Business As Usual or Brave New World?

Are you finding it hard to know how to proactively manage your restaurant business during Covid-19? I’ve been speaking with a number of customers in the market and here are my tips to help you transition through this time and to keep your business running as smoothly as possible.

Apply for financial assistance. Over the last few weeks, the Australian Government announced an economic stimulus package to provide financial support to affected businesses. Two that I think are important for your business are:

  • The increased instant asset write-off. Under normal circumstances, individual assets less than $30,000 are eligible for the instant asset write off. The Government has lifted this threshold to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.
  • Accelerated depreciation deduction. This is a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

Speak to your suppliers and partner companies to see how they are responding to Covid-19 and how they can help you. We are all in this together and as a technology business in the QSR space we are also feeling the pain of recent weeks. For us, our goal is to support customers through these difficult times, evolve with the needs of the consumer, and make sure we all come out the other side stronger.

To help our customers we are offering the following:

  • We have waived SaaS fees (software licence costs) for all customers with Fingermark Kiosks for the next 3 months. This is a global decision that will help restaurant owners not only in Australia and New Zealand but all over the world.
  • We have waived  SLA fees (support costs) for all customers with Fingermark Indoor Digital Menu Boards AND Fingermark Kiosks for the next 3 months. Again, this is a global decision that will help fingermark customers all over the world.

Plan Plan Plan. Things may feel uncertain right now but that won’t be forever. Let’s do our best not to turn into alcoholics….or coronaholics as I like to call it, and instead use this time to plan for the future, getting ready for when foot-traffic flows freely through your doors again. I’ve always been a big believer in trying to see the positives in everything, and as a business we can most definitely help you do that.

Speak to your suppliers and partner companies to see how they are responding to Covid-19 and how they can help you.

Accept that consumer habits will change. In response to Covid-19, habits are likely to shift and it’s important to spend some time thinking about how this shift may affect your business and revenue when things return to normal. For example, not all customers will feel comfortable using a self-service kiosk and there are likely to be many more germaphobes around. BUT, we also know that revenue as well as accuracy levels increase when customers self-serve on a kiosk. So the big question is, how do we help customers feel more comfortable using kiosks??

We’ve been thinking about this and are working on the following solutions to offer customers a comfort factor:

  • The fleet of Fingermark Kiosks are (as well as being the best and most beautiful kiosks on the market) already enabled with voice activation. Please speak to us for more details and find out what you need to do to enable this feature on your kiosks.
  • We also have a newly designed light-weight attachment available so that hand sanitiser units can be added to each kiosk for extra customer protection. These units will be available to ship very soon and if you ask me nicely, I might even send you some for FREE.

Voilà problem solved!

New Competition. Before Covid-19 decided to gate crash everyone’s plans for 2020, around 70% of all QSR sales came via the drive-thru. With even more traffic (pardon the pun) being pushed towards drive-thrus during these times, this figure will only increase. Food is such an essential part of everybody’s daily life – which won’t change. However, what has changed is the number of new make-shift drive-thrus popping up everywhere, as cafes and restaurants are forced to close their doors and look for new ways to survive. I applaud their agility and from a consumer point of view, it’s great news as there is now even more choice.  As a wife and mother of 4 children with 2 hungry teenagers and one husband with hollow legs….all who are now at home 24/7 – I just can’t keep up and admit that we resort to more last minute drive-thru meals than we would normally. My point is, that the competition in the QSR space is now more fierce than ever. These pop-up drive-thus may be temporary or they may decide they want a piece of the action so it’s time to raise the bar and ensure it’s your drive-thru people decide to head towards.

Take advantage of special deals and incentives. With planning for the future in mind and being ready to open the doors once this phase passes, now is a great time to invest in the future of your restaurant. Combined with the Government’s economic stimulus package, there really is no better time. I’ve already started to see many savvy and forward-thinking businesses take advantage of the many deals available. As you can imagine Fingermark are keen to do their bit and we feel it’s just as important for the economy to support new business opportunities as well as looking after existing customers. We realise that it may be a little while before you can open the doors of your dining area so have the following incentives available:

  • Fast-tracked Kiosk Installation available for the first 50 stores in Australia whilst working is encouraged by the government. We have stock and we have installers ready – take advantage of this time and refresh your restaurant now. Our installation partners will of course abide by all the latest Covid-19 health & safety recommendations.
  • 6 months free SLA. Upgrade your indoor menu boards before June 30th and get the first year SLA for free.
  • OPEX Costs Waived. For all new orders, we are waiving SaaS and SLA fees for our indoor technology (kiosks and indoor digital menu boards) for 6 months. This offer is valid until 30 June 2020.

Drive-Thru Perfection. With all the new competition around, make sure your drive-thru lanes are presenting a clean and hygienic image with speed and choice continuing to be an important factor for consumers. The first 6 months SLA is FREE with all orders to upgrade to Fingermark Digital Menu Boards before 30 June 2020. Don’t forget that our installations can take place in just a few hours before trading starts so your sales are unaffected. Also, if like me, you’re an early-adopter when it comes to new technologies, or are simply looking for new ways to improve, make sure you check out our new customer journey and timing platform EYECUE available now.

Anyway, I think that’s enough from me but do get in touch if you have any questions and I’d be happy to help.

Stay safe and be kind,

+61 448 266 248