ATLANTA– September 16, 2020 – NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a software and services leader for the retail, restaurant and banking industries, today announced a collaboration with Microsoft to power NCR Digital Connected Services (DCS).

NCR’s Digital Connected Services Internet of Things (IoT) management software will run on top of Azure IoT AI technology. That means data can be turned into insights faster, and incidents that could potentially impact availability can be identified sooner, increasing uptime. Through this unique combination, NCR’s retail, restaurant, and banking customers will gain a wall-to-wall IoT monitoring and managed services solution that proactively keeps connected devices running with greater uptime, enhancing their customers’ experiences.
“With Digital Connected Services, our customers gain peace of mind that their mission-critical technologies are always ready and available,” said Dan Campbell, EVP, Global Sales, NCR Corporation. “NCR can help global retailers, restaurants and financial institutions protect availability of edge devices and quickly turn massive amounts of data into meaningful insights.”

NCR makes it simple to access these end-to-end technology services, with thousands of service professionals in 160 countries that provide the experience, breadth and global scope customers require.

“By leveraging Microsoft Azure and its AI and IoT capabilities, NCR is helping retailers, restaurants and financial institutions simplify and keep commerce running with Microsoft’s trusted, secure and scalable platform,” said Sam George, CVP, Azure IoT at Microsoft Corp.

Order and pay from mobile devices boosts safety, maximizes business opportunities

ATLANTA – Aug. 3, 2020 – Eating out has changed and consumers are looking for a safer, contactless dining experience. NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a leading provider of technology solutions that run restaurants, today announced innovative technology that builds diners’ confidence by empowering them to both order and pay via their own mobile device.

NCR is leveraging the industry’s most deployed point of sale and restaurant management platform, NCR Aloha, to deliver contactless ordering and payment for a new dine-in experience.

The solution allows restaurant guests to scan a QR code at the table to access the menu, place an order and pay all from the convenience of their own device. Loyalty members can also easily earn and redeem their rewards, and restaurants collect valuable data that can be used to deepen and personalize interactions with their guests.

“We rolled out contactless dine-in ordering at Coupa Cafe locations in Palo Alto, Stanford University, Redwood City and Los Altos, [California]. Customers are able to scan the QR code at our socially distanced outdoor tables, view the menu and place their order right from their phones,” said JP Coupal, co-founder of Coupa Café. “Customers enjoy this experience as it minimizes contact in every possible way.”

For the restaurant, orders are routed directly to the kitchen, helping service run smoothly and increasing tips by 2-3% on average. 

“Restaurants are reshaping the guest experience to offer both contactless curbside pickup and contactless dine in to meet customer expectations,” said Dirk Izzo, senior vice president and general manager, NCR Hospitality. “The NCR Aloha platform enables restaurants to accelerate digital transformation and constantly adapt to changes in the market so they can focus on what they do best, great food and customer experience.”

NCR creates solutions that run the restaurant, purpose-built for full service, quick service and everything in between. NCR technology is trusted by more than 75,000 restaurants around the world. For more information, visit ncr.com/restaurants.

Let’s face it – nobody likes a bad customer review; especially, when they find out about it from an online third-party. However, a true restaurateur knows the importance of keeping customers engaged and values their input while rewarding them for their continuous patronage. Here are four ways to keep your customers returning to your restaurant.

Loyalty programs

Design, roll out and manage marketing that attracts new customers and engages your regulars

  • Track your guests’ purchase history and number of visits
  • Empower your customers to manage their loyalty programs online
  • Apply real-time promotions on the POS automatically when a reward is earned
  • Promote new or under-performing menu items with easy to create bonus plans

Bonus plans

Enticing ways to encourage customers to sign-up for your loyalty program‍

  • Be My Guest-based – The member earns plan credit for every dollar they spend
  • Employee Comp-based – An employee receives a percentage or dollar discount each time they use the card to dine in the restaurant
  • Frequency-based – The member earns plan credit based on the number of visits
  • Items-based – The member earns plan credit based on the items they purchase
  • Lottery-based – A sweepstakes-style plan that surprises the member with a reward
  • Points-based – The member earns points for every dollar they spend
  • Smart Rewards-based – The historical data determines which members receive a reward

Stored value

Sell and redeem gift cards‍

  • Configure all stores from one location
  • Wide variety of redemption options – including full redemption, partial redemption with change back to the guest, partial redemption with no change to the guest, partial redemption and adjust balance on gift card
  • Wide variety of reports including ACH reconciliation, fund distribution, reward reconciliation, store summaries, sales, redemptions

Customer feedback

Identify the profit impact of happy and unhappy customers on your business‍

  • Fix any problems identified by customers (detractors) before they spread negative feedback
  • Find out what’s keeping middle of the road customers from becoming fans
  • Receive referrals from your most loyal customers
  • Get feedback either by emailing members the moment after they place their order or print links on your customer receipt asking for feedback
  • Easy-to-read dashboard that summarizes the level of risk your business faces, referral marketing activity and return on investment based on the customer feedback received

As a restaurant operator, you’ve likely implemented curbside operations to facilitate takeout orders or are considering doing so. Introducing a new mode of operating “on the fly” is hard—especially if you’ve been learning as you go. Here are a few best practices that you can “carry out” to make your curbside operations successful:

1. Provide clear customer communication

Even if you’ve gone curbside, your customers might not know you’re offering this service. Update your business listings, website, app, and emails to tell your community you’re still open and how to order. Don’t forget to frequently post to your local community social platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram to drive awareness of your curbside service and highlight specials.

2. Offer contactless payments

Right now, consumers are hyper-aware of person-to-person interactions and could feel uneasy if you aren’t offering extra precautions to safeguard against exposure to the coronavirus – this extends to payments, too. Consider offering contactless payment options – either with curbside payment devices or an online ordering platform – to give the customer control of their card.

If your employees do have to take a card from a customer, make sure they wear gloves, ask if the guest wants to use their own pen to sign the receipt, discard the gloves afterward and practice proper handwashing. If you’re currently discouraging cash payments, proactively communicate that before guests pick up their order.

3. Extend your ordering capabilities

Even if the internet is your primary ordering channel, you may find you need your point-of-sale to be “closer to the action” to drive more efficiency—and more orders—in your curbside operations. Although your POS was originally implemented with your dining room flow in mind, you may still be able to use it outside at your curbside location to take orders there in addition to your online or phone orders. You can either use your existing tablet POS or move your fixed POS terminal if it makes sense.

4. Drive efficiency at the curb

Clearly show guests where to park when picking up their order, whether that’s assigning numbers to parking spots or using cones or markers to route customer traffic. You can also speed up the process by having your guests call once they arrive and tell you where they want their order placed inside their car—in the back seat, for example, or possibly the trunk. Not only does this facilitate physical distancing, but it also gives your staff guidance prior to bringing it to the car to make the food drop even faster.

5. Shift your labor

With the pivot to off-premise-only dining, many restaurants are adapting their labor model to more efficiently support this change. Consider reallocating staff members to run orders to curbside customers, supplement your kitchen staff, and monitor the door, the phone, and online or social inquiries. If you’re looking to use some of your employees for delivery, first check local laws and regulations.

 

Online ordering is one way to help keep your restaurant running while giving guests a safer, more convenient and contactless option to order and pick up.

Here are three ways to make the transition as smooth as possible.

 

1. Simplify your menu

As you pivot to online ordering, simplify your menu offerings to create a more streamlined order and prep process. Some points to consider: Which items are most popular and will motivate guests to order? Which items pack and travel better in this takeout-only environment? Which items have heavy modifiers, and could those items be simplified? Which items have the highest margin?

 

2. Optimize your takeout operations

With orders coming through your website, look for ways to make your takeout service both efficient and safe for your guests and staff. Look at how you can reoptimize your existing restaurant layout to accommodate takeout, and think through how to offer a contactless experience that reassures your guests. Whatever you determine is the best flow for your guests and staff, make sure to communicate clear order and pick-up instructions to your customers.

 

3. Promote your website

Look for ways to gain exposure for your website – and your restaurant. Be sure to use social to tell your fans they can order the food they love online for pick up later. You can also email your guests, such as members of a loyalty program, about ordering takeout and provide a link to your site. Add your voice to social media campaigns to gain even more exposure and traffic.

 

Keep in mind, speed is of the essence

If you aren’t currently offering online ordering to your guests, look for providers that can get you up and running as fast as possible. You may not need all the bells and whistles of a full ordering platform right now. Rather, it’s important to find providers who can quickly deliver a functional website that’s viewable on both desktop and mobile. Your technology partner should also be able to help you quickly and accurately configure all aspects of the website, including menu, pricing and branding.

Making the pivot to online as your sole channel for ordering can not only help you sustain your business in the current climate, but it can also help enable future growth when life returns to normal. As loyal guests rely on ordering from your restaurant via their phone or computer, they may very well prefer that option going forward—and it sets you up for successful off-premise, multi-channel operations in the future.

We are here to help

We know that transitioning to a new mode of operating feels daunting. But we’re here to help you quickly make the best use of the resources you already have when pivoting your operations.

If you have questions on how to best use your current system in this new paradigm, give us a call at +1 (246) 426-5500. We are here to help.