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Our ‘takeaways’ from Takeaway Expo

Our ‘takeaways’ from Takeaway Expo

Exhibition season continues and yesterday we attended the combo show that includes Restaurant & Takeaway Expo. From our experience, there’s no other exhibition with such a huge speaker programme, so it was with comfortable shoes that we trotted between talks yesterday.

Our ‘takeaways’ from Takeaway Expo

Here we provide a roundup of the discussion.

The Key to Restaurant Delivery Excellence – Yuval Tori, Bringg

Naturally, Yuval’s primary focus was the introduction of Bringg to the audience. However, in the lead up to the product information he shared some interesting data, laying out the state of the delivery market and its future growth potential.

For instance, according to the NPD, delivery is up 73% in the last decade and is currently worth 4.2bn. Despite having already experienced huge growth, it’s not due to slow down yet. In fact, it is expected to grow another 17% in the next two years.

Yuval went on to compare the scaling of the industry to that of the cab market – driven by digital technologies, and the retail one, impacted by the emergence of Amazon. Online and mobile ordering, he said, will have a similar effect on the restaurant market.

The Future is FoodTech – Chris Fung, ex-CEO of Crussh

Chris kicked off by commenting how the the home delivery model is changing our relationship with food. Our interaction with what we eat is increasingly important – he pointed out – and it is why top restaurants are using technology to boost our other senses. The use of tinkling music, for example, has been shown to bring out the sweetness in food; we are moving towards a future where operators care how you remember and think back on the food that you’ve eaten with them.

After a run through of physical foods that have been adapted using technology (the Impossible Burger, CRISPR Kale and CBD Truffle Oil) – and with which he cooked up a possibly illegal steak tartare, he mentioned some of the brands he sees having the biggest impact on the market.

You can see each on the slide below and we recommend a good read around each and the innovations they are introducing, especially nutrifix, a brand we’re particularly taken with.


takeaway expo


Taking on the Digital Dining Revolution – Dave Benfield, First Data / Roland Butler, Bookatable by Michelin and Shadi Shahrokhi, Trak-Kit / FLOW Architech

With three very different panelists leading the talk, this was less of a debate and more of an agreement about where restaurants are going. Littered with interesting stats and facts we quickly heard Roland Butler’s expectations that operators will soon be using analytics to do everything from recognising customers to physically modifying the space of their restaurant.

In 10 years, he said, consumers will be used to being known and recognised when they walk into restaurants. We will all be more relaxed about our data and this will feed into changes including menu transparency; dishes will change more frequently and sourcing will be clear.

Dave Benfied suggested that we don’t need to look to the future to guess how payment technology will change, changes are happening now. What we will see more of is convenience in making our payments. He pointed to the motor industry as a prime example, explaining how car brands are starting to build ordering and payment functionality into dashboards.

Shadi Shahrokhi claimed you don’t have to be on the main high street to prosper and that foot-fall is becoming less important. Now, he argued, success is about loyalty and stopping people from going anywhere else. Core to this is ensuring that technology and the experience is ‘done right’.

Shadi finished by painting a future defined by a rapid delivery market, fed by drones. We will be living in cities of 4 million plus – real estate will be very expensive and consequently food and delivery will speed up. There will be less restaurant spaces and more communal catering spaces – think food halls with food that flies directly to your seat. Far-fetched? Maybe, but time will tell.

Creating differentiation within a crowded market – Michael Fern, Director at Edge

This was a talk for the designers, brand managers and marketers in the room, and an interesting look at the role of branding in a competitive playing field. In this case it was coffee, but the learnings could be applied to other verticals.

With the UK coffee marketing continuing to expand, and new stores opening at a rate of 3 per day (there are 23,000 in the country), it is crucial to create compelling reasons for customers to visit. These should go beyond a simple caffeine fix.

Consumers buy, people live – and for success, brands need to understand people’s lives, both in and out of store.

Big companies will continue to be big because they define expectations and provide reassurance – they make customers feel safe – like they know what they’re getting. It’s why so many of us turn to McDonald’s when we travel abroad, even if we wouldn’t when at home. At the same time, these big brands are fearful of and actively learn from smaller companies. Without independents introducing the Flat White a few years ago, the big chains wouldn’t be pushing it as their drink of the moment now!

To make sure your brand is hitting the right customers, Michael pointed out you first need to build personas and ask the following of your audience:

  • Where do you come from
  • What makes you different
  • What are you like as a person
  • What do you value
  • What do you fight for
  • What do you want to be remembered for/known for

He finished up with a few other tips for shops looking to strengthen their branding:

  • Saying messages without showing them doesn’t work – you need to elevate it with visuals/smells etc.
  • Excessive branding can be cheapening – less is more when managing brand perception.
  • Give your products a persona – help people understand what they were ordering and why
  • There’s no point looking at a rebrand without fresh staff training – look at their knowledge of the brand, the uniforms etc.

Most of all, remember that it’s not you versus your competitors, it’s you versus the world. Never underestimate that.

Have you been to Takeaway Expo? If so, share your thoughts with us via Twitter or LinkedIn now.

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