19 issues, minimizing close human interaction is now an immediate priority. Social distancing through the use of self-check kiosks is helping stores stay open and bring valuable supplies to the masses.  

If you’re interested in discussing your current strategy and learning more about who we’ve helped and what we can do for you, contact us here!

Covid-19 has been an eye-opener for the retail & restaurant industry. Our team remains vigilant in the understanding of tools and services that exist to increase on-site safety, including disinfecting services. Healthy environments are here to stay and what separates not just restaurants and stores, but all businesses from the competition might come down to where consumer and employees feel safer. As businesses reopen, many will be incorporating social distancing strategies like partitions and barriers. Brand loyalty will shift because, at the consumer’s core, health is valued above everything else. The brands that show effort in this category, win.  

 

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