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Contxto – Governments in Latin America are easing lockdowns as slowly and carefully as possible. Within that setting, there too are opportunities for startups. Colombian foodtech Entu is one such example.
Its platform works as a digital waiter that lets restaurant goers place their orders and pay their meals via WhatsApp. Because it can help reduce physical interactions, eating establishments are interested in Entu.
Correspondingly, it will launch in 15 restaurants in Colombia this week. Likewise, the startup has partnered with the Bars Association of Colombia (Asobares) to offer Entu’s services among its affiliated businesses.
Depending on the partnerships it forges, the foodtech may also expand into Spain, Mexico, and Peru.
Entu will be your waiter
When consumers take a seat at their table, they’ll find a QR code which they scan via WhatsApp. They’re then taken to a list of options where they can view a digital menu, order a meal, or even ask for the WiFi password. Entu’s virtual waiter also lets diners rate the joint and view promos.
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Since the tool works using WhatsApp, it saves diners from having to download another application they don’t really need.
For businesses, the data gathered from these digital interactions is also useful for decision-making.
Waiters will have to wait?
This tool certainly does help reduce person-to-person contact. Moreover, at first glance, it would appear it’s replacing restaurant servers. However, it does have its limitations.
Entu can’t actually bring your food to you. Likewise, if a user wants to talk to a waiter the tool also offers this option. After all, a bot can’t tell you which wine goes best with your meal.
But still… it is introducing a new eat-out solution. For users who’ve had bad experiences with waiters it will prove to be quite appealing. And while restaurant staff may slowly trickle back to work, a lower amount would be needed if these types of platforms are adopted full-time.
The tech displacing humans debate continues. In any case, I’d suggest some middle ground.
Let solutions like Entu handle remedial tasks like providing the WiFi password. Meanwhile, waiters and other customer service staff can focus on reaping more sales and making the dining experience a warm and enjoyable one—something bots still can’t beat.
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