There is absolutely no denial in the fact that this pandemic has made the entire F&B industry suffer and all restaurants, lounges, bars and cafes had to be shut down, some even permanently. With everything shut down, the economy has suffered and shows a slow rate of recovery in the future.
The huge change that we all saw in the past few months is definitely going to transform the way the industry worked. We all will have to pose numerous challenges and put in extra effort and finances to ensure the health and hygiene of employees as well as customers.
Despite an umpteen number of safety measures adopted by food outlets, customers are still heavily relying on online ordering and technology seems to be the only saviour in times like these.
We need advanced technological support to keep people socially distanced while they enjoy their time with their loved ones outside without the fear. Apps with AI-enabled self-checkout systems aimed at enabling a contactless and queue-less process for the easy functioning of business processes is the need of the hour.
These apps are digital and come with a dynamic system which uses a QR mechanism to make the ordering and payment contact-free, feasible and user-friendly. People are working day in & day out to make these apps the next generation engagement platform for retail and food places where buyers can level up their experiences and business can get better opportunities to sell.
In the last few years, contactless technology has made great progress due to the increasing popularity of smartphones. Contactless is now a reality which is about to transform consumers' daily activities such as ordering, paying for purchases in retail. This new technology will immensely become successful post lockdown, due to social distancing, hygiene, infection spread.
Such technological integration in the system is moving with a clear approach to convenience. This means that they are not forcing anyone, instead the aim is to create an organic necessity for the product.
These apps are a new customer experience for the end user and they have a clear approach to cater to the needs of their business partners in the most Innovative way possible. From where I see, the three utmost reasons why a person goes out to eat is because either the place serves great and hygienic food, the pricing is affordable and it gives you a comfortable place to spend some time in, and that is what the app aims too. While restaurants are working at their full capacities to maintain hygiene, with the integration of technology, they can minimise physical contact and prevent the chances of community spread. When the customer knows that a certain restaurant is taking care of the minimum touch points and giving the same service then people will want to come and eat. So self-checkout platforms are the need of the hour, especially for the hospitality industry.
Maintaining a restaurant requires huge amounts of money and with complete shut down for more than 3 months, the owners had no choice but to permanently shut down their businesses or convert into take-away and delivery outlets. The virus has already made many businesses go frugal, people have lost their jobs, loss in revenue all and even shutting down of the businesses. The big businesses might still stand a chance to survive once things start going back to normal but the mid-tier and small businesses have been experiencing and will continue to experience a sharp and steep fall in their revenues bleeding every day and losing the consumers.
The economy is experiencing one of the deepest recessions but is soon expected to experience growth with time and proper participation of the consumers and not to forget passing away of the virus.
Karan Sood, Co-Founder, Fastor - Future Contactless Dining, New Delhi