25 Mar 2014
Restaurants are no more merely reliable on calling for table booking and reservations. Sunny Goenka, Co-founder, Blynk, a restaurant and hotel app manufacturer company, talks about how these apps are helping restaurants gaining popularity without much relying on the online ordering sites.
What is the concept of ‘mobile friendly website’ by Blynk?
The Internet traffic from mobile devices has increased rapidly in the last few years. This shows that more and more people are visiting your websites from devices like smartphones and tablets. We see that most websites today do not render correctly on these devices. So, visitors immediately leave the website, which results in loss of business. ‘Mobile friendly websites’ are the latest technology in developing websites. The websites dynamically change the content depending on the screen size. So, no matter which device you are using to view your website, your website will display perfectly on that device.
What is the major benefit of using e-menus by a restaurant?
Restaurant business is a highly competitive business. Using e-menus is the latest buzz to create a sense of awe among customers. It is also easy to update the menu items as it is now digital. You don’t have to print the menus every time there is a change in price or if for one day, an item is out of stock.
For restaurants, another big advantage is that it allows customers to easily place home delivery orders. They no longer have to dial a number, shout out their order to the staff who can barely hear them in a noisy restaurant, thus avoiding ordering errors.
Please name some restaurants whose mobile apps have been prepared by you.
Most of our customers are hoteliers. So we have mainly developed restaurant apps for in-hotel restaurants like Madhuban Resorts, Anand and Whitefield Spoon and Royal Orchid Bangalore.
What is the cost of creating and maintaining a mobile app for a restaurant and hotel?
Besides the onetime setup fee, on an average it only costs Rs 3,000-10,000 per month. The cost is low as we do not develop individual apps since it is a platform.
What is the response of such an app in Indian F&B Industry?
We are pleasantly surprised that the Indian F&B industry is up-to-date with the use of technology in the industry. They are actively looking for such solutions just like their counterparts in western markets.
What is your motive behind launching such an app?
Since we are a product software company based out of India, we really wanted to capture the Indian market in spite of many well wishers advising us to focus on other markets.
Due to the confidence of our customers, we have a good revenue stream in place. Our aim is to strengthen our product by putting all our revenues in product development. Right now, we are more focused on product and market development and are not concerned with direct profits.
How do you customise your app?
There is customisation skin built in the platform itself. So for every app, we can easily change the business logo, backgrounds, images and content as per the demand of customers.
E menu apps help to get information of closing time of bar/wine and dinner. The hotelier can easily update the latest information in seconds.
(Image courtesy: Yourstory.in)
We are proud to announce that Blynk has been incubated at the Digital Media Zone, a joint venture between the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute Ltd., (BIL), Ryerson University of Toronto, Canada, Ryerson Futures Inc. (RFI), and Simon Fraser University.
It’s a big coincidence but we are excited of our new relationship with Canada because our first customer, Deerfoot Casino is also located in Calgary, Canada.
With support of our new partners, we are looking forward to focus on product development and increasing our market share globally.
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor-General of Canada (Blynk slide in background :)
Event covered in the press:
04 Mar 2014
We were reading the popular book ‘The Elephant Catchers: Key Lessons for Breakthrough Growth‘ written by the co-founder of one of India’s leading IT company Mindtree.
in the book, to our pleasant surprise, we came across the following case study of Marriott, which we would like to share with you.
Marriott International, a leader in the lodging industry, is exploring ways to use technology in order to optimize profit across its properties, increase the efficiency of its selling processes and enable delivery of impeccable service.
Marriott ‘mapped’ the stress levels of the typical traveller. The study revealed that when a guest leaves home, the individual’s stress level is high. When he or she reaches airport security, the stress level rises further, and then lowers as the person settles down inside the plane. It goes up again when the plane lands and during the wait at the baggage area, and expands, rises and falls from the time of boarding a taxi to the check-in line at the hotel reception. It reaches the lowest level when the guest finally crashes in the hotel bed.
Accordingly, Marriott focuses on the peak levels in the stress maps and looks for ways to use information technology to reduce the levels at the corresponding points of experience. In the future, Marriott’s guests may use an app in a handheld device to check into the hotel before arriving. On arrival they can proceed straight to the room, use their smart phone at the door to enter and, of course, they can order room service before reaching the hotel.
At Blynk, we could not explain our mission better than above. You can reduce your guests’ stress levels today by offering these services, with your white label app, powered by Blynk.
03 Oct 2013
Till now, we only supported plain text. You could not format the text like you are used to in Word. We have now upgraded the text box so you have the same powerful text formatting options like in any regular word editor.
Guests can click on a hyperlink within any article and directly open the website. So you can link your website pages, websites of local businesses (you can also charge them for clicks from your app) and so on. (See our earlier post on Hyperlinks).
Till now you could only have plain text. But now the app supports Rich Text. You can change the font, font size, colors, make your text bold, add bulleted lists. Make your text more readable and highlight important points in the article.
In the old version, we have 2 templates to show your beautiful property to the guests.
Picture – Text and Picture Gallery. In Picture – Text you can add an image and the image is placed by default first and the text follows. This template is still there. In the Picture Gallery template, which also is still there, you can show slideshows.
However now you can have greater control of how the images are visible. In the text template, you can embed images wherever you want in the article. This could be used in many powerful ways. For example, you can use this to add social media icons at the bottom of every article.
03 Oct 2013
We are excited to announce the release of new feature. All our customers will now receive powerful app usage analytic reports, powered by Google Analytics.
You will receive the report every month by email.
The report will give powerful data on app usage.
- Number of users
- Amount of time they spent
- Devices used
- Which pages the guests visited
From these reports, you can tweak the app content to further engage guests and to plan your in-app advertisements.
30 Aug 2013
Now there is an easier way to ensure that you do not miss guest requests to the new mobile number or email address that you have added in the Staff and Shift Master.
When adding a new staff or when changing an existing staff’s mobile number or email address, simply click on ‘Send Test Email’ or ‘Send Test SMS’ to test that this feature is working for the new mobile number or email address.
Missing guest requests is not an option, for you, or for us.
30 Aug 2013
For some types of content, PDF is better than images. Some examples are,
- multi page restaurant menu
- spa treatment menu
- hotel directory
- emergency contact details
We are happy to announce that you can now show PDF content to your guests by uploading PDF files in the Control Panel. Look for a new PDF template as highlighted in the screen above and add your PDF file.
30 Aug 2013
In the earlier version, in Amenities template, you could not set the location number of content within Amenities. We have now added this field as you can see in the below screen.
So now you can decide the order of the content by setting its location number. This is the same way like you do for other content in the Control Panel.
30 Aug 2013
Everyone hates to remember a new password. So now your hotel guests have an easier way to login to your app. They can simply login with their ‘last name’ as the username and their ‘room number’ as the password. This is the same method commonly used to login to hotel Wifi also in many hotels.
Some of our earlier customers continue to use the method of giving their guests, the unique Guest Password which is auto generated by the Control Panel. So your apps will also accept the older method of ’email address’ as username and the unique ‘Guest Password’ as password also.