In a typical year, most full-service restaurants would find themselves completely booked up with New Year’s Eve reservations by Dec. 29. Today, most are facing capacity limits or full bans on on-premise dining as we head into one of the busiest nights of the year for the industry.
Fortunately, there is a bright spot. In lieu of reservations, guests are placing takeout orders – and further in advance than years’ past.
Leading up to the Christmas holiday, Paytronix data showed advance orders for New Year’s Eve had tripled over the same period in 2019. While it’s unlikely that overall takeout orders on Dec. 31 will triple, the data does indicate that guests were placing their orders much earlier than usual. This may be indicative of the shift from reservations to online orders.
This year’s advance orders, while more plentiful, are generally smaller in size than in years past, most likely due to fewer catering orders for large, private parties.
In 2019, relatively few orders were placed before Dec. 25, but those that were averaged high check totals. Orders placed more than 8 days in advance last year had check sizes between $500 and $3,000, while 2020 has seen smaller checks – from $40 to $400 – placed anywhere from two to eight days in advance.
This likely means that while there are few parties planned to ring in 2021, many guests still plan to keep up tradition and celebrate with a nice meal in small groups at home.
Like most of America, the restaurant and c-store industries will be happy to bid 2020 goodbye and hope for a fresh start in 2021. As we at Paytronix look toward the future, we see a brightening on the horizon, one that may even end in a large party.
But getting there is going to mean change, not only in how the industry thinks about guest engagement, but also in how restaurants themselves are constructed. We predict that as restaurant and c-store brands move beyond the pandemic, they will need to make significant investments in the technology infrastructure that enables them to focus on truly owning the guest. […]
With Covid cases rising across the US, it’s clear that many restaurants will face another round of dining room closures. During the summer months, restaurants found new ways to expand offerings, like outdoor seating and contactless dining;butcolder weather will render outdoor seating impossible across much of the country. Even in warmer climates, on-premises dining may be prohibited as the nation weathers a second wave of infections.
Since the pandemic truly took hold in March, our clients have been trying out new ideas and learning how to transform their businesses to handle the next wave. The restaurant industry has a huge impact on employment in the US. In New York City alone, the introduction of outdoor dining added as many as 83,000 jobs after the initial layoffs in April. The threat of these jobs going away again will have a huge impact on restaurants and employees in the near-term.
Here are 5 things we learned about how to retain business during a slowdown in on-premises dining:
This year’s Paytronix User’s Conference was unconventional, to say the least; but thanks to our incredible clients, the first-ever virtual PXUX was a success!
Thank you for bringing valuable feedback, nuanced insights and dynamic conversation to the event and making PXUX 2020 one for the books.
While we would have loved to have gathered, dined and shook hands with each and every one of our clients (PXUX 2021, perhaps?), we know some of you were not available and others might appreciate a recap of the conference’s events. Here is a high-level overview of some of the year’s biggest takeaways. […]