SPOTLIGHT BLOG

Sobering news of an unprecedented 6% rise in foodservice price inflation in March highlights the scale of the “costs” challenge confronting the hospitality industry in an uncertain post-Brexit UK. The latest edition of the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index, published in late April, reveals a dramatic rise in the price of fish and continued sugar, meat, cereal and vegetable inflation is at the root of spiralling costs of production facing food operators. According to the report in Propel’s Morning Briefing, “the inflation rate of 6.0% is substantially up on historical averages, and March prices were higher year-on-year in all ten sub-categories of the Foodservice Price Index measured by Prestige Purchasing […]

Anticipating the future today in a multi-disciplinary IT worldI read a quirky fun story the other day. Residents and businesses in Redwood City, California, and Washington DC are having food delivered to their doors, by robots. The two-foot tall six-wheeled machines weigh in about 40 pounds empty and travel at four miles per hour, just above walking speed. At the moment, the robots are accompanied by handlers but the aim is to have them operating solo once they’ve been thoroughly pavement-tested! Sounds like something out of a Sci-Fi movie but a robot delivering food is just one of numerous innovative ideas racing around an increasingly technology-savvy automated world. Hilton Hotels […]

Although we’re just over half-way through the year at the time of writing, 2017 has already seen two major technology stories grabbing the mainstream media’s headlines for all the wrong reasons. These stories can threaten our faith in technology yet at the same time we cannot really do effective business without fully embracing the controls the digital revolution has given us over the last five to ten years. Ransomware attacks are a truly global phenomenon, attacking vulnerable computer systems from the Ukraine to the USA to Australia (unfortunately, despite the chaos they cause, they will be with us for the foreseeable, until businesses and organisations ensure their software has all […]

Those of us involved in the hospitality technology sector were given a stark reminder of the thin line between success and failure when Propel Morning Briefing revealed loyalty app Droplet has closed. Owners Steffan Aquarone and Will Grant, admitted they had failed to build a profitable business and “never got to the scale to make Droplet viable as a profit-making business” despite the support of investors, tens of thousands of customers and hundreds of paying merchants. They are not the only ones who find it difficult to make developing apps pay dividends. Forbes technology writer Connie Guglielmo says only a minuscule 0.01% of consumer apps will actually be considered a […]

The forthcoming introduction of the national living wage on April Fool’s Day 2016, which pushes up the minimum hourly rate for workers aged 25 or over from £6.70 to £7.20, is no laughing matter for the hospitality sector. The industry is bracing itself for one of its biggest challenges in recent times. Several operators, including Whitbread, who owns Premier Inn and Costa Coffee, have gone on record saying they will have to increase some prices to accommodate the changes. A 3% higher wage bill hike  Whitbread is not alone. Surveys published last year by the Resolution Foundation and M&C Allegra Foodservice reveal around three quarters of hospitality operators feel labour […]