Startups fight COVID-19: Odisha-based TechnoCrat’s contactless solution is digitising restaurants, hotels for free
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the need for digital solutions that reduce the dependency on physical contact. Taking the opportunity to be a part of the Digital India initiative, two students — Soumya Ranjan Dash and Brijendar Singh — pursuing a Bachelor's degree from the Rourkela Institute of Management Studies have developed a contactless ordering system for restaurants and hotels.
Propelled by the fear of contracting COVID-19, restaurants, hotels and other public places are now expected to maintain hygiene and safety. Soumya explains that they have started this initiative for free of cost so that every restaurant – big or small – can ensure that the virus is kept at bay.
Started in September 2020, TechnoCrat offers digital menus in restaurants and hotels, and enables customers to order food by simply scanning a QR code.
TechnoCrat founder in partnership with restaurants in Odisha
The founders invested a total of Rs 5,000 of their pocket money, which they had used to develop their platform, in the bootstrapped startup.
Soumya adds that restaurant owners can manage their restaurant with lesser staff, and manage dine-in with minimal physical contact. It also solves for wrong order or order mismatch errors.
“We have updated our system with online delivery facilities during the lockdown,” says Soumya.
Explaining its product feature, Soumya says that there are two plans to which the customer can subscribe.
The first is the basic plan under which the owner can add unlimited photos of the menu; restaurants can get a count of daily visitors, as well as look at other analytics like popular day or time of the day, etc. Guests can also see offers and discounts provided by restaurants, and can give reviews about the restaurant via the web app.
On the other hand, the premium plan comes with an additional dashboard feature that allows restaurant owners to edit their menu as and when they require it.
Both these plans will be free of charges for a year, post which the startup will charge Rs 499 for the basic plan and Rs 999 for the premium plan to continue the service, quotes Soumya.
In less than a year, 20 restaurants situated in Rourkela are now availing their service.
“Rourkela has three 3-star restaurants, which include Radhika Regency, The Prestige, and Maaya - Bar and bistro, and all the three have opted for our service,” claims Soumya.
Speaking about their future plans, he adds, “We plan to expand our service in nearby cities such as Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, and Jharsuguda in Odisha, and we are going to introduce a mobile application that is going to be helpful in day-to-day life.”
“There are so many notable players in the market like My Digi Menu, TMBILL, and Petpooja but our USP is that our contactless ordering system is free for a year and available at an affordable price range as compared to the competitors,” states Soumya.
Further speaking about the technology, he adds that by enabling QR code menu, restaurants and hotels can save paper by 30-40 percent. “As restaurants change their menu every year, a huge amount of paper gets wasted. We can also save nature and trees by adopting contactless technology,” concludes Soumya.