Restaurants Innovating Ways To Bring Back Diners Restaurants are paving the way by introducing new and innovative initiatives to make it safe to eat out again

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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COVID-19 has impacted the food and beverage industry like never before. Restaurants are struggling to get back to their feet by gradually adapting to the new normal. As the lockdown is lifted in most of the Indian cities, restaurants are welcoming the people for dine-in services.

Founded in 2012, restaurant-tech platform Dineout, has recovered 60 per cent of its business compared to pre-COVID times. Delhi, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad are moving fastest towards normalcy with a 70 per cent recovery rate projected to be achieved in this festive quarter, followed by Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur, and Hyderabad with a 55 per cent recovery rate. Mumbai and Pune that opened up last week have seen a promising 10 fold increase in diner count compared to the previous week's numbers.

"It's amazing to see restaurants aligning their operations to the new normal and adapting to new strategies to secure a strong comeback. We have recovered 60 per cent of our pre-COVID business numbers and expect to reach 100 per cent by the end of this year. The use of digital payments via Dineout pay at partnered restaurants has also increased to 80 per cent as more and more users are opting for digital means for settling the bill," said Dineout chief executive officer and co-founder Ankit Mehrotra, commenting on the update,

Restaurants are paving the way by introducing new and innovative initiatives to make it #SafeToEatOut again for their customers while attributing utmost importance to social distancing and hygiene.

Robot experience

Restaurants like Robot (Porur) and Moti Mahal - Robot Themed Restaurant in Chennai, Robot Restaurant in Bangalore and Jaipur are serving food with the help of Robots to reduce human contact. People can enjoy an unforgettable Robot experience with exquisite cuisines and mocktails.

Private dining pods

Dragonfly restaurant at Aerocity Worldmark, New Delhi ensures a safe dining experience with its specially created private dining pods. These pods are made up of hard acrylic walls and can accommodate a group of 10 to 12 people. People looking for a safe and new experience in times like this can choose to dine-out with family and friends.

Drive-in and drive-through restaurants

People anxious about social distancing within the restaurants can also opt for drive-in and drive-through restaurants across the country. Ping's Orient in Kolkata and Just FoodInn in Ahmedabad offer diners a special drive-in menu from within the comfort of their own vehicle. At DLF Cyber hub, Gurgaon, diners can pre-order food using the Dineout app and choose for self-pickup at this specialty created drive-through.

Food conveyor

Cloves restaurant in Ahmedabad, Gujarat came up with India's first Techno-dining experience. Here food is delivered in covered bowls through a food conveyor right from the kitchen to the customer's table without any human-contact in between. Customers can pick up their own bowl that has their table numbers mentioned therefore eliminates the handling of food in between by stewards.

UV (ultraviolet) sterilized cutlery and plexiglass barriers

Mocha and Smokehouse Deli cafe across India are using UV sterilized cutlery wrapped in paper before serving the diners. Along with sterilized cutlery, restaurants have also installed plexiglass barriers following the social distancing norms while serving clean and hygienic food to its customers.

Nano disinfection treatment

Madras Canteen and grill in Chennai uses graphene-based nano disinfection treatment which assures 24x7 anti-viral and anti-bacterial protection to its customers and staff. All surfaces of the entire restaurant including the floors, walls, kitchen cutlery, the counters, food service areas, toilets, lounge bar, smoking zones, and the security area are being disinfected on a daily basis.

This growth curve can be credited to restaurants that are promoting QR (quick response) Code driven digital menus as well as digital payments to minimize contact at the outlets. As per Dineout partner data, 65 per cent of partner restaurants have already switched to QR code-based digital menus in the last three months. Mobile ordering is expected to grow further as more consumers view mobile ordering a safer and convenient option.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

Former Staff

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