Top takeaways from CGA Peach 2020 Conference and Hero & Icon Awards


Top takeaways from CGA Peach 2020 Conference and Hero & Icon Awards

Peach 2020 conference

We recently enjoyed a valuable and insightful day attending and sponsoring the CGA Peach 2020 Conference and Hero & Icon Awards. Our top takeaways from a brilliant speaker lineup include:

Budget update

Kate Nicholls, CEO of the ALMR, discussed the implications of the recently announced budget for the hospitality industry. Positives included frozen alcohol duties, confidence that a deal on EU workers’ rights would be reached and a rise in personal tax allowance, while concerns included living wage increases and food security after Brexit.

Site-level culture

John Vincent, CEO and Co-Founder of ‘Naturally Fast Food’ chain and HGEM client LEON, shared wisdom gleaned from his own experiences in conversation with CGA’s Peter Martin, including the important of trust and delegation in hospitality businesses. As culture comes from site-level, he said, you cannot expect your general managers to be ‘slaves to Head Office'. He also warned on the risks of businesses over-innovating, losing site of other key aspects of hospitality in the process.

The year ahead

Phil Tate, CEO of CGA, took a look at ‘what’s coming down the track’ in 2018 – including the decline of loyalty and rise of experience, the influence of social media on venue choice, guests’ concerns around food sustainability and provenance, the role of technology in experiential dining and the increased demand for a personalised service.

Standing out from the crowd

Mark McCulloch of branding and marketing agency WE ARE Spectacular offered some pointers for effective social media marketing and how best to target users who spend an average of 220 minutes per day looking at their smartphones. His recommendations included ‘going micro’ on social media by using local geotagging or hashtags of specific ingredients, creating a strategy to incorporate voice technology, and always focusing on creating ‘thumb-stopping’ content to stand out from the crowd.

Disruptive food tech

Nadia El Hadery, CEO of food tech community YFood, introduced the entrepreneurs disrupting the food industry and improving food chain efficiency through innovative tech concepts. Vita Mojo, an HGEM client, were noted for their highly-personalised, tech-driven quick-service model, allowing guests to build meals from scratch to suit their nutritional needs.

Culture and optimism

Despite much discussion of the gloomy conditions surrounding the industry, Roger Wade - Founder of shipping container retail concept Boxpark – remained optimistic during the concluding panel discussion, reminding the audience of the importance of focusing on your own business during difficult economic times. Laura Harper-Hinton of all-day dining and coffee concept Caravan covered another hot topic of the day in the form of staff retention, emphasising the need for a great business culture to encourage team members to stay in roles long-term and deliver a return on training costs.

Hero & Icon Awards successes

A number of HGEM clients were honoured in this year’s Hero & Icon Awards, which followed the Peach 2020 conference. A big congratulations to:

  • wagamama – winners of ‘Most Admired Company or Brand’, ‘Best Company (50 sites plus)’
  • Dishoom – winners of ‘Best Concept’
  • Flat Iron – winners of ‘Breakthrough Brand’
  • Jeremy Roberts, Living Ventures – winner of ‘Industry Leader’
  • The Alchemist – winners of ‘Best Drinks Offer’

We'd also like to give a special mention to Wahaca, winners of the ‘Brand XP’ award, sponsored by HGEM. Congratulations to all at Wahaca and to Co-Founder Thomasina Miers, recipient of a prestigious industry Icon award.

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