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Highlights from the article in zonestartups.com

Blynk

Meet Sunny Goenka and Vishal Dokania, the twin founders of mobile hospitality software, Blynk. Both have past experiences in successful family businesses but were rubbing their heads to do something of their own in technology and thus, started Blynk.

Sunny has completed his engineering from the UK and has done MBA from SP Jain Institute, Mumbai. He has worked in his family business, Hemlines, which manufactures and exports merchandise to global retailers like Metro and Tchibo. He has extensive experience with web technologies, SaaS products and ERP implementations. Vishal has an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from University of Maryland, College Park and a MBA degree in Entrepreneurship from University of Missouri, Kansas City. He has worked as a software developer in the USA with Cerner Corporation and Sprint Nextel. Vishal moved to India in 2008 and has worked in his family’s interior furnishing and manufacturing business, Durian, which is a famous brand in India.

Their startup, Blynk, aims to revolutionize the interaction between hospitality industry and its guests by providing innovative mobile app solutions. It makes mobile apps for hotels and restaurants. Guests can explore the property, order services and access a host of powerful features. Vishal takes care of the technology and product development. Sunny heads business development.

Hospitality industry is at the forefront of providing self service solutions to their guests. They are looking for ways to directly connect with guests to provide a better service and to increase revenues. Blynk makes it easy for the hospitality industry to join this revolution by creating a powerful and branded platform apps for hotels and restaurants.

For instance, if you are an hotelier or restaurant owner, you can have your own branded app on the Apple and the Android app store, powered by Blynk. The app can be downloaded by your guests or you can use your own tablets in rooms or in the restaurant. The app has powerful features specifically for the hospitality industry. You can also directly change the app content from a web based control panel. There is more than what meets the eye! Blynk is powering apps of hotels from Canada to Thailand. At the moment they are powering more than 50 hotel apps and growing at a fast rate.

Some of their prestigious customers are Deerfoot Casino, Canada; The Park Group of Hotels, India; Charme Hotels, Netherlands; Tropical Garden Lounge, Thailand; Madhubhan Resorts, India.

They won the “Most Innovative Product” award at Travel & Tourism Fair (TTF), one of India’s largest travel trade fair. Currently, incubated at Zone Startups India, a joint venture between BSE, India and Ryerson University, Canada.

Read the Original article here.

Blog

Highlights from the article in restaurantindia.in


Sunny Goenka

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.

 

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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.

Read the complete article here.

 

Highlights from the article in restaurantindia.in

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So far, mobile applications have been used primarily as a source of information and feedback. But now there is an increased integration between different restaurant offerings with mobile platforms in the areas like customer loyalty, placing orders and making payments and also promotional activities etc. For instance, Chaayos, a restaurant serving tea, uses the popular web chat platform, ‘Whatsapp’ to take orders and customer feedback thereby making the process simpler and less intrusive for the customer. And the trend is bringing the customers closer to the restaurants.

Speaking on the trend, Vivek Kapoor, Managing Partner, Dineout shares, “We at Dineout have seen significant increase in our ordering numbers since we launched our App on IOS and Android. We are getting almost 30 percent traffic through our mobile channels only.”

What has prompted the trend?

Research says many restaurants and the online food ordering and table reservations websites are moving towards the platform called Electronic Reservation Book (ERB) and are integrating Point of Sale (POS) and Androids in their businesses.

Even few technology investments are no longer limited to just backend operational initiatives or POS systems. Restaurants are turning to technology investments that directly improve guest experience. Also online orders and reservation platforms are partnering with restaurants on ERB.

According to a recent international study by Technomic on ‘consumers facing technology’, consumers use integrated mobile technology into their dining experience especially if it speeds up the process of getting their meal or paying their bill.

Restaurants using such technologies

Hotels like Peninsula Grand, Mumbai is using ‘virtual menu’, an advance tech-menu which is available on the restaurant website and can be viewed on tablets, palmtops, smart phones from where the diners can have an access to the menu offered by the restaurant.”

On the other hand, Lite Bite Foods are implementing Airline Control Programme (ACP) in their company to streamline the entire sourcing, selling and indenting.

Pizza Corner, the pizza chain in India has recently introduced mobile app ‘Today’ through which customers can order Pizza on just a single click. The user-friendly application helps customer access single detail information. The application is currently available to all Android users and will soon be available on the IOS platform.

Who are the solution providers?

With growing demand of such apps, companies like Blynk and MyPref in India have created apps to find and order food by using mobile apps being downloaded free.

MyPref has introduced a new smartphone app allowing foodies to search and locate specific food items and the restaurants. MyPref makes the guesswork out of a specific menu by providing reviews for each dish. The app is available on Android and iOS smartphones and its download is free.

Speaking on the cost required to create and maintain a mobile food app, Sunny Goenka, Co-Founder, Blynk, says, “It costs almost Rs 3000- 5000 per month to create and maintain an app. We have developed a platform which lets us create branded customised app for restaurants within few days. The apps have features required specifically by the restaurants like home delivery, digital/virtual menus, social media interaction and much more.”

Even QSR chains like Dominos, Pizza Corner, Starbucks, McDonalds, and Dunkin’ Donuts have also created their own mobile app to make the online food business much simpler and easier.

Changing the payment gateway

There are now numerous POS platforms that leverage the iPhone and other mobile devices, including Android-powered smartphones and tablet computers like the iPad, so that restaurants can process payments in the field with a credit-card reader. The readers either attach to mobile devices of the operator’s choice or accept payment through mobile applications like Google Wallet.

Atchayam Foodbox, a Chennai based automated restaurant is also using mobile phones applications to make the payment gateway easier. The diners can pay through credit or debit card by switching to the POS platforms on their iPhone and smartphone devices.

Eric Ho, Founder, Yo Yo Noodles, says, “Mobile technology is definitely becoming increasingly popular. The ability to be able to place orders from a phone app is great. I feel that within 2-3 years, we will start to see this market grow more than ever before, now we are still in early stages and people are still in the stage of familiarizing with the whole concept.”

Read the complete article here.

Tylenol

 

Everyday we get news that one more hotel has started keeping tablets in rooms.

Today, it’s the InterContinental Los Angeles. As per this article in HotelChatter, they keep in every room, besides other first aid things, two Tylenol, two decongestants, 2 antacid relief tablets :)

Yes tablets can be these as well!

Highlights from the article in Hotel Managers Group Blog.

Using travel apps

Almost nothing stays the same forever. In the hotel business, you have to change if you want to keep up with the competition. In 2013, preferences of travelers may be different over whether it is better to have an Apple or an Android digital device. But, on one point, there is no argument at all. Travelers, all across the world, and right here in the United States, have become increasingly dependent on their mobile digital devices.

According to a combined study recently completed by travel marketing, research and consulting groups MMGY Global and the Harrison Group, the next generation of travelers has arrived. Results of the national survey entitled 2013 Portrait of Digital Travelers were released in August of 2013.

Key findings of the survey

1. Smartphone usage for planning and purchasing travel services has more than doubled from 23 percent in 2011, to 62 percent in 2013. That is a fractional increase of roughly 270 percent in just 2 years.

2. Tablet usage for planning and purchasing travel services has gone up six-fold from 2011 to 2013. In 2011, only 7 percent of households were using tablets for travel, while in 2013, the number surged to 42 percent.

3. Over 50 percent of the Digital Elite have children in their household, compared to only 37 percent of those who rely on more traditional methods to plan and book travel. This reflects that younger people tend to be more digitally connected, and even children of 10 or 12 years of age, get actively involved, through the internet, to help plan a family vacation.

4. Digital Elite travelers spend and do more than their not-so-well connected brethren of travelers in 2012.

• Total leisure trips: 4.1 vs. 3.8

• Weekend trips: 2.1 vs. 1.8

• Last-minute trips: 31 percent vs. 22 percent

• Spending: $4,988 vs. $3,812

Read the complete article here.

Flipboard Hotel Magazine

 

We are super excited to share that Blynk’s Hotel Magazine has become THE magazine for hoteliers. It is by far the number one magazine for hoteliers all over the world. In it, you will find the latest news and tips for hoteliers.

Read The Hotel Magazine on your Flipboard.

TheTechPanda300x100

 

At Blynk, we love reading about technology and one of our favourite websites is The TechPanda. So of course we are excited to share that they recently wrote an article about Blynk.

When wives meet, they chat sarees, kids and husbands. And more often than not, they insist the resisting husbands to meet up, atleast once. Vishal & Sunny’s wives were friends and managed a local charity. Upon their insistence, the husbands met, and the rest they say is history!

Blynk has found a need in niche hospitality segment and high end hotels would be definitely willing to have apps complement their premium service. A strong team and a definitive target market are Blynk team’s assets.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Blynk Hotel UI

So proud to announce that Blynk Hotel’s new user interface design gets profiled on one of the most respected UI design websites – Behance.

Check out more screenshots on Behance of our new UI here.

TTF Award

We are proud to announce that Blynk Hotel was awarded ‘The Most Innovative Product’ back-to-back at both TTF Ahmedabad and TTF’s 100th show at Mumbai.

We are proud that our lead designer, Dhanish Gajjar, was profiled in Creative Gaga magazine http://www.creativegaga.com/. We wish you a lot more recognition which you truly deserve. 

– Sunny Goenka, Co-Founder.


© 2013 Blynk Systems Pvt Ltd. All Rights Reserved.