The COVID-19 pandemic is still making its effects felt in the restaurant industry, with owners and operators across the globe looking for ways to safely reopen, make diners feel comfortable, offer outdoor options and prepare for a potential boom during the holiday season.

Though it’s far from smooth sailing during this period of reopening, automation may be exactly the ingredient the industry needs to regain its footing and provide an experience that not only helps restaurants meet these immediate challenges but set themselves up for success beyond the confines of the pandemic.

Automation can help restaurants reduce touchpoints for customers and offer a more contactless experience, set diners at ease, and improve efficiency and operations.

This segment originally aired as a part of the premiere of Run the Pass with Executive Chef Andre Natera, Stratacache Vertical Practice Director for QSR and Fast Casual Restaurants Cory Kiesel and MarketMan Vice President of Sales Matthew Hardoon joined host Tyler Kern to weigh in with their thoughts about how automation can help restaurants navigate this turbulent time.

“There’s been a large trend in the industry to move toward automation. But what we’re seeing clients ask for is not so much in the robotics sector – we’re seeing, actually, is automation in information and communication,” Kiesel said.

“What I mean by that is the deployment of sensors that, in some cases are the same sensors that recognize guests for loyalty – but to leverage that data to automatically create content around how many people are in a location.”

That automation, combined with the use of digital signage, can help tailor content, give guests the go-ahead to enter, inform them about wait times, and more.

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