Undoubtedly Covid-19 has affected many of us in many different ways, but how has it affected fast food franchises use of technology in their everyday work?A lot of fast-food franchises sales numbers went down when Covid-19 hit, but one number that not only stayed the same but grew was the number of online orders they received. This was because a lot of people felt safer by staying in their house and ordering food online to be delivered straight to their door with no human contact.
While this undoubtedly saved a lot of people their jobs and gave them even more work during these times, it also caused problems. A lot of fast-food franchises did not or had just started putting more money and attention towards upgrading the technology in their restaurants to help with online orders. Covid-19 caused many of these franchises to speed up that process because the employees were overwhelmed and over worked by the influx of online orders coming in. This was because of the lack of technology and lack of systems in place to help with online orders.
As soon as Covid hit we saw new and safer online ordering systems starting to be developed in many franchises. A main component in these new systems was putting brand new tech into restaurants to make the process of fulfilling online orders faster while still getting the orders correct. In one of franchises that I worked at during Covid-19, an entirely different station named the Digital Make Line (DML) was adopted solely for online orders. The station had two big TV’s and a bagging station with a printer that printed out stickers to put the order name and what was in it on the bag. While this does not seem like that big of a deal, not only did it raise the number of online orders we could make in a time period but also helped us employees not feel overwhelmed. We were now able to give the same amount of attention and care to in-person guests as well as online guests.
Now many franchises are looking at how they can use new technology to benefit their guests and their employees even more. While the DML was just one example of new tech adopted by companies, there are many more, such as contactless delivery, curbside pickup (not new but improved greatly), online only stations, and ordering through companies own apps.