Javier Campo, president of AECOC, and José María Rubio, president of FEHR were entrusted to inaugurate this Meeting Point for the industry, making a balance between the current economic situation and proposing challenges that the industry will face in the future.
The critical messages that emerged once this HORECA edition closed were the following:
The industry perceives that once it had hit rock-bottom, it has started to grow again and the prospects are encouraging.
In addition, opportunities are beginning to appear: the HORECA channel has been growing in the last 28 months and the expectation is that it will keep doing that.
There is a focus on addressing the “healthy” movement in the market. People are talking about eating right as a lifestyle, not as a diet or obligation.
Another element of value comes from achieving a Consumer Experience. The more personalized or different the experience is, the more the customer appreciates it; homogeneous customers are disappearing and this customer experience wants to have one main player.
Proximity and local elements are valued as they provide the best conditions for the consumer, both in the consumer aspects of time and having proximity and freshness.
One of the tools that will facilitate this delivery of greater value is Big Data. We are talking about a working model that demands a transformation process in companies. The key is not knowing what is happening, but why it is happening, and above all, to develop Models that allow us to anticipate change and make decisions and action plans.
Consumer moments multiply and are being supported by digitalization and the Omni-channel Consumer. Far from being a threat to restaurants, being able to have a gastronomic experience at home involves multiplying business opportunities.
The customer is informed, then buys, comments, recommends and values their purchase through digital devices. For them, the experience is not only a physical one, so a company’s digital strategy must be a source to take advantage of created opportunities.
Nevertheless, the key will be a company’s teams. It is the people that get things happening. Enriching this industry will happen because we know how to create a commitment within our teams and they are the ones that create the necessary daily added-value offer for customers.
Managing business operations is essential for efficiency, but empowerment must be provided to the people that can then generate this additional business.
In any industry, the processes are easily copied, and the same applies to our industry. Therefore, we must combine all of the above with a generous dose of innovation, understood not from the point of view that everything has to be revolutionary, but from the perspective that everything we do must be seen as likely to be done in another way, with another point of view, by someone different.
This Congress has helped us to reflect, share experiences, and above all, continue working to take advantages of opportunities because the future is very promising.