Covid has hit us in such an unprecedented manner that people all around the world are still trying to come to terms with it. Nothing could have ever prepared us for this calamity, and nobody would have ever imagined being locked up in their houses for months together. Although the lockdown was inevitable, its repercussions can be felt deep down in the economy with everyone waiting for its immediate revival.
Semiqolon which started as a one-man entity under Sanket Deora, has now groomed into a full-fledged digital marketing service provider with a customer base worldwide including the UAE, USA, UK and Canada. Speaking exclusively to Express Food & Hospitality about the pandemic’s impact on the food service sector, Deora, founder, Semiqolon said, “The nature of the work of certain industries has made them even more vulnerable to this situation with services, and experience-based industries being one of the deeply impacted ones. The new norms include lesser human-to-human interactions and social distancing which have always been an integral part of the travel, aviation, and hospitality industry. A general hysteria amongst the public relating to hygiene and safety has also added up to its woes.”
He added, “But, the reality is that this pandemic shall pass and the hotel industry should start planning for the future, rather than waiting for everything to get over, and then start over again. There is an immediate need for these industries to delve into innovation and technology to reduce the number of touch-points in their business, thereby making it more hygienic and trustworthy for its patrons.”
One such path-breaking product called Voilà has been developed by team Semiqolon, as a noble gesture towards the hotel industry. Voilà caters to the immediate needs of this industry by providing hotels with a food-delivery eco-system as well as a seamless and contactless dine-in experience for its patrons. Voilà also provides the hotels a much better control over the hygiene, branding, and the experience they want to offer to their clients.
“Given the nature of the food industry, maintaining a continuous relationship with the clients is by far the most vital part of their business as well as the brand. Through home-delivery of food, hotels can stay connected with their clients who have been away for a long time and want to relish their favourite dishes. The home delivery model is expected to continue even in the post-Covid era, therefore having a food-delivery app like Voilà with a complete delivery eco-system can prove quite beneficial for the hotels in the long run,” points out Deora.
He opines that once the regular dine-in starts, hotels should try and switch to digital technologies that can provide a contactless solution from first order to payments till customer’s feedback. “Technology can help us maintain the highest hygiene standards without compromising the quality of the experience. Investment in cloud technologies to promote remote working for the hotel staff is also one possible measure that hotels can follow to promote social distancing,” suggests Deora.
Of all the possible measures mentioned above, the biggest takeaway is technology. Deora observes that the key is to promote social distancing and use digital mediums that promote contactless communications. “Being a people-centric industry, human interactions are inevitable but, by using technology we can bring down direct interactions by opting for digital methods like digital check-ins, and online transfer of personal documents. Digital menus in the dine-in area with direct ordering facility through a tab can also reduce direct interactions with the steward. Digital payments and check-out should also be a new normal for the hotels to follow” he explains.
The Voilà food delivery app lets the customers access the digital menu and order directly without any hassles. It needs no set-up or annual maintenance cost and is a completely cloud-based system. While the Voilà digital menu helps hotels and restaurants list their menus digitally with a complete advanced description of the dishes. Through a tab or by scanning a QR code, the customer can directly access the menu and add the dishes of his choice to cart and order them directly.
Deora reiterates, “In these arduous times, we need to evolve and create inventive methods to help the industries that have been deeply struck and are struggling to come back to normalcy. Digital innovation like Voilà is one such empathetic gesture towards this cause.”