Ramada by Wyndham Colombo is a city hotel located just minutes from the Central Business District as well as entertainment, dining & shopping hotspots. It’s the perfect urban escape for business or leisure.
Partly spurred on to action by the tactical requirements in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown and social-distancing measures and partly motivated by strategic reasons, when Ramada Colombo took a serious look at the growing potential for online food ordering and decided to venture into it, they found a perfect eCommerce Solution Partner in ShopOnCloud.
The Foodservice & Hospitality Industry
The 94 room Ramada Colombo operates five restaurants namely Gardenia Coffeeshop, Alhambra Indian Restaurant, Oasis Lounge, The Secret Garden, and Baked, a patisserie. Thus, it belongs in the restaurant and takeaway industry or the broader foodservice & hospitality industry. This is one of the industries that suffered the brunt of the Covid-19 outbreak. But the restaurant industry was relatively quick to adapt itself to the seismic shift in its business landscape with the introduction of takeaway and home delivery operations driven by eCommerce.
Ramada by Wyndham Colombo
Ramada Colombo is a 94-key smart luxury city hotel that operates five restaurants, namely, The Gardenia Coffeeshop, Alhambra Indian Restaurant, Oasis Lounge, The Secret Garden, and Baked, a patisserie. Each of these restaurants serves an assortment of delicacies, which are widely known for their signature taste and quality. Of these, The Gardenia Coffeeshop is open all round the clock and offers a wide variety of local and international cuisine plus a separate Japanese Fusion Menu ‘Mizu’ that brings you many loved flavors of the Orient. Alhambra, one of the pioneering Indian restaurants in Colombo, has stood the test of time and continues to serve a delicious assortment of authentic North Indian Cuisine.
Ramada Colombo decided to launch an online shop selling cuisine from The Gardenia Coffeeshop and Alhambra Indian restaurant where their patrons and prospective customers could place their takeaway and home delivery orders online. They wanted it to be efficient, versatile, scalable, user-friendly, and simple without a tough learning curve both on the front-end for customers and on the backend for their staff who’d process the orders and see to the fulfillment of each online order received by them.
The foodservice and hospitality industries were some of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic and the spate of public health regulations it prompted. Also, the meals are perishable products with a very short shelf-life, and they would therefore have to be sold and delivered quickly before they grew cold, flavorless, or worse, stale. The delivery people would have to take enough caution to make sure that the food wouldn’t be contaminated or otherwise tampered with. It would require packaging that could withstand the rigors of transportation across the rough terrain. And then they had to confront the possibility of the transmission of the dreadful virus through food packaging or through the food itself if contaminated.
The Challenges Faced by the Client
The client faced all the industry challenges described above. Plus, it would have to have a branded online shop and then make sure its patrons and prospective customers would discover it online. They had to find a reliable and efficient delivery partner and then charge customers for delivery too which would increase the price of meals. Then, they would have to estimate a given day’s demand for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for a while until the online sales grew steady and more predictable. Then they had to install staff and set up processes to see to the online order fulfillment. Since the online shop was a complete novelty for them, they would face an important learning curve.
With a comprehensive understanding of the client’s requirements and problems, ShopOnCloud embarked on developing a feasible eCommerce solution for Ramada Colombo. The SoC team closely collaborated with the client’s representatives throughout the development process. The expertise of the SoC team in the development of practical eCommerce Solutions and the flexibility and versatility of the SoC platform proved vital to arriving at the final solution. It took some custom developments to fit their unique requirements. Not only did it fulfill the client’s highest expectations, but it also delighted the client.