While plenty of restaurants pivoted to digital ordering and delivery during COVID-19 as a means of staying afloat, a few did more, harnessing an opportunity to expand their reach and customer base. Even fewer did it as well as Ninja City Kitchen and Bar in Cleveland.
“I almost feel guilty saying that we’ve done well during the pandemic,” said co-owner and executive chef Bac Nguyen. “In a nutshell, we’ve done quite well, and [Paytronix] is a big part of that.”
Ninja City was quite successful before the pandemic, regularly packing its dining room full on weekends and some weeknights. But its Asian fusion pub grub was in such high demand during the height of the shutdown in April that the restaurant was making an additional 20% in revenue weekly – and with shortened hours to boot. […]
Of all of the changes COVID-19 will usher into society, one of the most lasting and most prominent will is likely to be an aversion to touching shared surfaces, from door handles to pin pads. That aversion has only been part of the national zeitgeist for a few months, but has already accelerated the trend toward touchless payments.
About 47% of American consumers are expected to use mobile wallets in 2020. Even two years ago, half of the United States’ stores – approximately 5 million locations – accepted Apple Pay, and 4 million accepted Google Pay.
Before the pandemic, contactless payments’ biggest hurdle to overcome was security concerns, despite being more secure than traditional payment methods; butas public health concerns become society’s primary focus, lesser fears over security are likely to fall by the wayside.
The most common form of contactless payment, via the mobile wallet, has big upsides for businesses even beyond public health and consumer comfort. Digital loyalty cards can be seamlessly linked to the mobile wallet, positively impacting penetration rates.Digital payments will enable pay-at-table features and make on-the-go transactions more convenient.And stored-value mobile cards, like the ones Starbucks popularized, will become more mainstream, providing businesses with small, interest-free loans.
Justin and Cynthia Loeb, owners of Elote Mexican Kitchen and Oliva Italian Eatery in Fort Worth, Texas, know a thing or two about getting through tough times.
Justin graduated college and headed into the telecommunications field around the turn of the millennium, just as the telecoms crash hit the stock market. He moved to New York City and opened a
wine shop instead, where he met his wife, a restaurant professional.
The pair moved to Fort Worth to be closer to Cynthia’s family and bought a local, struggling full-service restaurant – right as the financial crisis devastated Texas in 2008.
Despite the economic downturn, the Loebs built themselves a stellar reputation at Oliva Italian Eatery, and a few years later expanded their local footprint with Elote Mexican Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant. The secret, according to Justin Loeb, is to anticipate what guests want and provide it before they demand it.
“You can’t wait for people to come to you, you have to go to them. Whether it’s social media or the email blasts, whatever you can do, it’s being proactive instead of reactive,” Loeb explained.
The Loebs themselves got into online ordering at Elote when a large fast food chain opened nearby. The couple anticipated competition for younger guests’ business, and quickly saw the need for technology solutions, which led them to launch online ordering and email marketing with Paytronix Online Ordering.
With social distancing advisories in place, tasks as simple as going to the grocery store have become challenging. This has pushed many consumers toward grocery delivery services to minimize contact with others, but now those are inundated and many are on long waiting lists.
The team at the 44-store Little Greek Fresh Grill chain stepped up with a solution when they noticed that many of their guests were struggling to find basic goods. […]