During COVID-19, limiting interactions with others is essential to mitigating the spread of disease. States currently have varying limits and suggestions for safety measures, but social distancing outside of your “quarantine pod” is strongly encouraged across the board. Many people have been self-isolating for several months, but even still, some interaction with service professionals is necessary in order to stay stocked up on food, necessary household items, and medicine.

Geofencing Alerts Restaurants When Customers Are Approaching the Store Location, Minimizing Contact 

When restaurant apps have geofences and location built in, stores can be alerted as customers approach their location and make sure their order is ready at the time the customer actually arrives. Geofencing refers to building a virtual perimeter around a location that can be triggered when a mobile device crosses that geographic boundary.

Geofencing Helps Restaurants Serve Customers High Quality Food, Safely 

Many restaurants have switched to a takeout-only model, which is not how they may have previously operated. This change in service style can be challenging, and geofencing can help restaurants and other stores provide top notch service.  A customer being 10 minutes late for pickup not only results in a food quality decrease, it also means that they are overlapping with other customers’ pickup time. This can result in customers standing together while waiting for their orders, touching bags looking for their order, or trying to talk to employees for help. Curbside pickup helps to restrict person to person interaction, but in order for curbside pickup to be successful, the restaurant must have the order ready at the precise time promised, and the customer must arrive at that assigned time. Geofencing can help restaurants prioritize orders and keep customers happy with food that is still warm and fresh by preparing food based on how far away a customer is from the restaurant location. By geofencing the area around the restaurant location, businesses can receive notifications when customers using their app are approaching the restaurant to pick up their order, and plan food preparation accordingly. 

Geofencing Can Inform Customers and Operators About Restaurant Traffic

Geofencing can help customers feel safe when visiting a certain location. Restaurant mobile app administrators can properly queue up patrons to minimize long wait times and avoid “clumps” of customers. Restaurants currently are debating what days and times to stay open so they can serve customers, but remain as profitable as possible, especially with new phases of reopening. With location based intelligence, these restaurants gain better tracking of visitor peak times, and can make informed decisions about hours and customers.

Accurate geofencing and location based data alerts for mobile apps can help a variety of restaurants provide a safe and dependable option for takeout, curbside pickup, and even delivery. With geofencing capabilities, restaurants can creatively serve their mobile order customers fresh and high quality food, while respecting social distancing guidelines.

David Bairstow is SVP of Skyhook’s Geospatial Insights Team, where he is responsible for designing the next generation of disruptive location technology. Prior to Skyhook, David formed and led all of Catalina Marketing’s mobile efforts, focusing on monetizing one of the world’s largest datasets of consumer purchase history. David has a host of mobile, product leadership and general business experience, including time at Thomson Reuters, Catalina and JP Morgan. David’s education spans both sides of the pond. He has a BA in finance from Boston College and an MBA from the University of Cambridge / Queens College in Cambridge.

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