Contactless Dining: The New Normal!


The COVID pandemic has incurred multiple behavioural changes across all shperes of life. Before the outbreak, the restaurant industry recorded an annual turnover of Rs 4 lakh crore and provided direct employment to over 7 million. The industry is now coming up with new ways to assure customers about safety be it contactless delivery, Dinning, sanitization, restaurant owners are doing it all to re-establish trust in the minds of customers.

A survey by Dineout, 77% of customers would actually want to dine out, 81% would prefer digital menus, and 23% would continue with home-deliveries and takeaways.

Even before the pandemic, new technologies were helping us towards contactless business exchanges. If you’ve had a Zoom visit with your doctor, ordered Starbucks via their phone app, or paid for groceries with your digital wallet, you’ve already made the jump.But today’s situation has created a need for contactless business protocols like never before, especially for restaurants, coffee shops, retailers, and other service-industry businesses that, until now were highly personally interactive, but now have unprecedented needs to change their business model and move to a system that has minimum physical contact.

And Contactless Dinning has come to rescue, to this end, food technology startups Dineout, Zomato and Devourin have recommended that restaurants adopt contactless Dinning products. This is meant to eliminate the need for diners to touch valet receipts, menus and bill copies, when they resume eating out.

How ChatBots are helping implement Contactless Dinning

1. Contactless Menu: As soon as the customers enter the restaurant, chatbots can be used to welcome customers & share digital menus over their own smart devices. The chat interface can be routed by multiple means like QR Code, application, digital hosting etc. Once they reach the chat window, chatbot takes the process from there & help diners to explore menu from which they can select as per their convenience. This system also helps gather data around customer behavior and preference which can be further used to design personalized campaign and also recommend dishes on their next visit.

Seamless digital ordering: Customer can select the dishes and order in real time without any human interaction. Chatbots can also suggest dishes according to customers taste and restaurant specialty. After the order is placed by the customer a Ticket to Kitchen is generated to accept and place the order. This system also helps in queue and order management.

Digital Payment: After the diners have completed their meal and enjoyed the experience, they will receive the payment link on their screens on which they can tap the screen and pay.

Feedback: After making the payments, diners will receive a feedback link which will be directly saved in the restaurant database. The will help the business to know what works well and what does not .It will also help the owners to improve their services as they get direct reviews from customers.

Continuous Engagement: Chatbot can trigger timely updates, notification and promotional offers to customer which are highly personalized and targeted as it has customer data in place. Restaurant can be constantly in touch with customers even when they leave the restaurant, this will increase the chances of repeat visit

Contactless Dinning: Benefits
• Contactless ordering & payments are safer and convenient for customers
• Upgraded process & safety tags can help customers make informed decisions
• Faster ordering & payment rate per table
• Digital ordering & payments will provide with customer insights on spending
• Digital menus can help up sell & make product recommendations
• Data around customer preference will help restaurant to better target customers
• Digital Feedback will help owners to improve their services.
• Saving the transaction cost for the customers

Summing up, with public health top of mind, guests will seek out brands where they feel safe – and for many, that means a contactless experience. Some restaurants may adopt all of this, or portions; but guests will need to feel safe, and for some, that might mean coming as close to a contactless Dinning experience as possible. Businesses that up their game and cope up with the situation will sail through easily and will be successful in building trust in the minds of customer. Your top line is directly related to the trust and loyalties of your customer and in these tough times contactless models can help restaurant and hospitality industry provide uninterrupted services. The businesses that swiftly transition to new normal will only be able to survive in these challenging times.