As a hospitality industry operator, you know that you need to constantly innovate and evolve to keep your guests happy and comfortable, from streamlining payment to enhancing the room service experience.
The last thing you want to do is make a hungry hotel guest wait for a long time for their room service to arrive—or, even worse, deliver the wrong food to their room after the wait.
Enter the contactless ordering system. This affordable solution is sure to satisfy both you and your guests. If you want to improve guest service, profits, and efficiency, keep reading to learn more about what a contactless ordering system is, how it works, and how it can help you upgrade your room service offering.
What is a Contactless Ordering System?
A contactless ordering system allows a guest to perform a transaction without having to wait for a staff member.
Contactless ordering systems have been around in some form since the early 1990s when South Korea began accepting contactless payments on their public transit system. Gas stations in the United States followed with applications like the Mobil Speedpass. However, the popularity of contactless ordering didn’t spread to the hospitality industry until 2020. Now, many hotels, restaurants, and other services are utilizing these time-saving systems.
The complexity of contactless ordering systems varies. It can be as simple as a “tap to pay” solution or entail a more complex system that allows guests to:
- View your menu
- Place an order
- Pay their bill
- Receive communication about their order
- Leave feedback
In a restaurant setting, a contactless ordering system allows guests to place an order without waiting for a staff member to become available. It also allows your guests to pay for their tab without the long wait of a traditional experience.
In contactless ordering systems, your guest can scan a QR code in their room with a cell phone. This will bring up your room service menu. The guest can select the items they want to order and include any special instructions or dietary restrictions in the notes.
If you don’t utilize a QR code system, your guest can also order directly from your website. Then, with the click of a button, their order is placed.
Your contactless ordering system will notify you either electronically or through a printed receipt (depending on the system you use) that your guest has ordered. To save on printing costs, opt for a digital-online system.
You’ll read the order and prepare the guest’s food and drinks. Because your staff members aren’t taking phone calls and writing down orders, they are free to prepare your guest’s orders more quickly.
After the order is ready, you can deliver the food to the guest’s room. Some contactless systems allow you to drop off the order and leave without having to wait for payment. Other systems call for a quick tap and pay that can be done without the guest handing you their credit card.
You can also offer your guests the option of picking up their food from the bar or restaurant when it’s ready.
Effective contactless systems allow you to send text messages with updates on your guests’ orders throughout the process to ensure a seamless experience.
There are several options for contactless payment.
- Tap to pay – You may have noticed that your credit card now has a graphic that looks like a Wi-Fi symbol on it. This indicates that the card has near-field communication (NFC) technology embedded in it. Enabled payment terminals emit high-frequency radio waves that communicate with the chip in the card. Guests can tap their card on your payment terminal and the payment is completed.
- QR codes – Alternately, guests can scan a QR code with their cell phone and pay using a payment application on their phone—no credit card required.
- Opening a tab – Finally, your guest can open a tab in some contactless systems, like GoTab. They’ll enter their credit card information or connect to a payment app, and then pay the bill when they close out their tab. This eliminates the need to re-enter their credit card information every time they order a drink or add to their food order.
Whether a guest is seeking to maintain social distance or enjoy their privacy while away from home, a tab system creates a contactless yet clear and efficient process.
Ensure Efficient Room Service with a Contactless Ordering System
The guest experience is always paramount. As a hotelier, you know the most effective way to attract and keep clientele is by giving them the best possible stay from start to finish.
Room service can run more smoothly when your guest can select their food choices from a menu and pay in the same system. There’s no need for them to wait for someone to answer the phone and write down their order.
Guests can then choose whether to have the food delivered to their room or to receive a text when it is ready for pick-up from the hotel’s bar or restaurant.
Restaurant goers have become more accustomed to a contactless experience and many now prefer it to the traditional model. Contactless ordering is loved by guests because it is:
Harness the Benefits of a Contactless Ordering System
Contactless ordering has benefits to your guests and to your bottom line. Contactless ordering systems provide hotels and inns with the following benefits:
- Convenience – All-inclusive contactless ordering systems give you everything you need to manage your food and beverage orders in one package. You don’t have to worry about connecting several platforms for orders and payments, and set-up is quick and easy.
- More accurate ordering – When guests place orders for themselves, they can include special instructions and notes on dietary needs right in the order. Your guest gets what they want the first time.
- Safer ordering – Less contact between guests and staff means a lower risk of transmitting diseases. Even before the pandemic, touching high contact surfaces passed germs from one person to another.
- Improved efficiency – When your staff can focus on preparing food and getting it to your guests more quickly instead of taking orders and payments, your entire operation runs more smoothly and efficiently.
- Ease of incorporating special offers – Guests love specials, and a contactless ordering system makes it easy to offer discounts and deals. Have a special dessert or drink on offer? You can add and manage specials with the click of a button.
- Increased sales – Guests can add to their tab without calling up room service or re-entering payment information. They can also take time to read the menu and make a decision without feeling the pressure of a server waiting for them to decide.
- Better feedback and communication – You can collect feedback from guests about their experience when they order or pay. This allows you to address concerns quickly and make the needed changes. Contactless systems can also allow for text messaging with up-to-the-minute order information so your guests know when to expect their order.
- Data collection – You can use your system to collect data about guest ordering trends. This will help you make decisions about your menu. You’ll know what guests like and what isn’t popular. Likewise, you can better prepare your operations, by using data to guide your staffing decisions. You’ll know when you tend to get more room service orders and need to have more staff on hand.
Are Contactless Ordering Systems Secure?
The investment in contactless technology over the last twenty-five years has led to safe, efficient, and effective systems. You and your guests can be confident that their information is being protected.
Many banks now provide cards that allow for tap-and-pay to their customers. The ubiquity of these cards has not led to an epidemic of payments for the wrong goods and services. Instead, the NFC technology only works in close contact, so when you tap and pay you won’t accidentally pay for the order of someone nearby.
Furthermore, contactless payments create a one-use code that is encrypted. This prevents the exposure of a customer’s personal information like their pin number.
QR codes and payment applications also use heavy data encryption, making it more difficult to intercept your information when you use them.
Let GoTab Help Level Up Your Room Service
If you haven’t tried a contactless ordering system in your hotel, your room service offering is not living up to its full potential. These systems are proven winners for both you and your guests.
They’re safe, efficient, and effective—and most of all, they ensure you’re meeting your guests’ every need.
GoTab stands above the rest of the contactless systems available. We offer durable hardware, easy set-up, and support staff—all while streamlining your operations and saving you money on printed menus and receipts. If you’re ready to take the jump and implement a contactless ordering system, request a demo from GoTab today.
- Investopedia. Contactless Payment. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/contactless-payment.asp
- US News & World Report. How Do Contactless Credit Cards and Payments Work? https://creditcards.usnews.com/articles/how-do-contactless-credit-cards-and-payments-wor
- National Restaurant Association. Research Chief Riehle Looks at Current State of the Industry. https://restaurant.org/articles/news/research-chief-riehle-looks-at-state-of-industry
- Forbes. Banking After Covid-19: The Rise of Contactless Payments in the US. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/banking/banking-after-covid-19-the-rise-of-contactless-payments-in-the-u-s/
- Paypal. How Do Contactless Payments Work? https://www.paypal.com/us/brc/article/how-do-contactless-payments-work