the (APP) propriate technology for F&B BUSINESSES

In Guides & Idea, Solution Provider, Vol. 16

What’s the first thing you reach for upon waking up and the last thing you put down for the day? The SMARTPHONE. Most of us do it. We are attached to our gadgets. If that is how modern civilisation is evolving; it would be naive for businesses not to capitalise on it. One can probably find an app for almost anything all the way to downright ridiculous ones. Well, whatever it is, mobile apps are here to stay and are assisting the industry all around. The National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Culinary Forecast found 26% of its respondents agreeing that smartphone and tablet apps designed for consumer use would quickly be adopted. If we moved from pen and paper to desktops and software in operations; going mobile is a natural progression. Apps have been developed to simplify life particularly to give business owners the chance to be mobile whilst constantly on top of operations.

GOLDEN AGE OF CONSUMER EXPERIENCE
With competition opening their doors every other day, existing businesses recognise they need to reach their target audience at a quicker rate.

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Brand Yourself
Many brands have built their own app which allows users to order their food before arriving to the location, complete a delivery order on mobile as well as offer exclusive promotions via the app. This can encourage brand loyalty and even repeat purchase when the app icon on the phone screen is often within sight of the user because, remember “out of sight, out of mind”. Have a loyalty card? You know you have to integrate it into the app. We are a consumerist world and many of us have a stack of loyalty cards we’d rather not carry around so if everything is recorded on mobile, we’ll never forget!

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Hop On A Platform
If it is not feasible to develop a brand app, businesses can still offer perks through promotion apps that users can download and show the specific promotion at the selected restaurant. Can’t reach an eating spot? Food can now come to you with delivery apps bringing food establishments under one roof for users to easily access a wide range of options. A win-win where customers get to order food from their favourite restaurants or try something different every day without traveling while restaurants get a further reach without heavy investment. Even a transportation service provider has jumped on the bandwagon and created a combo app package for the mobile-savvy.

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Is your favourite question “where to eat?”The app developers know it all too well and thus came up with an app that lists all restaurants – by cuisine, by location or by budget. It gives you an indication of availability and narrows down the playing field for you according to the selected parametres. Much as apps can make a restaurant, to a certain extent, it also has the potential to break one. In the past, dissatisfied customers bring it up directly to the person-in-charge but now they take it public on social media. Alongside apps that allow users to rate and review an establishment, it becomes so important that communications are done with discretion; particularly when it comes to handling complaints – many outroars have ensued due to text exchanges that could have been misinterpreted.

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People Want Food Fast
We don’t have much time these days. That is why eating onthe-go has become our preferred lifestyle yet we still want to have the dining experience from time to time. To bridge the gap between arriving to a restaurant, parking, getting a seat to finally ordering; customers can order ahead and arrive about the time food is ready. Or use it especially for takeaway so your customers don’t have to wait for their food. Business owners can utilise third party apps that would usually take a commission from orders made through its app or use an individual module that integrates right into your website where customers make direct orders to. According to a user of ChowNow, “Life before ChowNow was very chaotic – we got a lot of phone calls, a lot of mistyped orders. So with ChowNow, the ability to see the order directly from the customer makes it so streamlined”.

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Apps For The Chefs
Remote cooking has already been made possible years ago with various professional cooking equipment where chefs only need to pre-program the menu and set the timer. This insight is now brought to home cooking (well, there’s no saying the pros cannot use it) through ANOVA Precision Cooker WI-FI. Essentially a device for cooking sous-vide, it can be placed inside any vessel
holding the water bath and will bring it to a precise temperature to cook the food placed inside a food-safe temperature bag. Now, all they need is an app and internet connectivity. The incorporation of Wi-fi allows greater freedom as users can use the ANOVA app and start cooking through the phone. An excellent addition given that sous-vide cooking may take a while due to its low temperature method so that your meal is ready when you get home.
www.anovaculinary.com

sp_article1_7IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO HOSPITALITY…
The first and foremost reason for this progressive foodservice industry lies in an essential human need that is to feel welcomed and special. Think about the times you were invited to a home for a meal; that experience certainly carves a memory. It is this feeling we look for when dining out and so it is the responsibility of food business owners to meet it.

Mise En Place the magazine was founded to be a platform for information sharing between professionals in the industry to existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. We always believed that a food business has a greater chance to go the long way with adequate planning and being sure of what works best for its individual operations. And as the world moves towards the digital sphere, the evolution continues and we will soon present the app – HOSPITALITY by Mise En Place.

An Encyclopedia For All Things Food & Business
• Forgot the difference between a brie and cheddar cheese? The app houses a library of most commonly used ingredients and will be continuously updated to include new discoveries.
• Fundamental recipes that provide the base for many items plus the occasional recipe contributed by our community of Chefs.
• Know your equipment before going to the shops. Products are categorised for easy searching.

A Place For The F&B Community
• Relevant associations can utilise the app to create their community and engage with its members on a singular platform.
• Project companies / Merchants / distributors of foodservice equipment and any other accessories can be easily contacted by customers.
• F&B business owners (end users) can utilise this app to reach out to merchants and associations and even each other for potential collaborations.

Build Your Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Every business needs to have its own SOP to ensure that operations are kept efficient, consistent and productive. Using HOSPITALITY by Mise En Place, you can customise and create your own SOP and have it with you for handy reference anytime.
** expected development for Phase 2

Everyone knows that the F&B industry is one that continuously changes, driven by human behaviour and our need for new experiences. However, the successful business is made by astute knowledge of both the technical aspects and the human touch. And HOSPITALITY by Mise En Place is set to bring a new dimension to how the industry view, access information and connect with people of various expertise. Be par t of a generation to operate your food business with a new dimension. The app will be available to download on iOS and Android platforms soon.

For more information and to sign up, visit us at:
www.hospitalitybymiseenplace.com

Eileen Chanthe (APP) propriate technology for F&B BUSINESSES