The Impact of COVID 19 on Restaurant & Hospitality Industry

The Impact of COVID 19 on Restaurant & Hospitality Industry

16 Jul. 20
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Coronavirus has literally crippled the economies of different countries catastrophically and has forced many industries to put down their shutters for long. Some have closed down temporarily abiding by the rules imposed by the government, whereas a few have taken this step owing to the enormous losses they have incurred due to the pandemic. Hospitality and tourism industry stands as the worst-hit industries due to the epidemic leading to an exorbitant decline in their business. The outcomes are severe and have forced many to lose their jobs. And there is no certainty as to how long this will last and when things will be back to normal once again.

How has technology helped the restaurant sector to cope with COVID battle?

Time has brought innovations over time, even in the toughest and saddest days. And so are the changes that we have seen in the restaurant sector due to the pandemic. Technological transformations have given some serious contactless and least contact solutions to battle the epidemic. So here is how technology has helped in reshaping the restaurant business:

Dining with less contact


Once the restaurants get permission to function on a full-fledged basis, social distancing will be a key factor in taking the restaurants to a higher level dining style with minimal contact. Contactless dining will be triggered to cut down on the communication between the staff and the visitors. The chances are that the physical menus will face doom, and online menus will be given preference. Menu cards can be a home for germs as these are prone to be touched by every visitor who enters a restaurant to have some food. Chances are now you will be able to see the menu card on your phone through an app or any other online means so that you do not touch the menu cards. Placing your orders just by looking and using your phone will be quite possible due to the advent of technology.

Recognition technologies

When we enter a hotel to check in to the rooms, the room keys or the key card are the first things that are handed over to the customer. But again touching keys and key cards can again make you go sceptical about who all may have touched it before you touch it. Though measures are being taken to sanitise each and everything before another customer uses it but still there is no limit for thoughts regarding the safety parameters.

Thus in order to solve this issue, many hoteliers have implemented the face recognition technology that will cut down the point of contact and touching surfaces. They are implementing technologies that can scan the retina or face or any similar recognition of the tourists so that they do not have to touch the keys and surfaces while checking or checking out of the hotel room.

Triggering chatbots

To handle the customer queries within a quick span of time, the hotel and restaurant industry is also integrating full-fledged chatbots to interact with the potential customers with quick responses. They are refraining their staff from answering the customer queries and are getting them involved for other complex functionalities and instead are using chatbots that offer convenience and timely response to the customers. This is further leading the customers to have a better insight into the hotel or restaurant they are planning to visit and yes, of course, also triggers better customer satisfaction.

Virtual tours


If at all you have to go for a business meet or for any other reasons, if you have to move out of your hometown, the very first thing that you need to find is a shelter for yourself. Hotels are what you can look up to while being in a new city, but again it raises a question on how safe the particular hotel is to cater to your safety.

Thus there are more and more hotel owners who are offering a virtual tour to the tourists beforehand to allow them to judge the methods adopted by the hotelier to ensure the safety of the customers. Simply booking a hotel by asking for recommendations and reading reviews may not be as effective when you yourself get to tour the hotel property before checking in. This way, the customers are acquainted with the practices and add a trust quotient.

Robots doing the tasks

With the contactless deliveries taking a hike, robots have entered the hotel industry too to make things possible. Robots have been used in other industries for a long time now, but they have marked their entrance in this restaurant sector to make the food deliveries customer friendly and contactless. May it be for answering the guest queries, bringing in snacks and orders, robots are performing all such tasks to maintain the safety standards during this pandemic.

Social media as a tool to connect

The Internet has brought the world a lot closer than it seems to be but this pandemic that has crippled the globe has made people maintain distance with each other. It has been regularly advised to stay at home and move out only when it is required and necessary until proper preventive measures are found out as a cure for the disease. Following the guidelines, people have started to isolate themselves in their home and are also staying away from visiting restaurants and hotels to treat them with their favourite delicacies. This has ultimately brought a deterioration in the sales of the restaurant sector. Also, the restaurants are not able to showcase their safety standards and precautions used to fight this pandemic as everyone is staying at their home.

Thus social media has emerged out as a powerful tool by which the hoteliers and restaurant owners are promoting the safety standards used in their particular units to a majority of people. Social media allows them to connect with their potential clients to get them aware of the changes made in their functioning and to provide them with online services.

Online orders and delivery will gain popularity


With the pandemic taking a toll on the human race, people are avoiding to dine out in crowded places. But there are hardly a few who can resist the temptation of treating themselves their favorite food from their favorite hotels. So, online ordering and delivery will soon become a primary staple for such people who may consider enjoying their favorite food from the comfort of their own home. This will again minimize the contact, and also restaurants are developing their personalized food ordering apps to ease out the task for their customers.

Prioritizing online payments

These days’ people are sanitizing almost everything they bring home, but sanitizing the currency can be quite challenging. We know how the currency notes pass from people to people, and we never know where it is coming from. Notes can also be a breeding place for germs, and the restaurant people may not like the idea of taking currencies hand to hand. But with the advent of technology, preference is being given to online payments so that the surface contact is limited. There are various payment apps that are now being accepted by the restaurant sectors to cut down the contact.

Sanitization apps

The outbreak of this pandemic has forced people to set sanitization needs as their first priority. There are continuous innovations that will take the sanitization requisites to an upper level. There has been news about the Mobile app development that can cater to sanitization needs, whether in house, back house, or even during the delivery process. Soon you can see apps that will barge in the restaurant industry to take over the sanitization requirements.

Cashier less drive


Reducing man to man contact has become the sole motive of this pandemic battle. So there are high chances that you will have to face cashier-free transactions wherein everything you may do on your own. Ranging from ordering your food to bill generation and payment, the visitors may handle it solely without walking to the cashier or manager for these chores. There will be installation of cameras, sensors, bill generators, and similar technologies, which will empower the visitors to order, generate, make the payments on their own without contacting any staff of the restaurants.

Conclusion

COVID 19 has adversely impacted the hospitality industry but the advent of technology is helping the industry win the battle slowly and steadily. There are a lot of p’s and q’s that these industries have to stomach for the effective functioning during this pandemic and may continue to do the same till this virus lasts. All thanks to the innovation and technology that has made things possible and have given out new ways for effective functioning of the hotel at such a dark hour where this industry is seeing ominous clouds.

We hope that this ends soon, bringing in a new ray of hope and energy for people to get back their lives to track and to allow such industries function as they used to in the earlier days.

Author

Lets Nurture
Posted by Lets Nurture

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