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Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many businesses have been searching for ways to serve customers while practicing social distancing. Such solutions are especially valuable to restaurants, which traditionally require a lot of interaction between customers and staff. Thankfully, the move toward contactless ordering and payments had been going on long before the pandemic began. But now that these solutions are in high demand, it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for your business. 

At Gravity, we offer several contactless products, all of which offer unique features that might be a good fit for your needs–both now and well into the future. While COVID-19 has necessitated the move toward contactless, the convenience of these features will continue to make them a great tool for your business long after the pandemic is over.

One of the most versatile contactless options for restaurant owners is the Clover POS system. If you don’t already use Clover, you’ve probably seen them at other businesses. The company offers a wide range of products–from handheld mobile-payment devices to full-service POS terminals. They also have products tailored specifically to the restaurant industry, including several contactless options.

Whether you already use Clover or are considering switching your POS system, here are few things you should know about setting up contactless for your business.

Contactless Payments

“Contactless payments” describes any type of payment option that does not require a customer to hand over cash or swipe or insert a credit card into a payment terminal. Contactless payments can describe anything from new technologies like tap-to-pay credit cards or online ordering to a more traditional method like ordering over the phone. There are several broad types of contactless payments that Clover supports.

NFC: One of the most well-known types of contactless payments involves a technology known as near field communication (NFC). NFC allows card readers to accept digital information from mobile devices, smartwatches, or certain credit/debit cards. NFC is the technology that enables things like Apple Pay and Google Pay or the tap-to-pay feature on your credit card. All Clover devices support NFC payments, and given their increasing popularity, they’re a great option to maintain social distancing while providing a seamless customer experience.

Scan to Pay: This feature allows you to print a QR code on a bill or receipt that a customer can scan on their phone. The code takes the customer to a secure payment page that allows them to pay and tip via a digital wallet. Not only does this reduce contact with customers and staff–thus making the process safer–but it also gives the customer more flexibility about when and how they pay. This is an excellent option for dine-in customers though it can also be used for takeout orders if necessary. Right now, Clover only supports scan-to-pay with Apple devices, but they are rolling out Android features later this year.

Contactless Ordering

In addition to payments, Clover offers several contactless ordering options that provide additional convenience and safety.

Online ordering. If your restaurant offers pickup/takeout, online ordering can make the process more efficient. Customers can view your menu on your website or through an app, place their orders online, and pay digitally. When they come to pick up their food, they can grab their bag and go. Clover offers an incredibly simple online ordering tool that walks you through the entire process and even pulls your menu directly from your account so you don’t have to set it up again. Once you set up the feature, you receive a link that you can add to your website, or you can direct customers to download the Clover app (on iOS and Android), search for your restaurant, and order through there. 

Digital menu: If you use Clover’s online ordering tool, you also have the option of creating a digital menu for dine-in guests. This can be a great option if you don’t want to use reusable menus but also want to avoid the waste of disposable ones. After you set up online ordering, you will receive a QR code, which you can then print and place on each table. Customers can scan the app, which will take them to your online menu. At the moment, customers will still need to place the order through a member of your waitstaff, but Clover is currently working on an option that will allow customers to place orders directly through their phones.

To set up online ordering and a digital menu through Clover, follow these easy steps:

  1. Log into your Clover dashboard.
  2. Click “Account & Setup” at the bottom of the left-hand menu.
  3. Under “Business Operations” select “Online Ordering.”
  4. Click the first online ordering option–the Clover-branded one, which is 100% free to use for existing customers.
  5. Click “Get Started” and follow the step-by-step instructions to set up your online menu and add the hours during which you want to accept online orders.
  6. At the end of the process, you will receive a link to add to your website and a QR code to use for digital menus.
  7. You can turn off online ordering anytime.

For additional information on how to set up online ordering through Clover, click here. For more information on how to take online orders through Clover, click here. To find out more about Clover’s contactless features–whether you’re an existing Clover user or not–contact our in-house specialist Nick Hutton at [email protected] 

by Brooke Carey, Lead Storyteller

This post was adapted from “Food Delivery on Your Terms: An Alternate, Low-Cost Solution for Restaurants,” part of the free Gravity Talks webinar program. For more information on past and upcoming webinars, visit www.gravitypayments.com/talks.

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