Category Archives: Catering Business
Why bother attending other shows when the Source Show 2019 offered “everything a food or hospitality business could want” all in one place! The show was held at the Westpoint venue in Exeter from 6 to 7 February. As the South West’s largest show of its kind, it has expanded by 35% over the past two years.
Source Show 2019 offered a range of products and services, from produce to furniture and innovative equipment as well as this year’s kitchen design trends and the most advanced business services. Visitors and exhibitors flocked to the show, not only from the South West, but from other parts of the UK and internationally.
The Source Show 2019 gave visitors the opportunity to discover quality local products with fascinating provenance stories and to meet passionate producers and knowledgeable suppliers face-to-face. This year was no disappointment with a spread of comparative tastings, networking opportunities and inspirational experiences; and a fair few new faces on the exhibition market.
The Newcomers’ area showcased new companies from the South West that have never exhibited at a trade show before. Exmoor Distillery is a small family run distillery located in the Somerset countryside. Here all products are distilled, bottled, labelled and distributed including the premium quality Northmoor Gin first launched in July 2018.
Just Desserts is an independent rural business delivering artisan cakes and slices to cafes, delicatessens, farm shops and outdoor caterers throughout Somerset and Devon. It uses organic flours, free range eggs and locally sourced ingredients.
The Wholesome Baker produces luxury, light and tasty pastries from a Master Baker with 35 years experience. There is the option of ready baked or ready to bake with all products freshly frozen to encapsulate the flavours. New for 2019 are gluten, sugar free and vegan product options.
Recipes for success were served up in the Demo Kitchen with advice, inspiration and culinary innovation on display. Students mingled with experts to create some mouth-watering menus. These included Cornish hake, celeriac and apple with a Somerset cider sauce from Sophie Kennard, South West Student/Apprentice Chef of the Year at Devon & Exeter College and The Swan, Bampton.
Overall South West Chef of the Year and South West Professional Chef of the Year, Tim Kendall countered this with a dish of duck with blackberry, celeriac and endive and John Dory, Jerusalem artichoke, jasmine and sorrel. There were also multiple talks, demonstrations and tastings of the nation’s favourite tipple, gin, as well as a pasty crimping competition and a butchery masterclass.
Next year’s show is already scheduled for 6-7 Feb 2020 and if this year is anything to go by, it will be a roaring success and bigger and better than ever before. For details on exhibiting and visiting, visit the Source Show website.
Here are some interesting facts that you may not know about the Great British pub industry. Not only are there 49,500 pubs in the UK but beer and pubs contribute £22bn to the UK’s GDP. They generate £13bn in tax revenue with the sector supporting around 900,000 jobs. At any given time, 0.7% of the world is drunk which makes 50 million people drunk right now!
Last week, Olympia played host to PUB19, the only dedicated show for the UK pub industry. With 200 exhibitors and a host of seminars, PUB19 offered an important opportunity to keep up-to-date with the latest trends, share ideas, network and gain inspiration. First launched in 2015 to celebrate the UK pub industry’s innovations, products, trends, services and people; PUB brings together key trade associations, decision makers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, pub owners and pub companies.
Pub19 Talks and Workshops
This year was a huge success, with great attention paid to the talks and workshops. These ranged from improving the pub experience, using social media and offering the latest in pub food trends. One talk that proved popular was entitled Profit is in the Kitchen held in the PUB Trends Bar, in partnership with Fever-Tree. It focused on making sure the kitchen is as profitable and efficient as possible to make food enticing, appetising and current.
Another insightful talk came from Tim Martin, veteran pub landlord and founder and chairman of Britain’s largest pub chain, J D Wetherspoon. Growth in the Face of Adversity shared his views on the recipe for success, deserting social media and the impact of Brexit. With uncertainty ahead, he motioned the changes that must be met whatever the outcome of the move.
The Taste Table was particularly popular. Tastings emerged as the most popular consumer experience for pub-goers according to the 2019 PUB Trends Survey. The hands-on sessions were aimed at those looking for advice, training and inspiration around great food and drink.
The sessions were targeted at keeping visitors up-to-date with the latest trends. They included tastings of alcohol free spirits, or distilled botanicals. This is one of the fastest growing segment of the entire drinks industry; with the value of alcohol free spirits sold in the UK growing from £17.5 million to £25.9 million in the year to June 2018. However, there was probably more attendance at the gin tasting event!
More Useful Facts
To end, here are a few more facts to digest: around 13 million tourists visit pubs every year. 82% of the beer sold in the UK is made in the UK. 20 million pints of beer are enjoyed every day brewed from the 1113 breweries operating in Britain. And my particular favourite: there is a cloud of alcohol in outer space which is enough to make four trillion-trillion drinks. Let it rain.
PUB20 is already in place for next February. So be sure you book the days to visit or exhibit well in advance.
The headlines are currently dominated by Brexit, the snowy weather, the great American stand-off and the Oscars. But what is making the headlines in the world of food and drink?
There is a greater call of allergen labelling following the death of a schoolgirl from an unlabelled baguette. Proposals unveiled by environment secretary Michael Gove would see all prepackaged food labelled to help the UK’s two million food allergy sufferers decide whether they can safely eat it.
There are celebrations down in Devon as a popular fish and chip shop has been crowned as the best chippy in the UK. Krispies Fish & Chips in Exmouth has “battered its way to the top” winning the coveted award as UK’s best fish and chip shop at the National Fish and Chip Awards 2019, organised by Seafish. Krispie’s is owned and operated by husband and wife team Kelly and Tim Barnes, offering “true excellence in the fish and chip industry” with factors such as “sustainability, menu innovation, catering for special dietary requirements, customer service and marketing activity” all part of the judging process.
It’s also been getting spicy down in Devon with the humble ketchup being the focus of attention. The South Devon Chilli Farm has been listening to market research and is giving fans their signature chilli twist to the UK’s favourite condiment. Three new delicious chilli ketchups – cool jalapeno, smoky chipotle and hot habanero –have been added to the range as an alternative to the tomato option. Presented in a smart glass bottle, the range is suitable for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets and contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives.
Over in Taunton, the newly-introduced ‘bleeding’ vegan burger has been a new year triumph for TGI Friday. The completely meat-free burger, which was one of the most talked about burgers in the USA last year, is high in protein and has zero cholesterol. As well as beetroot, which gives it the iconic bleed, the flame-grilled burger is made from coconut oil, mushrooms, herbs, plant proteins, and spices.
Terry McDowell, TGI Fridays’ head chef, said: “Friday’s flame-grilled, hand-crafted burgers are one of the most popular dishes on our menu and now everyone can enjoy their legendary taste, whether they are vegan, vegetarian, trying to cut down on meat, or anything in between!”
Over in Wales, the Welsh government has just published a consultation considering a range of proposals to encourage people to change their eating habits and be more active. As well as banning energy drinks to under-16s, other measures in the ‘Healthy Weight, Healthy Wales’ include “restrictions on the positioning of products in stores, restrictions on the amount of marketing of certain products in stores, restrictions on promotions and discounting of certain products in stores, mandatory calorie labelling for food purchased and eaten outside of the home.” If you want to be heard then respond to the consultation.
And staying in Wales, following the huge success of the inaugural event in in 2017, BlasCymru / TasteWales returns March 20 and 21 2019. The show will bring together buyers, producers and food industry professionals for this signature international food and drink trade event and conference, held once again at the world-class Celtic Manor Resort.
I’m sorry but this week we simply have to talk about Brexit planning.
Over the last two years the only thing that most people have been certain on with Brexit is that the day of departure is 29th March 2018. Now the politicians may this week, or next, attempt to change this but with 67 days to go, it makes sense to plan.
Good business planners look at any situation and attempt to work out the absolute worst scenario, the best scenario and the others in between. For UK catering businesses these vary widely, but most can find a sensible middle ground for their own business with a little thought now.
Shutting Up Shop
Option number 1 is that the situation on 29th March and the weeks that follow that the best option is to shut down for a month. This is an approach that a number of car manufacturers are taking such as BMW and its mini production in Oxford.
If you’re considering this option you conserve all your resources and then make an orderly grand re-opening in May. The positives may also include allowing you to do that refresh of paint that you’ve been putting off. The negative that there may be a trust or reputational hit to your business in your local area or those to whom you supply.
Whatever happens after over 40 years of increasingly integrated trade and an international focus on just in time delivery, delivery times will spin quickly out. If the Manston lorry trial in January proved anything it is we are still underprepared for the impact on freight. However the Brexit food packs of freeze dried ingredients is an overreaction the other way.
Big food manufacturers have been quietly stockpiling key ingredients for the last few months. This is why UK warehouse space is now almost at capacity. Time for regular catering businesses to consider:
- How many of your ingredients are locally grown and sourced. Over the last few years AC Services has showcased various regional providers to provide choice.
- The key word in the point above is grown. We often assume that we can just ask our supplier for x not thinking that x must come from abroad. With the extremes of weather, we have increasingly seen shortages of basic products like lettuces or potatoes. Time to ask yourself if I run out of vanilla pods what will I do?
- When did you last have your machinery serviced? Catering equipment is an international business so the part that is needed may have to be shipped from elsewhere in Europe. It’s a good idea to do this in February so you’re ready.
Brexit provides an opportunity for an event. Not least because it falls the same weekend as Mothering Sunday and the beginning of British Summer Time. We’ll leave the menu choices to your personal preferences. But whatever you do start thinking and planning now for March 29th to minimise the adverse hidden effects Brexit could have on your business this spring.
Rational UK enjoyed a steady year in 2018 despite the ramifications, as yet unknown, of Brexit and global economic uncertainty.
The amalgamation of the Rational combi-steamers and Frima VarioCookingCenter® units under the umbrella Rational brand has successfully operated for almost a year. It has done what it promised by providing a complete solution for kitchen requirements from a single, reliable and reputable source. Everyone involved in the merger has applauded its successful and seamless implementation.
In the meantime, Rational UK is continuing its physical presence across the country with many shows and exhibitions already booked for 2019.
Locations include The Professional Kitchen Show at the NEC Birmingham in January; the Source Show in Exeter in February; and Expowest in Cornwall in May. Rational UK will also be exhibiting at the Restaurant Show and the Takeaway Expo in London later in the year. It’s always good to stop by the stand and find out what’s new for Rational UK.
As with industry as a whole, Rational UK’s future plans will be influenced by the outcome of Brexit. As an authorised Spares Partner at AC Services, we are keeping a wary eye on what might be impacted when the March deadline arrives. Currently some parts are guaranteed to be shipped from Germany within 24 hours. But whether this will change post-Brexit remains to be seen. And if it does what that will stretch to in the short term is anybody’s guess. We are committed to trying to maintain our current high spares supply levels.
To avoid post-March delay and to help us gauge the increased stock levels needed, we recommend that services are booked now. We can then create suitable buffer stocks of high-demand items to continue to offer our customary seamless service to all our customers. In addition, we’ll know what has been replaced recently in our customers’ units and what might need replacing later in the year. We can include this in our stock calculations to minimise disruption.
AC Services Team Update
On a more personal level, we are happy to report an excellent 2018. Our personnel are key to our continuing growth. Denise returned last year after ten years to the role as Service Administrator. Carolyn has been in her role as Accounts Administrator for a year. Kelly returned from Maternity Leave last year.
At our Christmas Party held at the Egypt Mill, Nailsworth we celebrated Senior Engineer Jon working for AC Services for 20 years. Helen said “20 years’ service is a remarkable achievement in most industries. But particularly amongst catering business that have seen significant change over that time. I’m glad we have Jon’s professionalism, experience and dedication to rely on”
What can we look forward to in 2019? Not only is it an odd year which means neither Olympics or FIFA World Cup, there are major changes ahead politically, for good or for bad, who knows? But what is certain is that there is a full card of sporting events to keep everyone on their toes for the next twelve months including other World Cups. This year brings us to end of the first two decades of what some of us still refer to as the new century.
There are a number of key dates that should go in your diary: from 30 May, the World Cup Cricket will take place in England. For those who love the sound of leather on willow, it continues for two whole months followed by the Ashes between Australia and England.
Liverpool hosts the Netball World Cup in July and the women’s FA Cup final is in May. Towards the end of the year, the Rugby Union World Cup will be held in Japan and November see the Para-athletics World Championships in Dubai. Then it’s Christmas.
Month-by-month Sports Calendar
13-20: Snooker – Masters , London
13: Netball – Quad Series, Echo Arena Liverpool
14-27: Tennis – Australian Open, Melbourne
17: Basketball – NBA London Game
21-1 Feb: Para-alpine skiing , Slovenia and Italy
23-27: Cricket – West Indies v England, First Test, Barbados
25: Hockey – FIH Pro League, Spain
27: Basketball Cup finals , Birmingham
31 Jan-4 Feb: Cricket – West Indies v England , Second Test, Antigua
1: Rugby union, Six Nations and Women’s Six Nations
3: American football, Super Bowl 53, Atlanta, Georgia
5-17: Skiing World Championships, Sweden
16: Athletics – Indoor Grand Prix, Birmingham
23: Football, Women’s League Cup final
23 Squash World Championships, Chicago
25 Winter sports World Championships, Canada
3-10: Wheelchair curling, World Championship, Stirling
6-10: Badminton – All England Open Birmingham
8-10: Short track speed skating World Championships, Bulgaria
12-15: Horse racing, Cheltenham Festival
14-17: Para-cycling World Championships, Netherlands
16: Rugby union, Six Nations final weekend
16-24: Curling Women’s World Championship, Denmark
17: Formula 1, Season starts
19: Basketball, BBL Trophy final, Glasgow
22: Football Euro 2020 qualifying, England v Czech Republic, Wembley
25: Football Euro 2020 qualifying, Montenegro v England
30: Athletics World Cross-Country, Denmark
5-8: Cricket opening round, County Championship matches
6: Horse racing Grand National, Aintree
6-7: Football – FA Cup semi-finals, Wembley Stadium
7: Rowing – Boat Races, London
11-14: Golf – The Masters, Augusta
13: Boxing – Anthony Joshua, Wembley Stadium
14: Formula 1 – Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
16-21: Swimming – British Championships, Glasgow
20 Apr-6 May: Snooker – World Championship , Sheffield
21-28: Table tennis – World Championships, Hungary
28: Athletics, London Marathon
1: Football – Champions League semi-finals
2: Football – Europa League semi-finals
2-5: Cycling, Tour de Yorkshire
4: Football – Women’s FA Cup final, Wembley Stadium
15-19: Taekwondo – World Championships, Manchester
17-19: Diving – London World Series
18: Football – FA Cup final, Wembley Stadium
18: Football Women’s Champions League final, Budapest
25 May-7 June: Motorsport Isle of Man TT
26 May-9 June: Tennis – French Open, Paris
29: Football – Europa League final, Azerbaijan
30 May-15 July Cricket World Cup in England
30 May-2 June: Golf – US Women’s Open, South Carolina
1: Football – Champions League final, Spain
1: Rugby union – Premiership final, Twickenham
1-5: Equestrian Badminton Horse Trials
7 Jun-7 July: Football Women’s World Cup France
10-15: Cycling – Women’s Tour of Britain
14-16: Canoe slalom – World Cup series, London
15 June-13 July: Football – Africa Cup of Nations
15-16: Motorsport – Le Mans 24 Hours, France
17-23: Tennis – Queen’s Club Championships, London
20-23: Golf – Women’s PGA Championship, Hazeltine
23-30: Tennis Eastbourne International
1-14: Tennis Wimbledon
6-28: Cycling , Tour de France
7: Football – Women’s World Cup final, France
12-14: Formula 1 – British Grand Prix, Silverstone
14: Cricket – World Cup final, Lord’s
18-21: Golf – The Open, Royal Portrush
21: Netball – World Cup final
1-4: Golf – Women’s British Open, Woburn
1-5: Cricket – England v Australia Ashes Test Edgbaston
10: Football Premier League season starts
14: Football – Uefa Super Cup, Istanbul
25 Aug-1 Sept: Rowing – World Championships, Austria
25 Aug-1 Sept: Judo – World Championships Tokyo
26 Aug-9 Sept: Tennis – US Open New York
1: Cricket – Super League Finals Day Hove
7-15: Surfing – World Games Japan
8-15: Cycling – Tour of Britain
10: Football – Euro 2020 England v Kosovo, Wembley
13-15: Golf – Solheim Cup, Gleneagles
20 Sept-2 Nov: Rugby union – World Cup, Japan
21: Cricket – T20 Blast Finals Day, Edgbaston
4-13: Gymnastics – Artistic World Championships Stuttgart
6: Horse racing – Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Paris
2: Rugby union – World Cup final, Yokohama
7-15: Para-athletics – World Championships, Dubai
12-15: Golf – Presidents Cup, Melbourne
Month-by-month Non-Sports Key Dates
It looks like the weekend of 30th-31st March is destined to be an all-change weekend with tensions rising due to the clash of the clocks going forward and the risk of being late for Mother’s day lunch!
- 25th January, Burns Night
- 14th February, Valentines Day
- 1st March, St Davids Day
- 5th March, Pancake Day
- 17th March, St Patricks Day
- 29th March, Brexit Day
- 31st March, Mothers’ Day and BST begins
- 21st April, Easter Sunday
- 6th May, First day of Ramadam
- 4th June, Eid el fitr
- 16th June, Fathers’ Day
- 26th August, Late Summer Bank Holiday
- 27th October, British Summer Time ends
- 1st November, Start preparations for Christmas 2019
At AC Services Southern we look forward to helping you successfully cater for these events with well-serviced Rational appliances.
When does the party season start for you? And when does it finish? New Year’s Day? What’s on all the menus? Turkey? Goose? Beef? Vegan platters? These are all pressing decisions! And let’s not forget the most important one – is your Rational oven Christmas-ready?
For those in catering, the oven is the most important gift over the festive season. If it breaks down, no amount of batteries or prayers will put it right. And few will be willing to sacrifice their own Christmas spirit to rush over to fix it.
There you have it, best case scenario – Christmas dinner ruined. Worst case scenario – frustrated and angry diners, potential court cases and an establishment with a very bad reputation. For restaurants and eateries who are planning to serve sumptuous banquets on and before the day, this could be catastrophic.
There is a solution: get your oven serviced now. Don’t wait for December, call AC Services (Southern) and avoid any last minute rush. We can guarantee that up until Christmas Eve, our engineers will be working flat out to cope with the inevitable panicked last minute rush!
Moreover, why not consider setting up a regular contract so that you can have peace of mind that your oven is looked after all year round? We have a number of options that suit both budget and business.
Value for money
What will you get for your money? Typically engineers will sort any of those annoying little faults that can compromise performance, if left unchecked. We keep our vans fully stocked so we can deliver a fix on the first visit in more than 95% of call-outs whilst we are with you.
- function testing and commissioning of elements
- checking the operational mode of water, gas and electrical connections
- testing electrical components, gas specific parts and steam generation.
You don’t even have to fret about forgetting the date of your scheduled Rational oven service. Every customer who gets their oven serviced will be issued with a reminder the month before it is due next year. So there’s no reason for you to conveniently forget!
Finally, make sure that you have plenty of oven cleaning materials in stock. Rational Self-Cooking-Centers have automatic cleaning programmes built into their software. When used with the right cleaning materials you get cosmetic and hygienic cleanliness.
Be prepared and make sure your Rational oven is in working order for Christmas service. Call us now and we can calmly talk you through the options available on 01454 322 222. Then you’ll have peace of mind that the Christmas season will go ahead as planned.
We may moan about the cost of living and in particular, the cost of food but a report commissioned from data research company Euromonitor shows that in the UK, in fact, we are better off than most of the world.
On average, Britons spend 8% of their total household expenditure on food eaten at home. Only America and Singapore spend less. In context, Nigerians spend 59% of their household budget on food to be eaten at home with Greeks spending 16%.
What is more, UK food consumption is the cheapest in Western Europe at 8% less than the EU average. We are spending less on food than our grandparents ever did! While housing and leisure costs have doubled in the past 60 years, the amount of household income spent on food has more than halved.
Why is this? There are many reasons, notably technology, loyalty and discounters.
Constantly advancing technology has led to food production becoming more efficient with the mechanisation of farming and speeding up of production. Transportation, storage and distribution have also improved considerably. UK trade between other countries also plays a major role. The UK currently imports about half of all its food simply because it works out cheaper to do it that way.
Nowadays, people shop around. There is very little loyalty to brands or stores and large weekly shops have given way to more frequent shopping. Discounters such as Aldi and Lidl and Jack’s are also key to the shopping routine. The former two stores have 13% of the UK’s grocery market.
Are there any threats to this state of affairs? Of course there are. The weather is a variable as always. Take 2018 as a classic example. Huge storms (remember the Beast from the East?) followed by a summer of scorching heat have wreaked havoc on crops with increased prices in supermarkets. For example, between March and July the wholesale cost of carrots rose by 80% and wheat by 20%.
Then there is the reliance on imported food. Here we must mention Brexit which has already caused the fall of the pound against the euro and the dollar, and trade disputes. Marmitegate led to Tesco temporarily dropping Unilever products when the manufacturer increased its prices. An update on the sales of Vegemite over this period is currently not available.
According to Lord Price, Conservative trade minister, a no-deal Brexit will lead to “a pretty significant increase in the cost of fruit and veg, the cost of meat and the cost of dairy products“. We will see.
Finally, our global tastes and habits are changing. There is much more demand for fresh produce rather than processed food. The vegetarian/vegan movement is extremely popular and there are more calls for organic food. Countries like China (a massive population) are becoming more affluent and making different choices when it comes to food.
It seems that the low cost of food in the UK may not be long lasting. Manufacturers and food producers will have to keep their eyes and ears open. They will need to be amenable to diversification and innovation to keep prices as low as possible through the coming uncertainty of variables such as Brexit and the weather.
It barely seems any time at all since the last Restaurant Show but apparently, it has been a whole year. And last week, it returned to Olympia in London. The Restaurant Show 2018 incorporated The Bar and Pub Show and the Catering Equipment Expo.
These three brought the hospitality industry together. Catering for those owning, operating and working in restaurants, hotels, pub, bars and hospitality establishments across the UK.
As always, the event attracted hordes of visitors for companies showcasing their products. Seminar subjects were wide ranging. From digital storytelling: the secret ingredient for social media success to what’s next for casual dining and some strong advice on creating the ultimate cheeseboard!
Other topics included combining the art of hospitality with smarter technology and the influence of the fast-moving world of coffee as well as the importance of the correct background music to create exactly the right ambience.
National Chef of the Year
One of the highlights of the three-day event was the National Chef of the Year competition. This has been running since 1972 and has become one of the UK’s most respected and sought-after culinary titles.
The ceremony saw Kuba Winkowski, head chef from The Feathered Nest Inn crowned as the new National Chef of the Year. His menu included native lobster, oyster emulsion, Yorkshire grouse, quince, and sticky toffee dessert. The runner-up spot went to George Blogg, head chef at Gravetye Manor. With Derek Johnstone, head chef at Borthwick Castle taking third place in the dramatic cook-off.
The Catering Equipment Expo proved to be the place to get a great deal on the latest products. A range of catering equipment was on display, from cookers to fridges and those strange-looking but essential items that only a cook can recognise. Among the exhibitors was Rational displaying its SelfCooking Center and VarioCooking Centers.
Food Glorious Food
Food and drink, obviously were plentiful with over 400 suppliers exhibiting at this year’s event. New products included Drunken Dairy Ltd’s selection of booze-infused dairy and free-from ice creams and vegan sorbets. The Handmade Cake Company launched its Vegan Belgian Chocolate Cake, specially designed to be 100% vegan.
The Restaurant Show 2018 celebrated its 30th birthday with an abundance of products, seminars and events aimed at anyone involved in the catering industry. Visitors were delighted with the range of advice and new initiatives aimed at maintaining the restaurant industry’s standards in the modern world, with everything needed to sustain a successful business under one roof at Olympia.
Innovation has always been the catchword for this Show. Exhibitors, seminars, live demos and new features all showcase the latest in the food industry. Billed as the number one event for business growth and expansion in the food profession, the Show was well attended by a range of food and drink entrepreneurs striving for success.
The Show ranges from the food demo arena to the franchise area, where there were businesses opportunities for sale aplenty. From sustainability through to plant-based sustenance to plastic straws, it seemed there was no subject matter left unturned.
The Delivery Zone focused on the increasing demand for delivery with more restaurants providing this option to their customers. The zone highlighted the many suppliers of the transport to get food to the customer. It also included new packaging methods to keep the food safe along the way.
The Show had discussions touching on a variety of contemporary issues. Many of these featured advances in technology as a baseline. For instance, the discussion on how to leave better feedback at a restaurant brought up digital comment boxes, such as Blurtbox. This is an intuitive app that allows guests to log in and leave private, anonymous feedback. The restaurant can then respond to these in real time. The app is centred upon the massive impact of smartphone usage, which is perfect for the modern consumer.
One of the most interesting and modern issues featured street food. A street food trader was frustrated with the outdated process of finding a pitch so he founded StreetDots. This has resulted in a network of premium trading pitches or ‘dots’ to be booked via an app. The technology gives traders the freedom to trade with no long-term commitment.
Another seminar covered the way technology helps retain staff and customers, as what happens at the table is key to their satisfaction. Customers want their order to be taken quickly and accurately. Staff want to be equipped with technology that works quickly and efficiently making their jobs easier. The forum suggested many ways to improve the service, for example by centralising customer information, analytics and marketing database in one system. Or investing in intuitive touchscreen interfaces, making them easier for staff to use and which are less likely to cause problems for customers.
Technology and innovation were at the forefront of the Food Entrepreneur Show 2018, with ideas and advice on how to ensure that the catering industry is up to date with new ideas and techniques to keep up with modern demands from discerning customers.