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New technologies adopted by hotel industry to cope with challenges post-pandemic
Friday, 15 January, 2021, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Rishabh Bhargava
The Covid-19 pandemic has made most of the industries think differently. Introduction of technology to manage business better or to enhance the guest experience has been the most common aspect. Hotels have been adapting too. Things that were never considered in a five star, have been introduced- scan QR codes to order. 

Typically, all five star and luxury hotels would have fancy menus being offered to guests but now, hotels are moving to technology to make food ordering 'contact-less'. Hotels have placed QR codes in the rooms so that guests with smartphones can scan the code, and it will take them to a digital-menu. Apart from ordering food, they can also pay instantly. Guest get the option to either post it to their room, or to pay instantly, no need to hand over their credit cards.  

Another line of business that hotels witnessed during the peak of the pandemic was partnering with food delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato. This too has been a new trend as upper upscale or luxury hotels never sold their food via home-delivery model. However, with outlets not permitted to operate and mounting losses, hotels improvised their food and beverage business model. 

Some hotels did better than the rest, however, the fact remains that hotels have accepted this new source of selling their food and beverage products to their customers who have been patronising them for years, and at the same time find new ones who could now access their select products at slightly more affordable price.

Some hotels created a shopping-cart in partnership with a vendor so that customers can select the item they wish to order and then also pay for it online. This worked well with customers who preferred delivery directly from the hotel (instead of a delivery partner), and with a shopping cart - there is a structure to how and what they order. 

Both shopping carts, as well delivery-apps can give hotels enough data to analyse what food items sell the most and which ones don’t. We can keep the menu more relevant and offer choices that are more likely to make the customer happy. 

This pandemic has brought in many 'new-normals' in our lives, including the way we dine at hotels. Technology is here to stay and with demand for technology increasing - soon we may see solutions that were unheard of, bringing innovation in the food and beverage dining experience as well.

(The author is commercial director at Hilton Bengaluru Embassy GolfLinks)
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