From ITC to Wonderla, hospitality chains dabble in new biz avenues amid pandemic

While amusement park Wonderla has forayed into food takeaway and delivery, some five-star hotels are offering disinfectant and laundry services.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, companies and services that continue to remain shut are being forced to innovate in a bid to generate some form of revenue. While amusement park Wonderla has forayed into food takeaway and delivery, some five-star hotels are offering disinfectant and laundry services.

Amusement park and hospitality brand Wonderla, which has been shut for nearly three months now has now ventured into food delivery with ‘Wonder Kitchen’.

It has opened a takeaway and home delivery outlet of Wonder Kitchen at Kengeri, near Benglauru, 16 km away from the Wonderla Amusement Park.

It has partnered with Swiggy and Zomato for online ordering and delivery. The company said in a statement that the outlet, serving veg and non-vegetarian cuisines will operate from 11am to 9pm and will do the delivery within the 5 km radius.

“Our parks and resort chains have been affected across the locations due to this turmoil. In these difficult times, we decided to step into the new business venture with the support of our experienced staff. Today, everyone is health-conscious and there is an ever-growing demand for safe and hygienic food, without having to give up on the taste and excitement of food. We are serving fresh, exciting new tastes as per the safety protocols,” Arun Chittilappilly, Director of Wonderla Holidays said in a statement.

And it is not just Wonderla, several five star hotels too, have begun home delivery of food, and in some cases, are offering laundry and disinfectant services.

Some of India’s largest hotel chains such as ITC and Marriott have partnered with food delivery platforms such as Swiggy and Zomato to deliver food.

ITC hotels partnered with Swiggy towards the end of May to launch ‘responsible dining’, by offering ‘fresh and seasonal’ selection of food. This would include curated menus with local offerings from the region across all major cities in India.

 It also opened a special take-out counter at each ITC Hotel with hand sanitizers and thermometers to corroborate the health parameters of local food delivery partners.

“We are re-engineering our guest experiences with zero/low associate engagement (including digital ordering and e-payment solutions). The partnership with Swiggy will assist us in responsibly delivering our unique culinary experiences using their advanced distribution network,” Anil Chadha, COO, ITC Hotels said in a statement at the time of the launch.

Earlier in May, Marriott International announced “Marriott on Wheels” delivery service through Swiggy. This association, it said at the time, would be the first of its kind for Marriott International hotels across India.

Neeraj Govil, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International said, “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. The overall lifestyle changes and the manner in which we do business will have us taking a step out of the box, to ideate and create new experiences that are meaningful, valuable and convenient for our customers.”

In addition, other hotels too, such as Taj City, Oberoi, Ritz Carlton, among others have started food delivery as well.

Laundry and disinfectant services

Green Park Hotels, which has properties in Chennai, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam has started offering 'Disinfection & Sanitization ' services to offices.

Sudip Sen Gupta, VP, Operations at Green Park Chennai told TNM that out of its 400 employees, nearly 100 of them are engaged in housekeeping services with training in cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting.

With offices and commercial buildings opening up in May after the lockdown, many are falling short of staff with workers returning to their hometowns. Green Park saw a business opportunity in helping these commercial places sanitise and disinfect their premises before employees come in. “Starting with some of our own clients, we have helped commercial establishments in opening offices. We are offering the service on a per square foot basis. We were one of the first to enter into this business, with many others following, especially in Chennai,” he added.

Green Park is offering this service in Hyderabad and Vizag as well.  

Green Park is also offering laundry service for B2B clients such as service apartments, smaller hotels and retail outlets.

According to a Times of India report, a few other five-star hotels such as Conrad and Hyatt Regency in Pune and Gurugram are offering laundry services as well. However, in this case, it is a B2C offering in the form of a premium laundry service.  

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