How the restaurant industry is redefining customer experience
Cloud Kitchens, QR codes for menus, contactless digital payments are some of the ways in which restaurants are providing a safe experience to customers.
The hospitality industry is a broad category spanning across multiple sectors that are driven by the ultimate focus of customer satisfaction.
Hotels and restaurants form just one of the many sectors of this industry but constitute a major segment too.
The Covid 19 pandemic has impacted the restaurant business in several ways which has led restaurant owners to reevaluate the experiences they offer and also re-define them for their consumers.
In the last three months alone, many restaurants—independent and chain, full and quick service—have already closed their businesses permanently.
The customers have become extremely cautious when it comes to outside eating. The lockdown has resulted in several changes in consumer behaviour. Restaurants have to adapt to these changes and give customers the assurance that they are genuinely concerned about their convenience and safety.
Elaborating on the importance of high standards of hygiene and cleanliness, Rahul Puri, General Manager, Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi and The Westin Sohna Resort And Spa said, “We stand committed to reinventing our services in line with the new normal and adhering to the guidelines issued by the government for the hospitality industry, while seeking ways to deliver enhanced guest experiences, safety and value. The safety and well-being of our associates and guests remains our top priority.”
Mohit Pruthi, Head - Retail & Marketing, Bharti Realty informed that the pandemic has forced restaurants to adapt to innovative solutions to create a seamless and safe dining experience. He added, “Contact-less dining looks like the future with paperless menus, socially distanced seating and heightened sanitation processes. The challenge for fine-dining establishments now lies in winning the trust of diners by creating an atmosphere of safety with no compromises on the dining experience and quality of food so that footfall can once again go back to pre-COVID numbers. At Worldmark, our first and foremost task post the reopening has been to make sure that our customers feel as safe as possible even before they walk in the doors of our developments and we have been one of the firsts to promote contactless dining.”
According to a virtual webinar presented by Euromonitor's Global Food and Beverage Lead Michael Schaefer, “Cloud kitchens, or cooking facilities that produce food only for delivery with no dine-in or customer facing areas, could create a $1 trillion global opportunity by 2030.”
Pertaining to the current scenario, even after Unlock 3.0, not many people are supporting the dining outside idea. Sehaj Singh Kukreja and Tushar Anand, Co-Founders, Cheferd Foods said, “In an industry that is majorly dominated by restaurant business or outlet based model, cloud kitchen start-ups are cooking up the best deal with the consumers. The models that are already based on no-premises for customers, have nothing to lose during this critical health situation.”
The situation demands restaurants to innovate and incorporate technology to make the experience safe for customers. One of the crucial steps of contactless dining being followed by the restaurants is doing away with paper menus. They are instead offering QR codes that diners can scan using their smartphones at their respective tables and view the menu. They are also offering contactless digital payment. The restaurants are focusing on efficient crowd management through measures like reduced dining capacity, rearrangement of tables and pre-bookings.
Lite Bite Foods Pvt Ltd. another F&B retail company with several restaurant brands like Punjab Grill, TRES, You Mee, The Artful Baker, Zambar, Hahn’s Kitchen, Street foods by Punjab grill, Asia seven express, Baker Street under its wings, is also venturing into cloud kitchen services with aggressive expansion plans in the coming years.
"The online food delivery segment in India is set to grow at around 12% annually, with the current scenario giving it a boost. We are investing approx 25 Cr in LBF Cloud Kitchens and are targeting at a turnover of 100cr in the next 3 years. Ensuring sustainable growth and constant expansion, we plan to have all kitchens profitable at a unit level. Our staff will be fully trained on the best kitchen operating systems for delivery based business,” said Rohit Aggarwal, Director of Lite Bite Foods.
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