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Earlier this month, we exhibited at the Casual Dining Show in London – the only UK trade show dedicated to the casual dining sector – featuring 200+ exhibitors and spanning two chock-full days of keynote speeches, panel sessions and networking opportunities.
And what are some of our key takeaways from the show?
It’s clear that the workforce remains one of the key talking points in the industry, highlighted by a session featuring Mark McCulloch. Mark is the driving force behind the Hospitality Rising campaign, of which Fourth is a supporter. On the panel, Mark explained what Hospitality Rising is and its goal to become the biggest recruitment drive the industry has ever seen, rivaling and mirroring strategies implemented by the British army and navy.
From a technology perspective, we found that operators are growing frustrated by the lack of integration opportunities across apps and solutions. Surprisingly, many services can’t currently integrate across platforms, leading to spiking costs and ease-of-use issues for businesses. This is an acutely felt problem in an environment where budgets are spiraling as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. Now is the time to move away from fragmented systems and incorporate fully functioning systems with as few touchpoints as possible.
Another key area of focus for operators continues to be smart decision-making in the supply chain. We spoke to several businesses who are simplifying their supply chain approach as much as possible, looking for solutions, like our inventory management tool, to alleviate ongoing problems with things like delivery, save on costs and drive efficiencies. This will continue to be a major trend into next year and beyond, as the sector deals with the fallout from the pandemic combined with the cost-of-living crisis and rocketing energy bills.
We had a great time exhibiting at this year’s Casual Dining Show and are already counting down the days to next year’s show. The next event on our radar is Restaurant & Bar Tech Live, taking place on 19-20 October at the ExCel in London – we’ll hopefully see you there!
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