Best Practices

How to Modernize College Campus Food Halls

When it comes to the campus food hall, college students value options. Old and outdated restaurant technology can slow down students who are constantly on the go. With little time on their hands between classes and social events, waiting in lines or paying only in cash is limiting.If you’re looking to learn how to modernize college campus food halls, the best solution is contactless ordering and payment technology. It’s a cost-effective and easy-to-use option that allows students to order and pay for their meals from anywhere using their smartphones. The dining hall service is faster and the options are limitless.Ready to bring your campus food hall into the 21st century? Keep reading our guide to learn more about how to modernize your food hall with this digital approach.

#1 Replace Paper with Digital Alternatives

Today’s generation is more digitally connected than ever before, which means they’re hyper aware of their environmental impact and want to support sustainable practices.In fact, a NextGen Climate Survey of individuals between ages 14 and 24 found that:

  • 83% care about the planet
  • 62% believe that their generation understands the seriousness of climate change (while only 34% believe their parents understand the seriousness)
  • 3 in 4 believe that the environment has some kind of impact on their mental health
  • 69% believe that the environment has some kind of impact on their physical health

All of this is to say that the shift from paper to digital is a beneficial decision for your residential dining halls(as well as the environment). With more modern technology, your campus dining service could meet student demands for environmentally-friendly options without risking quality service. Plus, by creating a custom QR code, your transition can be seamless.

Custom QR Codes

QR codes are central for a contactless operation. The simple, black-and-white design is distinct enough to spot from afar and small enough to put anywhere. Because this contactless menu technology is becoming more mainstream and most smartphones have built-in tools to read these codes, students won’t need a PhD to figure them out.Your custom QR code can give access to:

  • The food hall’s digital menu
  • Promotions or special offers
  • Social media accounts
  • Your food hall’s website

Place them anywhere and everywhere—at the entrance to your campus dining service hall, on dining tables, and on walls and doors throughout campus. Any place that is visible and easy to find is ideal.

#2 Offer Seamless Transactions

With contactless ordering and payment technology, students can feel as if they’re “skipping” the line and getting ahead because they can order and pay from the comfort of their phones. This type of transaction is also easier for food hall workers who won’t need to input every order or scramble to serve a long line of students during food hall rush hours (particularly lunch time).Plus, having multiple point-of-sales in a residence hall:

  • Reduces service wait time
  • Eliminates long lines and in turn, frustrated students and food hall employees
  • Allows several students to order and pay at once
  • Offers various methods of payment (for instance, Apple Pay or Google Pay)
  • Reduces pressure on food hall workers
  • Limits handling of cash and credit cards

Ensuring Safety and Security with Payment Methods

With hundreds of students relying on these new food hall technologies, you may be concerned about the safety of contactless payments.However, digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay help guarantee safe and secure transactions. Card information is encrypted to protect the customer and reduce the risk of fraud or other scams. Along with that, contactless technology requires verification with each transaction and other measures to ensure security, so you can rest easy knowing your students are well-served, well-protected, and well-fed.

#3 Cater to Modern Diets

Speaking of food, another area you can modernize your college campus food hall is within your meal selection. Often, it can be difficult for students with dietary restrictions to find food options that not only adhere to their diet, but also delight and satisfy their taste buds.In today’s modern age, students can benefit from a food hall that offers the following options:

  • Gluten free
  • Nut free
  • Soy free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Kosher

Coupled with contactless technology, students can easily personalize their dining experience to fit their individual preferences and their meal plan options.

Stay Up-To-Date with GoTab

When looking for ways to modernize your campus food hall services, you may not have the budget or manpower to invest in a complete overhaul.Fortunately, with GoTab, integrating our digital systems into your existing platform is easy and doesn’t require expensive, heavy machinery. Our contactless ordering tools are specifically designed to make your operations more efficient, user-friendly, and safe. Plus, because you can manage all aspects of your food hall operations from one place, you’ll have more opportunities to focus on what matters most: quality experience for your students.Want to know more about contactless technology? Check out our website or request a demo to try it out for yourself.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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