Reopen restaurants with ‘COVID-19 Safe’ solution from HungerBox
Sandipan Mitra, Co-founder and CEO, HungerBox shares how the FoodTech company has come up with innovative solutions for improved safety protocols and enhanced crowd management, live-tracking, real-time status, digital payments for cafeterias, caterings, and restaurants.
How is HungerBox helping to make cafeteria operations Covid-19 safe? What is its USP?
The HungerBox ‘COVID-19 Safe’ solution follows a five-pronged approach that envelops aspects such as technology, user connect and communication, WHO-prescribed supervisor training, and enhanced protocols for kitchen and cafeteria operations including rigorous checks on operations personnel and a tech-led monitoring system that encompasses a 360-degree view of cafeteria operations.
The large Using AI/ ML, the HungerBox platform regulates user flow into cafeterias and enables decongestion and enables enhanced crowd management. This ensures that users visit the café only when it is safe and social distancing can be maintained. HungerBox has also implemented improved safety protocols inside the kitchen as well as in the cafeterias. Only those ‘fit to work’ and handle food will be allowed to operate as Café Experience Managers. Regular temperature screening of staff and monitoring of compliance with food safety standards at the kitchen, food counters, and cafeteria are executed with the help of HungerBox’s tech. In addition to this, all leading contactless payment options are provided to eliminate the risk of virus transmission due to cash handling. Clients are empowered with a data dashboard that helps track the real-time status of the cafe operations. As part of the solution, kitchen operations based on prescribed FSSAI standards envelop raw material handling, food preparation, kitchen hygiene standards, and food transportation with 11 different records being maintained at HungerBox partner kitchens. These include several logs for sanitization, cooking temperature, cleaning checklists for premises, transport, etc. Once the food reaches clients’ cafeteria, the focus on stringent standards is maintained across areas such as food service & safety, ordering, counter hygiene, café hygiene, and café monitoring.
We have also launched an app-based solution that helps staff at workplaces conform to social distancing norms at their office cafeterias. HungerBox Safe Cafe Suite has launched Proximity Alert Smart Bands to provide Corporates, Educational Institutes, etc. the most accurate method of maintaining Social Distancing Protocols in their premises. The HungerBox Proximity Alert Bands can be worn by the users of the facilities (employees, students, etc.), which would trigger alerts to the individuals coming in proximity.
Which large Corporates, restaurants, malls, and many other sectors are your patrons? Please name a few of the same.
HungerBox serves more than 130 clients and manages 535 cafeterias’ in 24 cities around the country from corporates, educational institutions. Players from restaurant business and malls have felt the necessity to adopt HungerBox’s solution.
How are you equipping restaurants to combat the challenges of this crisis time?
A major focus has been on equipping our food partners & their teams with necessary training and monitoring tools to comply with Covid safety recommendations suggested by FSSAI & WHO. We have empowered the managers/supervisors with a digital tracking app to monitor the food preparation & dispatch process. Our in-house food safety team has created extensive online training modules in vernacular languages which can be readily used for training food handlers. We have also partnered with couple of NBFCs to financially support our vendors partners for working capital loans.
Which disinfectant do you recommend? Which touchpoint surfaces one should keep disinfecting?
Sodium hypochlorite (bleach / chlorine) may be used at a recommended concentration of 0.1% or 1,000ppm (1 part of 5% strength household bleach to 49 parts of water).
- Wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact surfaces dishware, utensils, food preparation surfaces, and beverage equipment after use.
- Frequently disinfect surfaces repeatedly touched by employees or customers such as door knobs, equipment handles, check-out counters, and grocery cart handles, etc.
- Frequently clean and disinfect floors, counters, and other facility access areas
Note: Cleaning should always start from the least soiled (cleanest) area to the most soiled (dirtiest) area in order to not spread the dirty to areas that are less soiled.
Are you following the norms of WHO and FSSAI wisely?
Hungerbox solution is based on FSSAI (Food Safety & Standards Authority of India) and WHO guidelines, and the GOI’s AarogyaSetu App to make cafeteria operations ‘COVID-19 safe.’ As part of the solution, kitchen operations based on prescribed FSSAI standards envelop raw material handling, food preparation, kitchen hygiene standards, and food transportation with 11 different records being maintained at HungerBox partner kitchens. These include several logs for sanitization, cooking temperature, cleaning checklists for premises, transport, etc. Once the food reaches clients’ cafeteria, the focus on stringent standards is maintained across areas such as food service & ordering, counter hygiene, café hygiene, and café monitoring.
Are your customers going hand in hand with digitalization and adapting this ‘New Normal’?
Transforming for digital has become a necessity norm to be adopted in the new normal. Our core business model has been to offer digital cafeterias from the very beginning. What we observed is that that having a fully functioning digital cafeterias were an option earlier, and now it’s become a necessity. The demand for our solution has increased. Second, the new normal has challenged us to be more technologically innovative.
What future aspects are you looking towards Health, safety and hygiene of the consumer?
We have always kept health, safety and hygiene factors as our top priority. Our solution brings the same to the table with the touch of technology. Our solution keeps a tab on congestion management, social distancing, hygiene of food entering the cafeterias and kitchen personnel serving the food with technology intervention. We also have contactless food dispensing platform and desk ordering in place.
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