Best Practices

How to Improve Winery Technology

How to Improve Your Winery Payment Technology

Cutting-edge winery technology is taking over the wine industry. From high-tech sensors in vineyards to measuring weather patterns and soil conditions, more devices and data have been used to deliver the highest wine quality from grape to glass.Though it’s natural to research how technology can help result in the finest rouge, when was the last time you revisited your guests’ payment experience?When it comes to wine payment technology, the quickest and easiest solution is a contactless payment platform that allows guests to close out their tabs right from their table. Contactless ordering and payment systems let your guests enjoy the hospitality you provide while tailoring service to their preferences—ensuring everyone’s experience of visiting your winery is true pleasure.

What is Contactless Ordering and Payment?

Contactless ordering and payment is exactly what it sounds like. This technology answers the question “how to modernize your business” by allowing customers and employees to streamline the ordering process without the necessity of personal contact. Guests can browse menus, place their own orders, and close out tabs right from their smartphones.

How Does Contactless Ordering and Payment Work?

The contactless service experience begins when guests walk in or sit down and see a QR code. These are square barcodes that encode data. Guests scan the QR code to view your digital menu, submit their order, and pay—all conveniently from their smartphones. As smartphone cameras come natively equipped with QR code scanners, guests don’t have to contend with app downloads or login barriers.If you choose to implement a contactless platform, you’ll be able to create these QR codes instantly. The more difficult (but fun) challenge comes when you put yourself in your guests’ shoes to decide the best method for them to see it. Some options include:

  • Tabletop displays (e.g., inserts, tents)
  • Sandwich boards
  • Signs
  • Business cards
  • Flyers

Remember, wineries are all about ambiance. Whether you offer a sleek, industrial tasting room or a lush, romantic experience, you’ll want to maintain that aesthetic in your transition to contactless ordering. Display your QR code in a way that seamlessly blends into your winery decor.

Build Your Menu, Bolster Your Brand

Contactless menus provide the perfect opportunity to build on that ambiance further. As the central platform guests see and interact with most, it’s important to create a menu that matches your hospitality and style. Thankfully, a comprehensive contactless ordering system will make menu customization incredibly easy. Your employees can add:

  • Photos and videos
  • Branding
  • Updated menu items
  • Categories for easier organization and filtering
  • Schedules for specific menu items (e.g., seasonals, limited releases)
  • Disable out-of-stock items

The Benefits of Contactless Ordering

The benefits of contactless ordering are manifold, touching upon the full spectrum of your service. Operators can use their contactless ordering and payment platforms to continually discover new insights that optimize their workflows and hospitality.Three of the top benefits that wineries can rapidly realize are:

  • Increased guest satisfaction
  • Boosted business
  • Strengthened strategy

#1 Increase Guest Satisfaction

Contactless ordering enhances guest satisfaction by providing a simple, more efficient experience that customers control. When guests can tailor their own service levels, it’s easier for operators to deliver the version of your hospitality that each patron prefers.

Just Say No to Long Lines

Customers have gotten used to the convenience of online ordering. They are accustomed to having things brought directly to their car or even home. Because of that, customers will have a lower tolerance for aimless and frustrating waits.The frustration of long waits can quickly snowball into profit losses. TheWashington Post approximates that companies lose billions in both brand equity and consumer spending because of long waits.Guests visit wineries and winemaker homes for an experience, whether they’re looking for luxury or relaxation.What they’re definitely not looking for? Long lines.

Say Yes to Happy Customers

Contactless ordering streamlines the entire experience for both guests and employees, eliminating any hiccups along the way. Guests hate long, frustrating waits. Contactless ordering and payment with QR codes create quick table turns—which decreases the odds that guests are left wondering when servers or orders will arrive and increases operators’ revenue.Contactless platforms help wine producers give their guests the chance to seize autonomy without barriers:

  • No apps or logins – Guests don’t want to have to download a new app every time they step foot into a restaurant, bar, or winery. That’s why contactless ordering systems that don’t require apps are highly preferable.
  • Empowering experiences – With a contactless ordering system, guests control their own experience. They can submit their order, easily split the tab, and pay immediately when it’s time to call the Uber home.

#2 Boost Business

You probably already know that guest satisfaction can quickly lead to more profit. The Harvard Business School found that with each additional star in an online review, revenue increased five to nine percent for restaurants. GoTab’s own partners have reported that implementing contactless ordering and payment systems led to an average of half-star increases on guests’ Yelp reviews.

Coping with COVID-19

It’s never been a more critical time for wineries, cellar operations, and other hospitality providers to find new ways to boost their business. The pandemic radically changed everything about the industry. Initially, many operators adopted contactless platforms to increase sanitation.However, normal times seem to be approaching once again and, as in-person events and celebrations return, contactless ordering remains the top new winery technology due to reclaimed profits. The possibility of a revenue increase is always appealing, but these statistics published by Restaurant Technology News are especially exciting right now:

  • More guests – Contactless ordering and payment results in an 8-17% decrease in how long guests stay at an establishment. GoTab’s partners state they process three to five more transactions during peak hours.
  • More dollars per order – Guests also have demonstrated a tendency to place higher value orders with contactless platforms. Check totals increase 10-21% when guests use a device at their table. GoTab’s partners have revealed that their guests spend 25% more.

Stay Optimistic Despite COVID-19

Contactless ordering systems remove unnecessary barriers that might otherwise discourage customers from spending more. That matters more than ever because of the post-pandemic spending increases. A May 2021 survey by McKinsey found a steady increase in credit-card spending in the first half of 2021, reaching pre-COVID levels.Customers who have been cooped up for a year inside their homes are ready to splurge. The same McKinsey survey revealed that more than half of US consumers plan to spend more while treating themselves. These consumers fall into two categories:

  • Ready to Spend Now – Half of these consumers expect to spend on discretionary items such as apparel and electronics soon.
  • Ready to Spend Later – The other half want to spend their money on experiences like restaurants and travel but are waiting for the pandemic to decrease further.

Operators already considering the implementation of a contactless ordering and payment platform at their winery may wish to set everything up sooner to take advantage of this expected consumer wave—especially to cater to the second group of consumers.

Hospitality’s Next Paradigm Shift

Logged order data allows operators unprecedented insight into customer traffic—per day, hour, and shift—sales volumes, and more. These metrics help refine hospitality delivery, staff scheduling, specific items to highlight on a contactless menu, and more. For more information about how to create a mobile menu and how it can increase business efficiency, visit our blog post.The best contactless ordering systems connect businesses with easily digestible data, analytics, and key performance indicators (KPIs), including:

  • Trends
  • Week-by-week sales
  • Customer feedback
  • Employee performance

Leverage this data to continue to increase revenue from wine drinkers and see your winery grow.

How to Implement Contactless Ordering

The benefits of contactless ordering speak for themselves, but to enjoy them, you’ll need to introduce this new technology into your winery with thoughtfulness and precision. Here are three basic steps to follow as you look to add contactless ordering to your winery:

#1 Choose the Right Wine Technology

With the rapid implementation of contactless ordering, there are a host of companies that claim to offer contactless ordering capabilities. Perform an internal audit of your company processes and needs so that you can find software that fulfills them. Be wary of companies over-promising without offering tangible examples of their success.

#2 Train Employees

Your employees are the face of your company. If they are confident with your new technology, your customers will feed off that energy and feel comfortable too.Schedule extra training time to familiarize each and every employee with the contactless ordering system and their new role and duties. Practice walk-throughs so that no wine is spilled if staff bump into each other on a busy night. Once your staff understands what their position is in relation to this new technology, they’ll be able to represent your company faithfully.

#3 Educate Customers

Contactless ordering is quickly becoming the norm. When asked about making payments without a credit or debit card, 28% of respondents answered a survey with "I would like to pay with my smartphone all the time." While many customers will already be familiar with the contactless ordering process, be prepared to support them and fill any knowledge gaps.Three best practices to integrate into your service are:

  • Be prepared with physical menus for customers experiencing technical difficulties.
  • Train staff to teach customers how to use contactless ordering technology.
  • Instruct staff to engage with customers still, even from afar, so they feel attended to by your team.

The perfect opportunity to assist guests who may be unfamiliar with contactless ordering begins right when they are greeted by your hosts. Offering a friendly, tableside tutorial after they’re seated is one of the many instances where operators can reimagine how to interact with their guests and deliver hospitality.Sources:

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Situated “in the heart of it all, yet tranquil enough to make you feel away from it all too,” The Limelight Hotel Snowmass offers 99 hotel rooms and 11 residences, as well as footsteps-to-gondola access in winter and summer — right in the middle of Snowmass Base Village.

The Situation

Especially over the last few years, the Limelight Hotels IT team had witnessed a significant shift to contactless technology in the hospitality industry. After evaluating friction points in the guest journey, aligning with modern technology platforms in their restaurant was determined to be an effective way to offer elevated contactless dining experiences to their guests while also evolving their technology platforms to continue to support long-term company goals. Limelight Hotel partnered with GoTab to provide an enhanced on-demand dining experience on par with the brand’s reputation for exceptional guest service.

The Solution

Reducing Staff Touch Points Without Sacrificing Guest Experience

Guests are now able to begin a tab from their room or the property’s restaurant by scanning a QR code, texting a link to friends or family members on the ski slope to add in their orders, then meeting up together at the patio or lodge to enjoy their meal and après ski festivities without interruption. By streamlining tasks like inputting orders and processing payments, this eliminates friction for hotel staff and allows them to focus on delivering renowned guest service for a memorable experience. Since partnering with GoTab, Limelight Snowmass has consistently seen higher check averages and sales.

“We found the Point of Sale platforms we were looking at offered the guest and staff limited opportunities to further reduce touch points or improve the traditional restaurant experience. The GoTab platform enabled the guest to take an active role over the flow of their experience while simultaneously reducing touch points and further streamlining restaurant operations.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group

According to the Limelight Hotels team, some of the other platforms that were evaluated were either missing some of the pieces they were looking for, had weak customer support models, or had little willingness to develop integrations to existing hotel platforms already in place. To that end, GoTab integrated with cloud-based platform, Infor. Together, GoTab and Infor are providing dynamic solutions to support central, efficient service across hotel amenities and deliver exceptional guest experiences.

“Previously, guests would call down to the restaurant to begin an order from their room or while they were out enjoying the ski slopes. Using GoTab, guests can now place orders from anywhere on the resort, giving them the on-demand service they want without interrupting their day. GoTab empowers us to give control to the guest, reducing touch points and streamlining overall restaurant operations, making Limelight Hotel the resort of choice for Snowmass.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group

Since introducing GoTab, The Limelight Hotel has seen a consistent level of upsells and items sold per check resulting in additional revenue capture. They have been able to maintain service levels in their restaurants during periods when there was reduced staffing available without significantly diminishing the guest experience.

The Benefits

Eliminate Phone Orders – Take Orders from the Slopes. Guests can start a tab from their room or on the mountain without interrupting the flow of their day.

Future-Proofed Technologies – Delivering elevated contactless ordering via integration with the Infor hotel management platform.

Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.

  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.

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