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Outdoor Business Ideas to Share with Your Dealers and Merchants

Curbside pickupRetailers have invested a great deal of time, resources and money into optimizing their brick-and-mortar locations. Specialty retail chains design spaces to differentiate their businesses and reflect their brands, ensuring every T is crossed, and I dotted in each store. Restaurants design spaces that echo their themes and create the ambiance their customers expect — from candlelit romantic dinner for two to sports bar and grille. Salons may design their spaces to be relaxing; fitness centers, energizing; and warehouse clubs, industrial.

But in 2020, operators are forced to adapt, and many are looking for outdoor business ideas.

Outside the Four Walls

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that activities outdoors may be less risky when it comes to contracting COVID-19 than indoor activities. Outside, it’s easier to say 6 feet apart from other people, and outdoor venues are, clearly, well ventilated. Additionally, according to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the summer sun could help keep the virus in check.

Consumers, most of whom aware of this guidance, may be more comfortable engaging with businesses outdoors, and employees in consumer-facing roles may be more confident that they’re safe in the sunshine and fresh air.

CardFree’s Pay@Table Solution

Datacap partner, CardFree, enables consumer-based pay-at-table, mobile, online and on-premise ordering, loyalty and more.

Other 3rd Party Platforms compatible with Datacap's Pay API

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Consumer-based Pay-at-table


Online/Kiosk Ordering


Online Ordering

Moving operations outside, however, requires well-planned strategies and technology that enable doing business in the COVID-19 era. 

Outdoor Business Ideas and the Technology that Makes Them Possible

Here are some of the ways that your point of sale (POS) and payment solution clients are adapting to doing business outside:

Outdoor dining

Based on the CDC’s guidance, many government and health officials allowed restaurant on-premises service first to reopen with outdoor dining. Outdoor dining requires more than moving tables outside, at least 6 feet apart, and mapping out the safest and most efficient traffic routes for servers and bussers to move in and out of the physical restaurant. It also takes technology that allows servers to transmit orders to the kitchen in a timely manner and enable digital payments from outdoor dining venues.

Many of our ISV partners are choosing ID Tech ‘s EMV solutions, turnkey tablet payment systems for Touch Dynamic, PartnerTech, POS-X, Pioneer and other mobile POS solutions for their restaurant clients.

Curbside or walk-up orders

Consumers may be comfortable venturing out, but some may not yet be ready to dine on-site, even if they’re seated outside. They may be willing, however, to order at a walk-up window or order and pay car side. Restaurants, even those that had followed the purely table service model, may now be looking for mobile POS solutions that enable diners to place and pay for orders they intend to take home.

Kiosks equipped with unattended payment solutions may create an easy and safe way for customers to order and pay.

Learn more about implementing unattended payments in our e-book.

Curbside pickup for online orders

Government and health officials also encouraged consumers to order from retailers and grocers and pick up their orders curbside when possible. About 70 percent of U.S. consumers took advantage of buy online pickup in store prior to the pandemic, and Statista reports that, as of June 2020, 15 percent of U.S. consumers used buy online pickup in store more often than before coronavirus, and 3 percent that began using it for the first time.

Buy online pickup in store is a prime example of how consumers use multiple channels to complete their shopping journeys – and compelling evidence that your clients need a full-featured omnichannel payments platform to support these processes. An omnichannel platform makes it easier for merchants to tokenize payment data online, manage in-store returns of e-commerce purchases, and provide seamless customer experiences, especially when the customer arrives at the store to pick up orders. It also gives merchants the ability to manage payments from all channels from one comprehensive platform.

Outdoor retail spaces

Some retailers have moved racks of merchandise outside to give their customers the chance to shop in the fresh air. Cloud POS enables merchants to access their systems via tablets and handhelds, but they may be turning to you for help accepting digital payments on a range of different devices.

Although enabling payment on different hardware from different manufacturers may have created a challenge for ISVs in the past, now, it’s easier than you think: Our TranCloud and DC Direct solutions give you an easy path to providing your clients with EMV payment solutions, regardless of hardware or processor.

Be the Trusted Advisor Your Clients Need

Now, maybe more than ever, your clients need a trusted advisor, not only to make the right decisions regarding technology but also to establish viable, workable operations. In your discussion with your clients, remind them, for example, to check lease agreements, local zoning and other regulations to make sure their plans comply. Also, activities outdoors may impact nearby traffic patterns and parking – urge businesses to consider their customers’ safety and clear their plans with local authorities.

It’s important to remind them that using disinfectants and maintaining social distance is still required outdoors as well as, in many states, requiring customers to wear masks.

You may also be able to use your network to help them source tents, weather-resistant furniture, umbrellas, signage or other items that will protect their customers from the weather and support the success of their outdoor business ideas.

The assistance and added value you provide your clients during this crisis is something they’re unlikely to forget. Giving them the help and support they need now and strengthen your business relationship into the future.

Add Omnichannel Payments to your Solutions!