Contactless Payments and Cupcake ATMs Amid the Pandemic

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Whether specializing in sweet treats or savory meals, many restaurant businesses amid the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have adapted to new technologies to better serve their customers.  

The use of contactless technologies have especially seen an increase in popularity due to the nature of it helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For instance, instead of requiring customers to visit in-store locations, restaurant business owners have opted into using mobile applications such as Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes, and DoorDash in order to make the checkout process safer. 

Additionally, in terms of quick-service restaurants (QSRs) like that of a bakery chain known as Sprinkles, they have also contributed to the move toward more contactless payment methods and delivery services. 

In an interview with PYMNTS, it was noted that Sprinkles had been well-prepared for the increase in online orders, payments, as well as pickup and delivery services. 

Sprinkles was able to quickly adapt to the new norm while maintaining their customer base because the company already adopted online orders about 10 years ago. The bakery chains said that it was for the sake of catering and custom cakes. 

Daniel Legh-Page, the Sprinkles’ vice president of technology, told PYMNTS that the digital aspect of the business made up for approximately 25% of the chain’s ordering volume. Moreover, this was noted to be the case before the worldwide pandemic. 

The ordering experience, however, was not customized to accommodate requests that pertained to picking up only a couple of cupcakes in 20 minutes, Legh-Page added.

Despite this, the business created other means of drawing in customers. In 2012, Sprinkles introduced the world to a cupcake ATM where customers could select up to four cupcakes in a variety of flavours such as red velvet and vanilla milk chocolate. 

Legh-Page acknowledged that although the novelty of the cupcake ATM had been flattening, the advent of the pandemic in March 2020 resulted in a doubling of cupcake ATM sales. 

“As our doors closed but we remained open, the ATMs filled the big void for guests [who] would typically walk into the bakery,” Legh-Page said in the interview. 

As a business, it is important to have strategies in place that would help meet unforeseen challenges. Sprinkles is one example of such a business that used innovative technologies to move its business forward amid the pandemic, however, it will not be the last to do so. 

Merchant Broker is here to provide the support business owners require in order to maintain and grow its customer base. To get the best payment processing rates along with the latest in terms of technological innovations, contact Merchant Broker at 1-888-668-0733. A skilled representative may also be reached via email at info[at]merchantbroker.com.

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