For the past two days, this year’s Restaurant Technology Live show chose to sport the hashtag #Hungry4growth on Twitter. The show certainly showcased this appetite for innovative dining tech, providing copious servings of gizmos and gadgets to satisfy the cravings of any foodservice tech-enthusiast.
Running alongside Restaurant Tech Live were, amongst others, sister shows Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo, Hotel Tech Live and Bar Tech Live.
We’ve seen the future, and it’s flexible foodservice
Speaking to Chris Stern FCSI, managing director of UK-based Stern Consultancy, he reveals his predictions about the future of foodservice. Currently working on projects with a range of diverse clients, including Microsoft and Northampton University, Stern explains the trend towards smaller, assorted catering options.
“Rather than a single, large restaurant right in the middle of a location, consumers are wanting more choice in the form of smaller, pop-up outlets,” says Stern.
“Catering strategy needs to be a fundamental part of building design,” he explains. “Considering this has great implications for staff wellbeing, engagement and productivity.”
Driving customer loyalty
Marcin Korowiecki, head of systems at high-street restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian, detailed his own experiences in modernising customer loyalty systems, and capitalising on the possibility of data capture to enhance customer experiences.
“We realised how much data we had, and how much we could do with it. But we didn’t really have the right channels to use that data. We had to start engaging our customers,” explains Koroweicki.
“The next step was defining ways of digital engagement, to actually engage with the public and make sure people feel close to Jamie Oliver and the restaurant. This linked to what systems we chose on the back-end, to make sure we can quickly process data to get feedback from customers for the right outcome.”
However, Koroweicki also recognised the implications of GDPR coming into play next year.
“With GDPR oncoming, we will have to develop ways to make use of these restrictions on data to maintain our high level of customer engagement,” says Koroweicki.
Amongst the other keynote speakers present at this year’s show were John Aizlewood, market growth officer at Pizza Hut, and Christopher Fung, former CEO at UK juice and healthy-eating bar Crussh.
To find out more about Restaurant Technology Live, visit: http://www.restauranttechlive.co.uk.