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The Fork brings together 6 greats of Spanish gastronomy to analyze the present and future of the hospitality industry, a few days after the introduction of the MICHELIN Guide 2021

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  • Covid Initiatives such as "Let's Save Our Restaurants" and "Let's Go Back to Restaurants" from ElTenedor are, for professionals in the sector, some of them have helped the most with restoration since the start of COVID-19
  • Digitization is positioned as a key element to reinvent the future of the hospitality industry and maximize business profitability
  • ElTenedor, As MICHELIN's exclusive global booking partner, you will be present at the Guide presentation gala 2021, that can be followed online on 14 December at 8:00 p.m.

He 14 March 2020 more of 300.000 restaurants were forced to lower their blinds for months, fear and unease gripped the industry. The hospitality industry has been one of the sectors that has suffered the most from the impact of COVID-19 and, as well, one of the most evolving in recent months due to digitization and business reinvention. As exclusive global booking partner of the MICHELIN Guide and on the verge of knowing which restaurants will be awarded this year by the prestigious guide, ElTenedor launches "Cooking change" a short that brings together great figures of our gastronomy to analyze the past, present and future of the catering sector in the face of this unlikely situation. The short can be enjoyed at the ElTenedor Youtube channel.

A table composed of Francis Paniego (Chef and owner of Portal de Echaurren), Miriam Martinez (Director and Owner of Cenador de Amos), Romain Fornel (Chef and Owner of Grupo Gout Rouge), Carlos Maldonado (Chef and owner of Raíces), Iñigo Urrechu (Chef and owner of Grupo Urrechu) Y Mikel Lz. From Viñaspre (General Manager of Grupo Sagardi), in which these greats of our gastronomy share how they experienced the closure of their restaurants, the solidarity initiatives of the union, the importance of adapting and reinventing oneself through digitization with management tools such as ElTenedor and its future prospects in a context, how much less, uncertain.

This meeting takes place a few days after the MICHELIN Guide is presented in Madrid 2021, in which TheFork, as exclusive global online booking partner, will be present. The industry looks forward to tonight's arrival every year, and this year especially, as it represents the recognition of a job well done by restorers. The gala can be followed online on Monday 14 December at 8:00 p.m. from the web galaguia.michelin.es

Initiatives that marked a before and after in confinement

During the months in which the state of alarm was in force in our country, the hospitality industry had to reinvent itself to keep going. Many restaurants opted for the delivery as an alternative to keep your business active. Others They did not hesitate to launch into solidarity initiatives and cook for those who needed it most, was the case of chef Romain Fornel: “Families with few resources were having trouble paying for food and we decided to help them by preparing meals for two and a half months.. We put together several restaurants and serve some 60.000 foods.

It is where I have realized that this guild is fantastic”. And it is that the solidarity of the sector was noted, and a lot, This is how Íñigo Urrechu points out “From a sector that was almost ruined, still and everything helped ". Y, Of course, almost everyone tried to keep in touch with their customers through social media, cooking live or sharing recipes, they wanted to be near the diners.

And among these initiatives there was one that especially helped the sector "Let's Save Our Restaurants". An initiative launched by ElTenedor, in a completely altruistic way, and that it allowed restaurants to offer "prepaid bonuses" so that they could stay afloat and have income during the closure of their establishments. This campaign was a success and managed to raise about 500.000 euros for the sector, but it was not just financial aid, it was also a moral support. With each voucher, the guests left messages of encouragement and support for the restaurants, something that chef Carlos Maldonado remembers very well: "After a reform, we had planned to inaugurate the 19 of March, but the day 14 we were forced to close. Nevertheless, thanks to platforms like ElTenedor, people could do their part to give us a cable. Well thanks to that, we could save ourselves, both financially and mentally, because you felt the support of the people ".

A reopening with restrictions and more digital than ever

After months of uncertainty, finally the moment of de-escalation arrived, where security measures marked the daily life of Spanish diners and hoteliers. Consumption habits had to adapt: table separation, capacity control, group limitation, terrace extensions (what, indisputably, they were the protagonists of the summer), among others. If something especially marked those months of de-escalation it was, definitely, the strong digitization that the sector had to experience, adapting to new payment methods, create digital menus with QR codes or decorate your room using digital plans. Definitely, the digitization of the hospitality industry accelerated and restaurants had to start living together, even more if possible, with new technologies.

To make it a little more bearable, ElTenedor provided tools to help hospitality adapt to the “new normal” in an easy and effective way. It launched a new version of its PRO management software with new functions fully adapted to the context and with specific functions to manage capacity, room plan and safety distance, etc. further, offered a new tool takeaway free for collaborating restaurants to continue maximizing their kitchens during restrictions. The professionals themselves recognize that what they are demanding the most are tools that adapt to their needs and professionalization in the field of management, as Mikel Lz points out. Viñaspre of the Sagardi Group: “Professionalization in the field of management has often been the latest. Before we pulled the thread of claiming the product and others, but that has to have a back of the house "

And let's not forget about safety, diners increasingly concerned about contagions, They found in the ElTenedor app a place to check the measures applied by each restaurant and where to choose where to sit to feel safer. Building a line of trust with the customer is now more important than ever.

Nevertheless, one of the issues that most concerned restaurant owners was how to refill their tables. This is where the initiative "Let's go back to the restaurants" played a determining role for many establishments. A global initiative promoted by ElTenedor in more than 20 countries and that mobilized millions of diners, with the sole objective of reactivating consumption and the sector. For more than 2 months of 10.000 restaurants in the world (1.600 in Spain) they offered discounts from 50%, bringing gastronomy back to diners who have seen their budget shrink due to the crisis.

further, This movement had the support of the MICHELIN Guide and numerous restaurants present in the Guide participated offering unique experiences "MICHELIN Specials" (exclusive menus, tastings, visits to wineries ... etc). Definitely, an initiative that hoteliers value very positively as chef Romain Fornel comments "By doing this, ElTenedor brings security to the clientele because they have a wide portfolio of restaurants ”and Íñigo Urrechu Add what "These initiatives are being very positive for the sector".

And now that? Reinventing the future of hospitality

Despite the fact that more than 90% of restaurants claim to have a presence on social networks and the internet, They continue to use paper reservation books and only some of them now digitally manage their in-door premises (Reservations, providers, occupancy management, taking orders, menus, Payments…). It is time for the hospitality industry to take the great leap towards global digitization to maximize the profitability of its business.

The restrictions, Today, They have not finished and the population is more aware than ever of the disease, which makes them also demand, and at the same time value, that the establishments they visit, be safer, more adapted to the measurements and, Of course, more digitized than ever.

In this situation, ElTenedor continues to be a fundamental pillar for the digitization of the industry that it has been accompanying almost 15 years. Continue to actively listen to restaurants and diners, seeing how to continue helping them and providing them with all the tools, within reach, to adapt to this new reality. As a result of this constant listening, his latest innovation was born, TheFork Pay, a new form of digital payment that allows users to pay directly from the app, no need for contact.

This payment system will help restaurants to be more efficient, reduce waiting and service times, thus optimizing the rotation of the tables. further, in a context like the one we live in, still affected by COVID-19, The security of your transactions will be enhanced and your customers will feel much more relaxed by being able to pay without the need for contact.

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.

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