I have to confess that I came to Congress with great expectations and a special motivation, since after recent years with a rather pessimistic climate we are faced with data that begin to show a positive change in the hospitality sector in Spain.
I'm sure if we had done a study monitoring the most used words in previous editions, “crisis” It would be one of them for the first time this word has ceased to rule and has been replaced by others such as increase, people and illusion.
14 ° HORECA Congress AECOC which it was held on 1 Y 2 March at the Palacio de Congresos Campo de las Naciones in Madrid under the title “Beyond expectations” It has been a resounding success. Breaking attendance record with more than 500 participants and a fantastic cast of speakers who have been able to transmit the pulse of the sector through data, experiences, trends and especially great passion for this job.
Therefore I would like to share with my readers some of my findings, highlighting the 10 words in my judgment have been the most relevant.
The hotel and catering companies have created 250.000 jobs in the last two years, around a 20% the employment generated in Spain. HORECA channel that, after losing nearly 24% of its market during the crisis, carries 28 consecutive months of growth expectations continue this path of expansion, but perhaps in a more moderate form. We seem to have left behind a deep crisis, although there is still risk factors that may affect the confidence of the sector. We probably face a new decade of growth.
Low-Cost definitely the cycle seems to have ended, we face a customer that the price is still a very important variable, but for this Best price is the fair price. The client is able to assess the quality of service and product and pay more if the value contribution and that differential is justified.
Restaurants compete with each other, but mostly competing against leisure understood globally. The customer is king, It is hedonistic and seeks to be happy in their leisure time, the relationship is no longer value, It is pleasure for money, seeks differential experiences, experiences that have a large component of customization and are sharable. Restaurants must improve its value proposition with a differential offer customer surprise. “Food is the new religion”.
We face a very attentive customer “well being”, you need information about what you eat and you'll eat more often in restaurants and You want to eat well and natural, if I have to pay more for a healthy proposal. Restaurants become a key element of the new lifestyle of the customer who is increasingly consider health, the real taste of food and environmental care.
It is the new “palabro” emerged from the union of “Global+Local”. The client looks global and differentiating experiences but with local produce, of closeness and quality. Ultimately it is to introduce a local product within a global concept. Homogeneous markets are disappearing, customer segment is becoming smaller, We hardly see going back to large companies or restaurants with a concept unique product.
Thanks to new technologies the client has a greater opportunity to choose “when” Y “where” He wants to eat. The change is historic, customers go to restaurants but also restaurants are now customers. Moments of household consumption grow exponentially, we increasingly moments of leisure and work at home. Food or restaurants “high speed” allow through technology movement in the dining experience, the customer decides when and where you want to enjoy it.
E-commerce moved in Spain 2015 a record 20.000 millions of euros, increasing 20%. In the year 2015 more images have been shared online than in the entire history of humanity. The customer is much more digitized restaurants and experience is increasingly online components. Technology is an ally of the client that is part of everyday life. The challenge for the sector is to be able to manage this new customer requirement where digital is increasingly important by generating more traffic in establishments, improve customer communication through digital marketing strategies and ultimately expand the range of online services specialized in the sector.
8.- Big Data
Technological trail we all leave when we use different channels on the Internet grows and grows every second in this unstoppable process of digitalization of society. Big Data allows us to analyze these digital impacts in order to be able to anticipate movements or trends in both niche markets and specific customers. We have to digitally study the traceability of a customer to locate the major powers, those points where the customer makes the decision to buy a product.
Everything in the hotel is copyable, the differential factors are coming by technology and innovation with an impact on cost reduction or increased value contribution. Product innovation, process innovation, innovation or innovation management channels. We must find elements that improve our competitiveness and really bring that value that allows us to achieve differential advantages.
People are the center of everything, who they are on tour throughout the sector, what did you say Oscar Farinetti creator of one of the most revolutionary concepts in the world of hospitality and food “Eataly is the story of people”. Perhaps it is time to say loud and clear that the new cycle that begins in the Spanish hotel industry should focus on people, not only on customers, Also on suppliers, employees, manufacturers, restaurants, institutions. Behind all there are thousands of stories of people.
Finally I share this interview has made me Oscar Carrion de GastroUniversia on the main conclusions of the 14th Congress AECOC Horeca