Five-star hotels Marriott, Hilton, others piggyback on Zomato, Swiggy to serve customers, sustain Covid

Some of the leading names in the Indian hospitality sector are exploring online food delivery, amid Covid outbreak, to diversify revenue streams as they learn to adapt to the new normal in customer behaviour.

(Representative image)

Some of the leading names in the Indian hospitality sector are exploring online food delivery, amid Covid outbreak, to diversify revenue streams as they learn to adapt to the new normal in customer behaviour. The latest to join the club is Marriott International that partnered with foodtech startup Swiggy to launch their food delivery service Marriott on Wheels. More than 20 Marriott hotels across 11 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Agra, Pune, Coimbatore and Goa will list their food delivery menus on Swiggy.

“As we navigate and adapt ourselves to the new normal in all aspects of life, there will be a new balance in everything we do including our approach to the business of hospitality,” said Neeraj Govil, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International in a statement. The partnership with Swiggy will help Marriott on Wheels “in the new normal as we feel food deliveries will be the new continuum going forward.”

Swiggy will make “no-contact” deliveries on all pre-paid orders of Marriott on Wheels. The driver will leave the food at the doorstep instead of an in-person exchange. Marriott is looking to add more properties in other cities on Swiggy.

According to a report by hospitality-focused consultancy firm HVS, seeking a 12-month corporate tax holiday to travel, tourism and hospitality sectors, suggested hotels to offer services that have traditionally not been part of the hotel’s core offerings such as food delivery through online platforms or leasing of kitchens for cloud kitchen requirements. The report titled Covid-19: Impact on the Indian Hotels Sector also suggested to focus on ancillary services that could be generated through non-core revenue-generating areas such as gyms, spas etc.

Also read: Lockdown 3.0: E-commerce users begin to log back onto Amazon, Flipkart, others for non-essentials

Last month, hotel chain Hilton had also announced food delivery on select food items through Swiggy and Zomato from its six properties in Bengaluru, Pune, Gurugram, Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai. The decision was taken since it couldn’t serve its customers amid lockdown. “After careful deliberation and taking into account feedback from our customers, we are pleased to launch our food delivery service featuring Hilton’s signature dishes,” said Prashant Kulkarni, Food and Beverage Director, Hilton India.

Similarly, Hyatt hotels also partnered with Zomato and Swiggy to delivery online. For instance, customers can order from Hyatt Regency Delhi, Hyatt Place Gurugram etc. Other hotel brands including The Park, Roseate Hotels and Resorts, etc. have jumped onto Swiggy and Zomato for reaching out to the existing and new customers.

The latest move by hotel brands come amid the hotel and restaurant sector running a training programme for precautions to be taken by hospitality professionals and establishments during the post lockdown period around receiving of raw materials, guest service, lobby management, and rooms maintenance. “The idea behind initiating this training programme is to have at least one senior staff thoroughly trained in safety, security and hygiene of an establishment. Once the lockdown is lifted, the trained staff will be in a position to impart knowledge to fellow staff in each section,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI. The association is looking to train 4,000-5,000 hospitality professionals in the coming three-six months.

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