Maureen Gahan, Foodservice Specialist, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board
At the recent annual Internorga foodservice forum in Hamburg, a number of speakers referred to the ability of the hospitality industry to create what has been coined as “the third space”. After the home (first space) and the office (second space), the third space is a shared environment that inspires ‘togetherness’ and fosters community and innovation.
Although society is becoming more and more digital, as individuals, we still crave human interaction and the foodservice industry is ideally positioned to facilitate this interaction – ultimately becoming the ‘public living room’ of society.
Interesting that less than a week following the forum, Brew Dog UK unveiled ‘DeskDog’ – a new hot desking initiative – at four of its UK sites. Desks can be reserved online for anything from ½ an hour to the whole day. For as little as £7, customers will be able to enjoy unlimited coffee, free WIFI and a pint of Punk IPA (presumably to be consumed when work time is over!).
BrewDog’s new site in Paddington station, London opened it’s doors on 15th March and includes a dedicated DeskDog area with access to power outlets, a printer and stationary. A great example of staying ‘on-trend’ and thinking outside the box.
As pointed out recently by Donall O’Keeffe, CEO of the Dublin based Licenced Vintners Association, when operating in the hospitality industry, increased competition comes not just from other players within your own channel, but from all other players looking to access consumer’s discretionary income spend.
For F&B suppliers to this sector, it’s about understanding how today’s consumer is behaving and how your product portfolio can be part of a possible solution that meets their current need state.
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