By Asnah Anver
Hilton Colombo Residences launched a new and comprehensive website with online booking for its main restaurant, Flow last week (4 May).
The website ‘www.flow.lk’ is targeted at the discerning customer who opts to make restaurant reservations and enquiries via online channels rather than through conventional means.
Speaking at the launch event on the decision to upgrade the website, Assistant Manager Public Relations Minoli Senanayake stated: “We were able to understand our consumers, and saw that the trend of booking was likely to come from online channels. The website is a response to the customers who are more digital savvy and like to have the information at their fingertips.”
The website features tabs for Flow’s buffets (breakfast, lunch and dinner), Sunday brunch, and a la carte dining served at the all-day diner, with transparency in prices (which are inclusive of taxes), menus, and opening hours. Additionally, Flow’s exclusive fine dining ‘Chef’s Table’ has its own dedicated section on the website for enquiries and customisable menus.
A user-friendly online form enables the customer to choose between these dining options, specify the number of guests and list any special notes or requests among other details. Manager Marketing Thivanka Tennekoon presenting the new website, stated that a unique feature of the online form is that the customers can select the preferred seating section of the floor space as well. Seating options include the window section, private dining, and the main area of the restaurant.
Another key functionality of www.flow.lk is its comprehensive section detailing the on-going loyalty programs with Hilton Honours for dining and its weekend kids play area ‘Fun ‘n’ Play’. Under Hilton Honours, customers can avail 500 points for every $ 25 and 1,000 points for every $ 100 spent. The unique feature of this program is that these points can be redeemed at any of the 4,900 Hilton properties across 107 countries, or at the Hilton Honours shopping mall- an e-commerce website. The second loyalty programme, ‘Fun ‘n’ Play’ caters exclusively to children under 12 offering special discounts on birthdays and kid themed parties among others.
Customers who wish to have information online at the click of a button with minimal hassle can visit the ‘Events & Offers’ tab on the site for an update on existing credit card offers, dining promotions, and other events that are taking place. There is an option to sign up to receive email or SMS alerts on ongoing promotions at Flow as well.
The website also features a count of the number of customers and dishes served, working days active, expert reviews and a live Google map locating the restaurant. Further, there is a link to Trip Advisor, where customers can review their experience at Flow.
Speaking on the launch of the website, Food & Beverage Manager Priyal Wijesuriya commented that although the restaurant has been operating with an informative website thus far, the ability to make bookings with its newer features will make the website far more appealing to guests who need to have the information at hand in no time at all.
“Customers need their information to make a quick decision about where to dine; our website is transparent with published prices, reviews, and menus – making it that much easier to make restaurant bookings at Flow,” Wijesuriya commented.
General Manager Karim Schadlou spoke of the long journey behind the launch of the new website. “When we did the concept of Flow, we wanted to see how we could market Flow mainly in Colombo. So one of the campaigns we started was the flow.lk website.”
However, last year the decision was made to revamp www.flow.lk for something new, taking in consideration the market. Schadlou stated that a lot of thought went into the designing of the new website and its visuals. “I am very confident we have done a good job,” he asserted.
The website is live as of 1 May and is mobile friendly. “We wanted to make sure that it is very user friendly,” Schadlou added.
Launched in 2015, Flow has fast established itself as a destination for dining and entertaining corporate clients or hosting family. Schadlou reflecting on the journey stated, “Flow was a long time project that finally opened in July 2015.We are proud to say that we have really positioned Flow into the market.”
In 2015, $ 2.6 million was invested to convert the previous establishment, Union Bar and Grill, and build Flow from scratch. Schadlou stated that the restaurant has exceeded all expectations in terms of revenue and feedback from the customers. “It is for us a huge asset. We are very proud of what we have achieved as a team over the years.”
Flow’s specialties include its multi-cuisine menu which features Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and a range of Western cuisine, as well as its open kitchen concept and private dining area. The restaurant can accommodate 168 seats, which can be either near the window overlooking the busy streets of Colombo or tucked away in one of the three private dining rooms, one of which serves as the Chef’s Table.
The private dining rooms are ideal for groups of corporate lunch meetings, private dinner parties for family, or simply for a gathering of friends. Of the private dining rooms, the Chef’s Table can host up to 14 guests, while the other private dining rooms between 15-20 guests.
Flow’s open kitchens and bright and airy spaces make the restaurant ideal for friends, families, and corporate clients. The restaurant is headed by Executive Sous Chef Premila Fernando and his award-winning team.
Flow is located on the Ground Floor of Hilton Colombo Residences, Union Place, Colombo 02. Flow can be contacted via its social media site on Facebook as well as on 0-115-344-644.
This article originally appears on DailyFT.