Discover new technology at the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering show

21 February 2024 by
Discover new technology at the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering show

The Hotel, Restaurant and Catering show is returning to London's ExCeL, bursting with the latest equipment and technology launches. Clare Nicholls reports

The 2024 edition of the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering (HRC) sees the show become part of the Montgomery Group's new Food, Drink & Hospitality Week.

The event will encompass IFE Manufacturing, IFE and the Pub Show, as well as chef competition International Salon Culinaire, all being held on 25-27 March at ExCeL London.

As well as a showcase of industry innovation and networking opportunities, the event line-up will include debates, chef demos, panel discussions and new product pitches across 10 stages, as well as more than 100 live competitions taking place as part of International Salon Culinaire.

HRC will be a hub of new technology, so here we take a look at major suppliers in this field showcasing their latest launches.


Workforce management software specialist Bizimply will launch Bizimply Connect. The tool enables communication between operators' team members in real-time, on a company-wide, site-specific or one-to-one messaging basis. Operators can share weekly rotas with teams, ask for staff cover at short notice, update employees on company policies and marketing activities, or send tailored information to individuals, such as induction details for new joiners.


Dojo Bookings, the hospitality booking management system, will highlight the new features of its software. Dojo automatically assigns diners to specified tables and addresses no-shows via booking deposits and card-on-file features, with the latter being one of its latest additions. Another recently added feature will be ‘experiences', where restaurants can showcase unique dining features, such as tasting menus or afternoon tea, fully customisable by managers.


Payment solutions firm Elavon will demonstrate how its system can keep business payments secure and ensure they are paid into accounts the following day. Its team will use the show to keep hospitality operators up to date with regulatory changes and trends. Elavon's authorisation platforms can integrate with existing systems, as well as technical support.


The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) will showcase its own activities as well as those of its members. New to the show will be FEA's Light Equipment and Tableware pavilion, which will give visitors a chance to see the latest products FEA member companies are bringing to market. FEA is also running keynote sessions with experts on subjects including the Energy Technology List and the opportunities it offers; finding and choosing sustainable equipment; and how to choose the right options for servicing and maintaining equipment.


Fourth is continuing to evolve its artificial intelligence (AI)-driven workforce management platform, which aims to increase productivity and profitability for restaurants, pubs and hotels. It will highlight the launch of intelligent scheduling, an easier and more connected way of allocating shifts that uses AI forecasting to ensure teams are matched to demand, easily identifying optimal shift patterns and shift pooling to optimise teams across locations.

Franke Coffee Systems

Franke Coffee Systems is introducing BeyondTraditional, a new product that connects existing technologies with trends and customer demands. The Mytico coffee machine (pictured bottom), the first product line in the category, is a coffee solution that delivers Italian design on the outside and Franke's Swiss quality on the inside to produce consistent, barista-grade beverages.


The theme of Meiko's stand is helping caterers combat staff shortages. Meiko's dishwashing specialists will be on hand to explain how using design and ergonomics and clever use of accessories, such as tabling and sorting stations, is key to maximising productivity with minimal staff. Meiko will also unveil its M-iClean PF-S potwashing machine, which takes up less than 1 sq m of floorspace, plus the BioMaster Slim food waste recycling system for small and medium restaurants and catering businesses.


The latest additions to Planday's workforce management tool will be demonstrated at HRC. The system already schedules shifts for teams, tracks time and attendance, communicates with staff and manages skills and careers, but now also features enhanced time and attendance tracking, including punch-clock notifications, and a simplified absence set-up for managers and employees. Planday has also improved its existing integration with Xero accounting software, as well as integrations with point of sale system Clover and property management software Mews.


Cooking appliance specialist Rational's stand will feature live cooking demonstrations, showcasing the performance of iVario technology advanced bratt pans and iCombi Pro combi-steamers. In addition to Rational chefs, there will also be a line-up of special guests cooking in the arena. The company will feature its new cleaning system for iCombi Pro tabletop units, iCareSystem AutoDose, an integrated cleaning and reserve cartridge system offered as an option with selected iCombi Pro tabletop units.


Point of sale solution SumUp will be showing its new quick-service package. Businesses can be set up with a SumUp Kiosk, Point of Sale Pro, a Solo card reader and a kitchen display screen – solutions that can support all types of venues. SumUp Kiosk allows customers to order and pay, which can reduce queues by up to 50%, and the self-service terminal also suggests add-ons at checkouts, which can upsell orders by up to 35%.


Professional cooking solution manufacturer Unox will be introducing Optic.Cooking. Using the adaptive learning capabilities of AI, Optic.Cooking allows operators to insert a tray of food and the oven will visually recognise the contents and start the correct programme. This means users can cook a variety of dishes requiring different cooking times simultaneously. This optional accessory can be retrofitted to Cheftop-X and Bakertop-X ovens, which will also be on display.

Valentine and CuisinEquip

Equipment manufacturers Valentine and CuisinEquip are displaying the latest induction cooking technology from Locher and Berner, alongside models from the Valentine, Lightfry and Bottene portfolios. The new Berner Induction Table includes pan quality control, where the unit electronically assesses the quality of the pan and adapts the heat accordingly, and the latest Locher L227209 three-phase induction oven range has four 5kW individually controlled heat zones and a full-sized 1/1 GN electric oven.


Wrapmaster will be bringing its chef wrap system to HRC, demonstrating how the dispenser can wrap food in a sustainable and cost-effective way. Also on the stand will be the new Wrapmaster compostable cling film and Wrapmaster PE recyclable cling film to try out. Visitors can learn more about the brand's free kitchen trials and test the range, which includes the Wrapmaster 3000, Wrapmaster 4500, Wrapmaster Duo and the Wrapmaster Compact.

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