Hospitality and catering experts take to the stage to tackle the industry’s future

This week’s Hotelympia is set to feature three brand new keynote stages, each focused on inspiring visitors through solution-based thinking from expert speakers and rising industry stars.

Hospitality Futures

This new feature stage is designed to deliver solutions to some of the burning questions surrounding the industry. With content curated and hosted by industry figureheads focused on driving change, Hospitality Futures is set to provide strategies and ideas for visitors to take back to their own places of work.

Future trends like Brexit, staff retention, guest experience, sustainability, the sugar tax, allergens and women in hospitality will be up for debate.

Giles Looker, co-owner of cocktail and bar consultants Soul Shakers, joins restaurant director of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mark Hastings, and Guillaume Marly, incoming managing director of London’s Hotel Cafe Royal, to discuss the ‘guest experience’ and help visitors uncover the secrets to profitable footfall while examining what the future of guest experiences might look like.

The very first government night czar, Amy Lamé, will talk about her task of preserving London’s thriving and highly important night-time economy, as well as being a principal female figure in hospitality, while three of the UK’s largest training and HR experts, People 1st, HIT Training and Pearson, will demonstrate how the apprenticeship levy — considered an unwanted tax by many —could significantly boost the bottom line.

Elsewhere, the British Hospitality Association will be presenting its own report, compiled in conjunction with KPMG, assessing the impact of Brexit on the hospitality sector, while the final day of Hotelympia is set to become ‘Women in Hospitality Day’, as the show marks International Women’s Day with a programme of content celebrating inspirational female talent, including the presentation of Hotelympia’s ‘Women in Hospitality 2020 Review’, an initiative aiming to achieve 33% female leadership roles in hospitality, travel and leisure by 2020.

The Launchpad

Innovative start-ups are the lifeblood of 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 be introducing to show visitors 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 make the jump into their own dream start-up.

The programme of 30-minute hustings will include the socially conscious online platform that works with environmentally-aware independent producers COLLECTIVfood; healthy kids’ jelly snack Naturelly; gourmet food delivery service Supper; bookings and comparison site for the country’s best street food caterers Feast It; creators of biologically-accurate food expiry indicator, Mimica and Deliveroo rival MealPal, among many others.

The Tech Innovation Stage

The Tech Innovation Stage presents the perfect opportunity for visitors to stay up to date with the latest hospitality technology, covering topics like innovations in mobile, social media, online reputation management and point of sale.

Founder of data house Yumpingo, Gary Goodman, will be introducing a ‘food intelligence platform’ crunching data for the benefit of the restaurant trade.

With patrons including Jamie’s Italian and Wagamama, the ‘one minute review’ customer survey comes with the bill on a branded device and captures all the vital details that polarised one- and five-star online reviews miss. Gary will be on hand to explain how the platform can work for other 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 developers 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, vice president — global technology development at McDonald’s to discuss the costs, the rewards and whether it is a help or hindrance to businesses.

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