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Shopping malls introduce ‘contactless dining’ to revive business and footfalls in food court

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After more than 75 days of lockdown, the shopping malls finally opened up pan India. Since the retail industry has been opening up in the ‘Unlock’ phases, the malls are slowly returning to normalcy in some segments, as far as business and revenue are concerned. Segments like fashion, footwear, and electronics are getting decent footfalls. However, restaurants and dining is one segment which is still struggling to get decent footfalls. Despite the fact that people are visiting the shopping malls in respectable numbers, the dwell time in the mall is very less. Customers are more focused on doing essential shopping and leave, rather than sit and eat.

Shopping malls introduce 'contactless dining' to revive business and footfalls in food court

As a result, different food and restaurants in malls are empty and out of business. However, with the help of technology, shopping malls are introducing the concept of ‘’ to help their food retailers to counter this crisis. With malls operating under specific safety guidelines issued by the government for the past month now, social distancing has become a key concern for all the food vendors at the food courts.

To help the customers avoid queues and chaos,Gurugram-based O2O commerce and fintech platform DotPe has partnered with Nexus Malls. The platform is currently offering its digital ordering solutions fully integrated with a payment gateway to 30 food vendors across 3 major malls, Ahmedabad One, The Mall of Amritsar and Elante, Chandigarh’s food courts and is planning to get more brands onboard.

A technology start up provides neo-digital transformation and
commerce solutions to restaurants and F&B brands. By offering its QR code and WhatsApp based Scan-Order-Pay solution, direct communication and digital ordering management technology to them, it can assist food courts to ensure streamlined business operations while following the social distancing norms and make customers feel safe through minimal human touch while ordering and settling the bill.

Malls will have a common QR code across various floors of the
mall whereas the floor managers and operations team will be guiding the customers on how to use it. Guests can scan the QR code placed on the tables from their own mobile phones and view the menu of all the restaurants through their phone browsers just like an e-commerce catalogue. They can order from the catalogue while remaining seated at the food court or walking through the mall corridors while shopping and also make the payment through the phone using any medium including UPI. The order-related communication will further happen over the guests’ WhatsApp number. Once the orders are ready, guests can simply pick their orders from the counters of the food vendor and either dine in there or take away.

, Senior Vice President, Operations and Projects at Nexus Malls, said, “At Nexus Malls, safety of our patrons, retailers and staff is paramount. We are working with all our retail partners to ensure the experience at our malls is as contactless as possible. With DotPe, we have found a reliable partner who is able to provide a contactless food ordering platform across our malls wherever dine-in is permissible.”

Phoenix Mills and have taken the customer experience a notch higher by introducing contactless dining experience to customers at restaurants, cafés, and food courts in Phoenix Mills properties, including High Street Phoenix and Phoenix MarketCity in Mumbai and Pune.

With this feature Phoenix aims to ensure comfort and convenience to consumers by offering a seamless dining experience. It will enable the customers to pre-book a table, view digital menus, place an order over their phone, make digital payments and share feedback online. Customers can choose from a wide range of 100+ dining options available at these malls.

Contactless technology will redefine the dining experience within malls and is a key initiative introduced by the mall management to reduce the human interaction, maintain social distancing and ensure the overall safety of our patrons. The table management software that it incorporates will enable restaurants to manage their operations at 50 percent staff capacity. Furthermore, it will allow customers to:
– To reserve a table at their desired restaurants pre-order their meal and place the second round of orders via digital menu, thereby cutting the wait time.
– Check the hygiene, safety measures, and ratings for the outlet.
– Give feedback to the restaurant.
– Make digital payments

Shoppers looking for takeaways can now simply pre-order their desired food, collect the items from the respective outlet, and check out by paying digitally through their smartphone. This will ensure a smooth, quick, contact-free and safe transaction – which is important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the partnership, , CEO & Co-founder, Dineout, said, “In view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation, our contactless technology is particularly relevant as it facilitates a minimum-contact dining experiences and makes it #SafeToEatOutin malls. Moreover, it is extremely convenient to be able to do everything with a few short clicks on your smartphone.”

Rajendra Kalkar, President West, The Phoenix Mills Ltd, added, “We have adopted world-class SOPs at all our properties to ensure safety and hygiene. Contactless dining is not only convenient in general but also necessary in the present situation. It augments the other precautionary measures we are taking at our malls, to guard against COVID-19. We have modified our plans, trained our partners, and implemented the best practices for this. We are excited to welcome guests into a new and safe shopping environment that they can trust.”

In addition to India’s first end-to-end contactless dining suite,Dineout is also offering Restaurant Safety Kits and is facilitating hygiene certification for restaurants through a licensed lab to ensure that they meet the required hygiene benchmarks before resuming services. Diners can view certified restaurants and their respective audit ratings on the Dineout app to make informed decisions – something that will help them rebuild their confidence in outdoor dining in a post-COVID world.

DLF Shopping Malls has partnered with Inresto to create a contactless dining experience at restaurants and food courts across its malls. Starting with DLF Promenade, the service will also be available at DLF Cyberhub, Horizon Plaza, DLF 5 and DLF Mall of India soon.

The digital technology will empower restaurants and food courts within DLF Shopping Malls to off er a seamless customer journey and a safe dining experience. With convenience features like digital menus, pre-ordering, table booking, digital payments and digital feedback. Thereby, minimizing the chances of touching common areas by guests.

This technology will help food courts and restaurants in the mall to reduce the wait time to the minimum. It will also enable restaurants to manage their operations at capacity (as per social distancing norms) through its table management software.

For DLF Shopping Malls safety and well-being of consumers are the top concern and Contactless Dining is the first step in that direction for making diner’s experience safe and convenient.

Through DLF Malls Lukout app or by scanning the QR code customers will be able to:
– Browse through digital menus on their phones. It will ensure more safety and zero surface contact.
– Reserve tables at restaurants. It will improve social distancing.
– Pre-order their meals thereby cutting the wait time at restaurants and food courts.
– Check the hygiene and safety measures and rating of the outlet for assurance of safety.
– Give feedback to restaurants so that they can dial up their service.
– Earn loyalty points digitally for their frequent visits.

Customers looking for takeaways can simply pre-order the dishes, grab the items from the counter and check out by making contactless payments through their smartphones. Thus, making the entire in-mall experience seamless and contact-free, as much as possible.

Restaurants within the DLF Shopping Malls portfolio will be integrated with AI-powered video solutions from Staqu which will render specialised analytics on restaurant operations and bring the live feed to the diners helping them monitor safety parameters in the kitchen. A live stream of the kitchen proceedings will also be available to the end customer on the Dineout app and assure them of hygiene compliance and sanitization standards. This will help reinforce consumer confidence, thereby increasing quality footfalls to the restaurants.

Speaking on the partnership, , Executive Director, DLF Shopping Malls said, “As we start re-opening our malls, our utmost priority is to provide a secure environment for our guests. So, we have partnered with Dineout’s inresto technology for enabling a contactless F&B service. We want to off er an unparalleled experience to our customers which is driven by technology innovation and making their visits enjoyable without compromising on safety and hygiene.”

“The post COVID era would see significant changes in malls from an operations perspective to comply with safe distancing measures within the mall. With our partnership, we are embarking our entry into retail space within resto-technology which will not only help in adjusting to the new demands but also managing the crowd and maintaining the social distancing within the food courts and in restaurants. Our product suite will ensure complete peace of mind for diners as they enjoy exciting experience and create new memories at their favourite F&B outlets housed in DLF Shopping Malls portfolio,” added Mehrotra

As Delhi-NCR slowly unlocks itself in phases, Bharti Realty’s Worldmark Aerocity is leading the commercial sector in innovative dinning-in experience by setting forth examples through its avant-garde solutions to COVID-19 challenges. They are leading the way in hygienic practices of retail food establishments to provide a contemporary, safe and hygienic environment to all diners.

Worldmark Aerocity’s ‘The Walk’, home to some of the top
gourmet restaurants, cafes, and bars in Delhi-NCR, is following a strict repository of measures to ensure a comfortable and convenient dining experience for its customer. This is being done while maintaining its upscale dining standards of providing world-class food through contactless dining. One of the crucial steps of contactless dining being followed by the restaurants is doing away with paper menus. They are instead offering QR codes that diners can scan using their smartphones at their respective tables and view the menu. They are also offering contactless digital payment options for both dining and takeaways. The restaurants are focusing on efficient crowd management through measures like reduced dining capacity, rearrangement of tables and pre-bookings.

Tackling the challenges of COVID-19 with innovation, ‘The Walk’ has installed contactless kiosks at its entry points that will off er no-touch temperature screening and sanitizer dispersion. To ensure social distancing norms, escalators have been marked in three-step gaps.

These innovations to the fine-dining experience are being maintained at both standalone restaurants and the food court of the curated food hub. These guidelines are part of a comprehensive SOP by ‘Bharti Care’, the facility management function of Bharti Realty, issued to all functioning establishments to operate responsibly.