19 July 2021

The world post-Covid-19 looks a lot different than we imagined. One of the effects of Covid-19 is that it is increasingly hard to find staff and waiters for garden centre restaurants. This has pushed more and more restaurants to introduce serverless ordering solutions. We know many centres in the UK, Ireland, Canada and mainland Europe have had some struggles. It’s just hard to find people.

The Wallstreet Journal had an interesting article about how US restaurants are figuring out how to deal with this and in the UK, the Independent had an article covering staffing issues.

The solution many dining chains are introducing is to adopt technology for ordering and contactless payments.


Ordering apps for garden centre restaurants

Although many garden centres used to have a self-service buffet, things have changed after reopening. Social distancing is difficult and there are many extra rules in regards to hygiene in place as well. Table service has been the way forward for many garden centre restaurants, but it takes more time, thus staff, to take orders.

Ordering apps free up the time of the waiters who, before, had to write the order on a pad and transfer it to a self-serve kiosk to process it. Apps allow customers to speed up the ordering process and take instant payment.

Ordering via the app also means that a server won't accidentally mess up dishes, substitutions, or the number of items ordered.

Using the app also speeds up the ordering and payment process so more lunches or dinners can be served at the same time, increasing the margins and profitability of restaurants.


In-app menu

Another benefit is that the apps are integrated with the EPOS systems restaurants use, thus making sure all prices and promotions are always valid and active.

An early-bird coffee deal will be displayed and processed until 11 am in morning. After that, it can just be removed from the app so customers placing an order at 11.05 am won’t know they just missed a deal.

It makes garden centres more flexible and allows them to make menu changes easier than before.


Integrated ordering apps

Garden Connect is introducing the first integrated ordering apps for garden centre restaurants this autumn.

The apps are fully integrated into the EPOS of garden centres. Unlike out-of-the-box counterparts, the integrated apps offer a true omnichannel experience.

Vouchers sent to the customer by post or e-mail are visible on the app. A push message can be triggered when new vouchers are released and customers can use these vouchers while ordering from their own phone. They can also get points on their in-app purchases.



Furthermore, using apps limits the number of contacts between staff and customers: an important aspect since Covid-19 is still around us. The payment is made within the app via a secured payment gateway and the customer can leave whenever it suits him or her.

With social distancing in place for the foreseeable future, an estimated staff shortage in the hospitality industry of 25% and consumers eager to have a coffee or lunch in their favourite garden centre, technology will be part of the answer to keep restaurants profitable.

If you want to learn more about using an ordering app for your garden centre, please contact us via +44 203 475 5541 or info@gardenconnect.com

Serverless ordering: an ideal solution for understaffed restaurants
Edwin Meijer

This article is written by:

Edwin Meijer

Marketing director

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