Coming soon, ‘contactless dining’ for a post-Covid world

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on April 22, 2020 Published on April 22, 2020

Over 1,000 restaurants across the country are gearing up to offer ‘contactless dining’ post the lockdown. istock/torwai torwai

From tables set a metre apart to food ordering to kitchen live-streaming, Dineout’s tech covers them all

The dining out experience as we know it may never be the same again.

Over 1,000 restaurants across the country are gearing up to offer ‘contactless dining’ post the lockdown. They have signed up for restaurant tech platform Dineout’s end-to-end contactless dining technology suite to support no-contact dining that may spin off into a whole new trend in the near future.

Technology takes care of everything here — from reserving your table at the restaurant of your choice and pre-ordering your food so that it is ready by the time you get there, to digital valet services, contactless seating, scanning a QR code on the table to explore the restaurant menu with dish and pairing recommendations to add on to (or change) your pre-order, digital payment and online feedback.

Customers will get to experience all of this, with tables arranged 1 metre apart from each other and the option to live-stream the kitchen/cooking process on their mobile phones, to ensure safety and hygiene.

Towards a new normal

“The role of tech in the post-Covid era is to establish trust and build confidence in the minds of consumers,” said Ankit Mehrotra, co-founder and CEO, Dineout. “Our new InResto Contactless Dining Suite will help the F&B (food and beverages) industry adjust to the new normal, as everything from informing diners about the restaurant’s new safety measures, booking a table and pre-ordering dishes to minimising waiting time, seamless takeaway, contactless payments and ensuring superior hygiene standards are the need of the hour for the entire hospitality industry.”

“Over 15,000 restaurants across the country are already using some of our tech solutions, and many of them may sign up for our entire entire product suite to ensure complete peace of mind for diners,” he added.

Additionally, Dineout, which aims to help over 20,000 restaurants post pandemic, will also provide them with personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to ensure stringent hygiene measures at the restaurants for diners, kitchen and waiter staff. It is also facilitating Covid-free certification for restaurants through a licensed lab in order to ensure that all the microbiological tests are in place before the restaurants open their doors to customers. Users of the Dineout app can see the certified restaurants along with their audit rating on the app.

Human element

Asked if contactless dining technology is the answer to a safe and superlative customer experience, Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, said: “We obviously want to ensure our customers feel safe coming back to dine with us, so we are evaluating multiple ways to digitise our dining experience and create a contactless environment as much as possible. However, our people, our sense of community, and our exceptional service are the heart and soul of our business, so the human element cannot be removed from this experience. We will use technology to enhance the dining-in experience, not take away from it.”

Sharing a similar sentiment, Amit Roy, Partner, Shilton Hospitality LLP, said: “I don’t know if contactless dining will be popular with customers. As we are social people, we step out not just to eat but for the whole experience and interaction with other people. If we remove that, then what is left?”

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Published on April 22, 2020
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