Ahead of next month's Hotelympia we take a look at the three stages new to this year's show. Each is designed to inspire visitors with solutions-based thinking from expert speakers and industry stars
This stage aims to deliver solutions to some of the burning questions in the industry. With content organised and hosted by industry figureheads focused on driving change, the Hospitality Futures stage is designed to provide strategies and ideas for visitors to take back to their workplaces. Subjects like Brexit, staff retention, culinary medicine, guest experience, sustainability, the sugar tax, allergens, and women in hospitality will all be up for debate.
The guest experience may be a well-worn phrase, but nailing it can give the bottom line a real boost. Creating the right atmosphere means much more than design alone, taking in service, comfort, sensory stimulus and more. Giles Looker, co-owner of cocktail and bar consultancy Soulshakers, joins Mark Hastings, restaurant director of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and Guillaume Marly, incoming managing director of London's Hotel Café Royal, to help visitors uncover the secrets of profitable footfall while examining what the future of guest experience might look like.
Meanwhile, the British Hospitality Association will be presenting its own report, compiled in conjunction with KPMG, assessing the impact of Brexit on the hospitality sector. BHA employment policy adviser John Guthrie will be imparting details of the impact of any changes to immigration law, plus a 10-year suggested strategy for the industry as a whole.
The fourth and final day of Hotelympia â¨(8 March) marks International Women's Day with a programme celebrating female talent and furthering the conversation on women in the industry. In partnership with executive search giant Korn Ferry, Tea Colaianni will present Hotelympia's Women in Hospitality 2020 Review - an initiative that aims to achieve a 33% female share of leadership roles in the hospitality, travel and leisure sector by 2020.
Innovative startups are the lifeblood of â¨the hospitality industry, with many concepts quickly making the jump from kerbside to bricks and mortar, often via the very modern means of crowdfunding.
The Launchpad will feature some of the UK's most exciting new businesses and should prove a serious draw for buyers, the big beasts of finance and those looking to develop their own dream startup. The programme of 30-minute hustings will include, among many others:
- â¨CollectivFood, a socially conscious online platform that works with environmentally aware, independent producers
- â¨Naturelly, a healthy jelly snack for kids
- â¨Supper, the gourmet food delivery service
- â¨Feast It, the bookings and comparison site for street food caterers
- â¨Mimica, a developer of a biologically accurate food expiry indicator
- â¨MealPal, a Deliveroo rival
As part of Women in Hospitality day, Emily Roux will talk about her experience as a young female chef, being part of one of the world's most celebrated cooking dynasties, and how her profession is developing savvy new revenue streams. Great British Menu 2017 winner Pip Lacey will also be on hand to talk about her new solo venture, Hicce, which opens in the spring.
Tech Innovation Stage
In partnership with the association for financial, revenue and IT managers, HOSPA, the Tech Innovation Stage presents the perfect opportunity for visitors to stay up to date with the latest hospitality technology. It will cover topics such as innovation in mobile, social media, online reputation management and point of sale, and the latest in guest-room technology.
Gary Goodman, founder of data house Yumpingo, will be introducing a 'food intelligence platform' that crunches data for the benefit of the restaurant trade. Yumpingo is enabled via a restaurant-branded tablet that presents diners with the bill along with a 'one-minute review' customer survey; it promises to capture all the vital details that polarised one- and five-star online reviews miss. Patrons include Jamie's Italian and Wagamama, and Goodman will be on hand to explain how the platform can work for hospitality businesses.
With the online ordering phenomenon now extending from local kebab shops right through to famous fine-dining establishments, Stephen Minall, owner of brand developer Moving Food, sits down with Austen Bushrod, head of business development for Bunzl Catering Supplies, Bruce Isaacs, partner at Hospitality Management Solutions, Simon Blackbourne, co-founder and commercial director at Tahola, and Phil Le-Brun, global technology development vice president at McDonald's, to discuss the costs, the rewards, and whether online ordering is a help or hindrance to businesses.
Chief executive and founder of YFood, Nadia El Hadery, will explain how her business, 'the house of food tech' and the company behind London Food Tech Week, can bring investors, inventors, developers and the hospitality trade together. Peter Edwards, chief operating officer of Zonal Retail Data, will talk about managing the many frustrations operators and customers alike have with the â¨online review process.
You can preregister for the Hotelympia 2018 show, at London's ExCel, from 5-8 March, â¨at www.hotelympia.com
Hospitality trends for 2018
As well as being ever-present on stand 2820, The Caterer will hosting a panel of experts to explore the trends hitting hospitality in 2018.
As customers seek authentic experiences and brands that provide a point of difference, our panel will discuss how it's possible to personalise your offer and make sure you appeal to tomorrow's diners. Specialists from contract catering market leader Compass Group will debate the food trends likely to influence hospitality in 2018 and beyond, and explain how it's possible to tap into the spirit of the age and satisfy the rise of flexitarianism and a more ethical approach to eating. Join us at the Launchpad stage on Tuesday 6 March at 3pm.
- James Stagg (chair), deputy editor, The Caterer
- Mark Davies, head of insight, Compass Group â¨Louise Pilkington, marketing director, Compass Group
- Nick Vadis, culinary director, Compass Group
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