After a long-drawn tryst with relentless lockdowns during the first half of 2020, the Indian youth have shown a great inclination to going out much more often as compared to the pre-lockdown periods. This is in line with most estimates as experts predict that the hospitality & travel niche will experience a “mini boom” phase in the immediate aftermath of the lockdown.
While many have already contributed to this boon, several others will soon follow. And when the demand does hit the roof, we have these start-ups to thank for helping our favourite restaurants and cafes survive some of the darkest periods of their time.
Aker Foods: B2B grocery exchange start-up Aker foods [Aker Foods Agrotech Limited] braved the Covid lockdowns at a time when traditional suppliers were nowhere to be found. Thanks to processes which helped it comply with COVID-19 protocols. It was able to supply groceries at lighting fast speed to cafes and restaurants that would otherwise have faced an uncertain future due to the absence of the ability to cater to online orders.
GoFrugal: For large restaurants and hotels with banquet arrangements that were otherwise being managed in a very traditional manner, GoFrugal offered some impressive solutions that made the management of these minute aspects rather smooth. With everything being tracked well, the company also offered gateway and wallet services to customers to help them make payments at a time when social distancing was encouraged. This helped the image of several cafes and they continued receiving additional customers.
Zomato: Okay this is no surprise. But Zomato really did help a ton of cafes & restaurants survive solely on online orders during the pandemic. They were one of the early adopters of imparting hygiene practices and protocols to delivery boys during the pandemic and they consistently encouraged their partners to move towards online ordering to survive the harsh times through their sales team. Popular mentions include Swiggy, UberEats etc who have contributed on similar lines as well.
FurnitureRoots: The value proposition of supplying social-distancing compliant furniture to cafes and coffee shops is something that had a tremendous impact on the hospitality industry in the aftermath of the lockdowns. The general public was still quite intimidated when it came to moving out of their houses and such initiatives helped. The idea was that using furniture that ensures enclosed seating arrangements would prevent the spread. Additionally, the company also promoted the idea of outdoor and patio seating arrangements (just like bistros in western countries). Which made a whole lot of sense considering the fact that outdoor seating is a whole lot safer than indoor.
EazyDiner: Although EazyDiner has been a long since a long time, the Yuvraj Singh backed startup has helped several restaurants & cafes in the Delhi-NCR region and Mumbai bounce back into sustainability during the second half of FY 2020. Thanks to its ubiquitous application, it has helped businesses reserve tables and manages seating for its customers in a rather efficient way thus reducing wait times and increasing the businesses’ ability to manage a sudden increase in footfall.
Arguably, the most affected industry & sector during 2020 is the hospitality sector, we should forever be obliged to these businesses for taking a step up and taking these initiatives.