“Experience is king” at CGA Peach 2020


“Experience is king” at CGA Peach 2020

Cga peach 2020 awards

Last night, we were lucky enough to attend the CGA Peach 2020 Conference . As well as presenting the award for Brand XP, we heard a range of speakers from different sectors sharing their insight into the future of the industry.

Peter Martin , VP of CGA Peach, started the conference by addressing some of hospitality’s fears for 2017. Brexit and business rates are going to be the two big challenges over the next 12 months, and only half of business leaders are feeling optimistic. In the face of this uncertainty, it’s crucial to keep guests coming back.

Tom Bloxham of Urban Splash spoke next. He spoke about eating and drinking out as a “vital part of the regeneration of our towns and cities”. As more and more people choose to drink at home and get food delivered, pubs and cafes need to position themselves as hubs of the local community, encouraging people out of their houses and back to being guests.

New technology gets a lot of discussion time, so it was fascinating to hear Victoria Albrecht , Jason Hirst , and Marc Zornes turn the spotlight on new food technology for once. Sustainability concerns are going to shape the guest experience of the future, as environmental issues dictate how and what we eat. We tried a protein bar made from crickets, and it tasted better than it sounds.

Drinks trends are also an area hospitality operators are going to want to watch out for in 2017, said Phil Tate of CGA Strategy, as “the range of drinks is becoming a huge driver of choice and footfall”. With so much competition in the restaurant industry, every part of your guest experience needs to stand out from competitors, including the drinks you serve. Trends to look out for next year include healthier choices, artisan coffee, and micro-distilleries.

Tate also highlighted the impact drinks can have on the guest experience- “if a diner has had a good cocktail, they’re 40% more likely to enjoy the experience, and 21% more likely to revisit”.

Overall, it was very clear that guest expectations for hospitality operators are higher than ever. To stay ahead of their demands requires businesses to be evermore inventive, but, said Steve Holmes of the Azzurri group , staying relevant is hugely important. Tate summed up the future of the hospitality industry when he said that it’s a “marketplace where experience is king, because loyalty is obsolete”.

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