Time to move back to ‘dine-in: How technology is reviving the sector

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In a world where uncertainty looms large over the future of the dining business, technology is the most viable way forward for restaurants, especially as government directives also encourage takeaways.

  • Alok Sharma CEO, Shycocan Corporation
Restaurant

The hospitality sector has been among the hardest hit during the pandemic. Lockdowns, government restrictions in timings, concerns of infection and reduction in leisure and business travel have caused massive disruption. Only a small percentage of revenues come through takeaways and delivery, hence restaurants also suffered large losses and many have closed down.

With restrictions slowly lifting in an intermittent manner, the industry however is still figuring out strategies to get customers back fully. COVID-19 has changed the entire outlook of the industry. Cash flows is the top priority for hotels and restaurants especially post second wave to survive this period of uncertainty. This coupled with increased technology adoption changing consumer needs and rise of unexplored destinations to travel has changed the contours of the industry. Celebrations are now far & few, business expense in these areas has reduced to a trickle. All this has severely impacted the restaurant and eating out industry which has been one of the worst impacted because of the pandemic.

Also Read: Technology v/s Real-estate: Why internet restaurants are future

While restaurants have reopened, more needs to be done to win the confidence of the customers and bring them back to the dining business. Viruses like COVID-19, influenza, swine flu, etc. continue to cause havoc and virologists predict more frequent outbreaks in the future. “Viral Defence Devices” need to become the basic amenity for the hospitality industry along with the adoption of standard protocols like vaccination, temperature checks, QR menus, continuous sanitizations, etc. The industry needs to future-proof itself by adopting this technology to create a Safe Space for its consumers and bring back the confidence to return to “Normal Dining”.

In a world where uncertainty looms large over the future of the dining business, technology is the most viable way forward for restaurants, especially as government directives also encourage takeaways.

Moreover, technology also creates a prospect for hotel owners to convert hotels into mixed-use developments including apartments, offices, or service units. While the construction may look the same on the outside, technology on the inside is required to subdivide the different constituents. Mixed-use facilities can host individual landlords, or renters each with their own service provider subscription, Wi-Fi., and telephone line.

According to various government notifications, hotels and restaurants have been permitted to function only with seating capacity and curtailed timings. Most restaurants have made sure that the first thing that they do before the place re-opens is to get every staff member vaccinated and well versed with hygienic habits.QR contactless menu ordering have been adopted that enables the better display of menu items and cuts overall costs and inconvenience of physical menus and ordering. COVID has also changed the consumer needs and preference. Diners now prefer healthy and fresh foods with no preservatives as building immunity has become a priority for every individual. Restaurants that give a higher comfort of hygiene and safety in consumer’s mind are preferred over other restaurants. Hence, devices like Shycocanhave the potential to help restaurants attract customers back to their premises by helping them feel safe.

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As in any predicament, this is a time for anticipating, learning, and evolving needs for the industry. Besides, fresh futurist concepts can be seen emerging in the coming time. Though, there will be instability from acquisitions and consolidations. There will be adjustments in current and announced projects, as well as renegotiation between owners and operators. However, the vital lesson from our present situation is that digital transformation andvirus defence technology will be vital for success in the hospitality industry in the new post-health crisis era.These innovations of technology may signify a silver lining, significantly improving traveller experiences now as well as after the pandemic.

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