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Zomato, Paytm prepare plans for contactless dining in post-lockdown world

Zomato has introduced contactless dining as a solution to dining out after the lockdown rules are relaxed. The feature will be offered for free to restaurants for 6 months. Paytm too has introduced a similar feature.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | April 29, 2020 | Updated 19:06 IST
(Source: Zomato)


  • Contactless dining has 3 main components-- contactless menu, contactless ordering and contactless payment. 
  • Zomato introduced the feature first, Paytm followed suit. 
  • Zomato will not charge restaurants for contactless dining for 6 months.

It has been over a month since the official lockdown was announced in India and people will want to step out once the rules are relaxed. Looks like Paytm and Zomato realise the need of people to step out and enjoy their favourite meals after the coronavirus pandemic is contained. It is the reason why they have introduced the concept of "contactless dining".

Contactless dining, as the name suggests, is a potential solution to eating out post coronavirus.

Contactless dining is a concept that does not involve any physical contact. It has three main components -- contactless menu, contactless ordering and contactless payment.

The idea is to scan a QR code that will most likely be kept on the table and order from the menu that will appear on the phone with recommended dishes appearing on the side. Once this is done, the payments are also to be made through the app. In this way, without a physical menu or bills, no physical contact will take place in the process.

"Zomato 'contactless dining' is going to be an important safety net for restaurants as well as diners to minimize human contact. It is not the only solution, but one of the must haves in order to minimize the probability of spread of COVID-19 at public dining spaces," said Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal.

"Contactless Dining is a step forward in the right direction for the restaurant industry; this will provide for a better and hassle-free dining experience for customers, and also improve the economics of the restaurant industry - by helping bring down manpower-costs, as well as reducing the table turnover time," Zomato's official blog noted, post launching the feature last week.

This process will eliminate the need for a waiting staff to pay bills or to order from the menu. However, waiting staff will serve the customers, Zomato said.

"The waiting staff will still need to bring you your food from the kitchen, but as long as the waiting staff is wearing a mask, and following the highest hand hygiene standards, we should all be okay," Zomato's blog noted.

"We anticipate that the food service industry, specifically the dining out segment, will experience significant and permanent changes in the way it operates. Based on some recent consumer surveys, diners are ranking safety assurance and hygiene as their top factors when they choose a restaurant to dine in."

This week, Zomato announced that it will not charge anything but payment gateway fees from restaurants in India, the UAE, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Portugal, Philippines, Indonesia, and Lebanon.

"This will inevitably exert significant pressure on our own finances, but I am sure we will survive if the restaurant industry does well. We are all in this together," tweeted Goyal.

Zomato is not the only one who has come up with the feature of contactless dining.

In a similar move, Paytm, the digital payment firm, too launched its contactless dining feature. Similar to Zomato's contactless dining feature, Paytm will also require the customers to scan a QR code.

"Our users will be able to scan this QR from their Paytm app to browse the menu and place instant orders, thereby avoiding the need to touch the menu card which could be unsanitized and also minimizing interaction with the servers," Paytm's blog read.

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