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Digital Transformation: From a hospitality business to online retailer, how do you manage the change?The pandemic forced hospitality businesses to be more creative than ever, exploring new business models and in many cases revolutionising their online offering. In this session we take a look at some of the most innovative digital transformations in the industry - and what the future holds post-Covid.Chris Fletcher, Editor - Tech on toastSpeakersWilliam Connors, Director of IT Operations - PopeyesDub Lee, Systems Architect - Honest BurgersSteven Rolfe, Founder - pointOne EPoS
This week Chris talks to Allison Page, Founder & CPO of Seven Rooms.Allison Page is Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of SevenRooms, a data-driven operations, marketing and guest engagement platform that empowers hospitality operators to maximize revenue, build brand loyalty and enable personalized experiences. SevenRooms is venture-backed by Amazon, Comcast Ventures and Providence Strategic Growth, and has been named to Inc.'s annual list of Best Workplaces for 2020. The company's clients range from neighborhood restaurants to international, multi-concept hospitality groups including MGM Resorts, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Bloomin' Brands, Topgolf, Jumeirah Group, Wolfgang Puck and Live Nation. Since inception in 2011, Ms. Page has been responsible for driving product innovation, defining the company's product roadmap, vision and strategic positioning, and scaling the platform to over 250 cities worldwide. She holds more than a decade of experience as an entrepreneur in the hospitality industry; launching, building and commercializing high-growth technology platforms across global restaurant, hotel and entertainment brands. She brings knowledge in the areas of technology, guest experience, guest engagement, CRM, marketing, loyalty, data analytics and consumer trends. Prior to founding SevenRooms, Allison started her career in investment banking at Credit Suisse. She holds a bachelor's degree in Finance & Real Estate from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and was named one of Hospitality Technology's 2019 Top Women in Restaurant Technology. She currently sits on the boards of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and the Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at Cornell University.During the chat we discuss:Allison's career and her path to founding seven rooms?Tech in the hospitality industry? Are we getting the most out of what is on offer?How operators create a smoother guest experience across establishments by making use of the latest technology.How brands leverage guest data to create personalised experiences that improve guest satisfaction and customer service.How operators level up their marketing strategy to both on and off-premises Tune in each week to the Tech on Toast podcast.
This week Chris meets the people in pink! Yes, that's right the team from sunday.Elisabeth Osmont d'Amilly is our guest and Elisabeth is the UK General Manager for sunday.About sunday:sunday - which lets you scan a QR code, split the bill with friends, and tip with quick clicks - has netted over a million unique users and signed up over 1,500 venues. Restaurants signed up so far range from chains to Michelin-starred eateries. The app is founded by and made for restaurateurs and investors including Jeremy King of London's Corbin & King empire.The app says it will help restaurants struggling with the ongoing hospitality staffing crisis, as it gives a 10% faster table turnover on average, and encourages higher tipping.During the chat we discuss:Elisabeth's journey from Banking to Deliveroo and then as UK General Manager of sundayThe challenges facing the industry and how tech can helpsunday's mission for the future, speeding up the process of operations in the hospitality Her love for travelWhy there aren't enough women in leadership roles in techTune in next week for more tech talk!
This week Chris talks with Carmen Mallo, Founder of REMS Hospitality.About REMS,"The concept of market share is present globally in most sectors. We used market share widely during our time in the hotel industry. On joining a restaurant group, we quickly decided that restaurants would benefit from using market share strategically by learning more about their competitors. This is why we created REMS, to help restaurants understand their competitors with the same degree of accuracy present within other industries.We care about helping restaurants to increase their performance. We are well placed to deliver this by having the right people, the right team, and the right users with us on this journey."During this episode we talk about:Carmen's Journey from Spain to the UK. learning English at Nandos & staying away from Spanish people!!Her career stretched from hotels to the Ivy group.The leap from full-time work to her own project!How market share has shaped revenue growth in the hotel sector and soon will in casual diningProducing a comp set that gives an advantage to all operators by location, demographic & brandHow data will empower businesses moving forward to become even more strategic and encourage businesses not to waste money but more importantly drive revenueConvincing ops to open their mind and really look at the marketplace and understand what part of the market share they own.Carmen jumping around her local park and learning Parkour!Join us every week for another Tech story!
This week Chris Speaks to Carl Holloway, Co- Founder of Rotaready.Rotaready is an Award winning staff rota software. Developed for hospitality, leisure and retail, Rotaready helps you schedule rotas, optimise wage spend, record attendance and approve timesheets for payroll."We used to work in pubs, bars, hotels, shops, and theme parks. And managing rotas, holiday accrual and timesheets was our least favourite thing. It took hours — people were still dissatisfied with their shifts and we were forever wrestling with our wage bill.Some places had "market leading" rota software, but it was slow and clunky — so rotas were still done on Excel and holidays on paper.We believed there should be a better way, so in 2015 we built Rotaready. Version 1.0 could build rotas automatically, had free mobile apps, integrated out-of-the-box with other systems and crucially, it was fun to use.We've continually innovated since then, but we haven't forgotten our roots — our customers shape our vision and our roadmap. Whether you're in head office or on the shop floor, we're here for everyone."In this episode :Carl moves from the stable world of finance to the diverse Hospitality industryWe talk through how the pair grew their idea & how quite quickly the realisation of the size of the problem was they were trying to fix!Tech in the hospitality industryGrowing a start-up built on referrals with just one (brilliant) salesperson!How Cross fit has taught Carl a whole new set of skills!Join us next week for our next episode.
This week Chris talks to the fantastic Romain Baron, Founder of Tonyorder.comMore about Tonyorder below:"Exchange growth insights with world-class food, beverage and venue marketers. Join our private Slack community for advanced venue growth marketing so that you can ask questions, get feedback, and leverage the knowledge of all major restaurants, bars, ghost kitchens, and social venues"Romain has vast experience in building communities and has set his sights on encouraging growth & skillset for the hospitality marketing community...During the episode we discuss:How small brands with big stories will win in 2022That marketing that comes across as "shouting" will not work anymore!The need for a " safe space" for marketers to grow and learn from their peersHow learning never stops, tech has enhanced us all to share more and to belong to an online communityHow powerful the slack community is versus the WhatsApp communityHow the industry is full of brilliant marketers but they need a place to belongThat no one has that "lightbulb" moment, ideas are formed from the inspiration that you have consumed that leads into that idea.Social listening should be at the top of every founder's agenda!!We discuss lots more and Romain is great fun ...so tune in!
This week we have a special episode to celebrate International Women's Day with the fabulous Katy Moses, Founder of KAM.About KAM"Research and insight experts, providing the tools to understand your customer's journeys. Using consumer and operator research and insights to help identify the ways in which your business can improve.Whether your customer is the end consumer, an independent retailer or a hospitality operator, understanding and influencing the customer journey is vital to any business. Marketing (product, price, place, and promotions) and people (field sales, BDMs, front-line staff, etc.) are the core elements at play. Our research and insight tools and services are designed to help you better understand why, where, and how to create impactful and engaging customer journeys."During our Chat we discussed:Katy's background in media publishing and the formation of KAMHow insight has been influenced by Tech over the past 5 yearsHow online focus groups have opened up a new arena to gain insightWhy suppliers entering the hospitality need to utilise insight to ensure they land their offering correctly!Katy's opinion on Tech in Hospitality and who will win going forwardA/B testing ....where Chris really shows his age!!A certain bike ride coming up on the horizon.....And you can donate here:https://pedallingforpubs.org.uk/
This week Chris meets Roksolana Mykhailiuk , Digital Operations, Miss MilliesRoksolana was born and raised in Ukraine. Her family remain in Ukraine at this very hard time and we would be very grateful if you could spare anything to help families who are left behind and facing a very difficult situation, if you can help support them, please click the link below to support.Humanitarian aid for UkraineMore about Miss Millies:Miss Millie’s has been serving awesome chicken across the South West and Wales for over 30 years. But our roots in the fried chicken industry stretch back even further - to 1965 when our former Chairman, Harry Latham, set up KFC in the UK, alongside his partner Ray Allen. Harry then served as the Managing Director of KFC UK in the 1970’s before opening stores in 1988 in the South West under the Miss Millie’s brand.As Harry and his family were good friends with Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken, he decided to name the new operation after the Colonel’s daughter, Mildred. The family owned and ran the chain up until it was bought by new management in 2019. Today, Miss Millie’s has 11 branches across the UK in Bristol, Weston-Super-Mare, Yate Billericay and Walthamstow - with more to come!As Miss Millies enters an exciting new era, with a new look, new menu, new restaurants, and a new leadership team, we are perfectly placed to expand our awesome brand, whilst always remaining true to our heritage - Carl Traill, Managing Director.During the Chat we discuss:Her journey from Ukraine working in Hotels and startups to London working for a fine dine brand before joining Miss Millies and writing her own job description!The role of a digital operations manager and her role in Miss MilliesHow Roksolana approaches purchasing technology and the thorough process of testing that needs to be followed!How listening to feedback from the team helped build the Miss Millies app.Building trust with the board to implement tech & ensure that the decision-making can be made to support digital transformation.We talk about much more.The episode was recorded before recent events in Ukraine and all of us at Tech on Toast and I'm sure all of you reading send our love to Roksalana, her family and all affected by the ongoing crisis.
This week Chris managed to record a podcast in person!Chris meets Simon Drake, General Manager of The Other House.More about The Other House"A Residents’ Club effortlessly combining home comforts and apartment-style living with hotel facilities. You can stay for a day or a year – think hotel meets members club. It is cool, intriguing, bold, and committed to sustainability. With everything at your fingertips on The Other House app, make it your other house for as long as you are in town."During the Chat we discuss:Simon's background and how a shiny Bentley convinced him a career in Hospitality was for him!The background of The Other house, its ethos, and how they plan to disrupt the hospitality industry with their unique approachThe technology that will see guests gain total control of their stay, whether it be heat mapping the gym so you know when to visit or simply checking you in whilst you are en route.How the design and build of a completely brand new platform integrated into the property management system will transform the guest experience.Delivering on the guest's demands through a technology lens, therefore putting the guest in control for example setting the AC on their bedroom whilst travelling back from work, turning the lights on, and ordering your dinner through one of the well-known food aggregators.Offering bespoke housekeeping to the residents through "Housekeeping lite"  so you, the guest, can choose how much of this service you want during your stay.How working with Route B to design and build their new App has enabled them to find a complete end-to-end specialist which has enabled them to connect 42 API's to their property management system.And so much more, you can see Simon & Naomi talking at Rooms101 on 15th March. Not to be missed!
This week Chris talks to James Gilbert & James Goldsworthry from Punch Pubs.James Gilbert  Head of Insights, Projects & Strategy at Punch Pubs & Co & James Goldsworthy, Head of Digital & Creative at Punch Pubs & Co.Punch is a multi-award-winning pub company in the UK with around 1,250 pubs in England, Scotland and Wales.We have established a resilient and well-invested pub estate through selective acquisition and disposal, with our vision being to run the best community pubs, driven by passionate local partners and publicans via our specialist multi-model platform that delivers the optimum return.Diversifying our business models ensures that every pub asset is utilised in the best possible way which ensures further opportunities for organic growth in our Leased & Tenanted estate whilst investing significantly to develop our Management Partnerships portfolio.Our strong suburban presence, flexible food offers and extensive outdoor trading areas, has allowed us to manoeuvre the business into the right position.During the chat we cover :The pair's background and how they ended up in Punch.How their careers have been led by technological advancementsHow building their own in house order & pay tech was a value add to the business Managing the customer journey through their own roadmap & how they convinced the leadership team to manage in-house rather than buy an off-the-shelf solution.Acting on their key stakeholder's adviceHow technology is an enabler, it gives us permission to make forward movements.Managing data & how to use it Privacy of data How pubs are driving loyalty not through tech but through community and being a key part of it
This week Chris talks with Kim Teo, CEO & co-founder of Mr Yum.Born in Singapore, spending her teens and 20s in Australia and spending her time between LA, London, and Melbourne, Kim Teo was appointed Mr Yum CEO in 2018. Mr Yum is a mobile payments and growth platform that has revolutionised the way people order food and drinks at hospitality and entertainment venues and now has more than 13 million global users. A passionate advocate for women taking leadership roles in technology and business, bringing big ideas to life and creating a dynamic company culture is the energy that drives Kim and turns work into play. Having recently closed the company’s recent record-breaking funding round, which was Australia’s largest Series A for a female-led company, when not working on Mr Yum you’ll find Kim watching Australian Rules Football, at the gym, or visiting the latest Mr Yum hotspot. During the chat we discuss:• Kims journey and lessons learned along the way to growing Mr Yum• The lack of female CEO's in Tech and why that might be?• Growing a global team and giving autonomy.• How to grow adoption rates with your customers and their teams • Whether the industry is getting it right in terms of tech and the role both the suppliers and the operators have to play. • The values of Mr Yum and how Kim believes " running towards fire " is key to any business as it grows quickly• The difference between the markets in Australia and the UK• The latest developments in data and how we can empower the servers at the table to personalise the experience Tune in every week for your weekly fix of Tech on Toast.
This week Chris talks to John Mason, learning guru and founder of Sideways.Since moving to London from his native New Zealand John has been obsessed with learning after struggling with learning in the early years of his life.  John had no confidence when it came to his early years in work and still to this day John believes that peer-to-peer learning helped him, good people taking time to help him learn sales calls, talk to new clients, and basically deal with the world of work that school hadn't prepared him for.John believes that " everyone is good at something " and with all the technology at our fingertips now we should share what we are good at, sideways lets you do that.In this episode we cover :Why asking for help at work  is absolutely crucial Banking knowledge is key to ensuring when our mentor leaves a role we can still keep learning and growing.Giving permission to ask, allowing your people to ask questions and get the help that otherwise stunts personal and company growthHow video can be the key to learning How good content is crucial for encouraging younger learnersGood retention is directly linked to training.Learning created by the employee for the employee, learning how they want to learn NOT how our generation think they should learnPersonalised training, how matching existing content to peers can help the heroes teach their colleagues.Building a community around learning, The People collective.If you want to ask for help, John is available belowEmail: john@sideways.aiWeb: https://sideways.ai/Dedicated hospo site : sideways.ai/hospitality (coming in a week or two) Books mentioned :Give and Take - Why helping others shape our success. Adam Grant All you have to do is Ask. Wayne BakerThere are loads more...so tune in and come and meet John.
This week Chris chats to Angus Jackson, Co- Founder of Storekit.About Storekit, "Storekit is the easiest mobile ordering system for venues, designed to get your customers ordering more. We formally launched in 2021, although we’ve been working in hospitality software for a little while longer. We’re a team of 25, based in London, and ready to take on the world."In this episode we cover :Angus's background and the "pivot" that brought about StorekitRecognising that the "Shopify for Hospitality" didn't exist, so went about creating it!Recruiting a team of Hospitality people to speak the same language and support implementation with their customersEncouraging collaboration with suppliers to help speed up the integration processUsing digital ordering to benefit the customer, ensuring that speed is key in this frictionless experience and not " hijacking the checkout" with logos and grabbing data.Encouraging the operations team to be involved in the buying process of tech, whilst supporting marketing delivering the brand experience & explaining that the operational strategy has to sit alongside the digital strategy.we discuss that one of the evergreen problems tech cant fix is people and how the industry needs to keep this particular challenge at the top of the agenda!Tune in every week for more episodes from Tech on Toast
This week Chris talks to Tech connectors Eva Fayemi & Ruben Westmeijer from Bond Connect.About Bond Connect:The influencers that really count are micro-communities. The Bond Connect platform enables you to find and connect to a global network of qualified professionals and products in Hospitality and Travel Tech open to collaborate, share knowledge and support each other. There are 500+ people engaging on BC, connect with them and expand your network.The dynamic duo joins us from their base in Lisbon, Portugal and we talk all things Tech. Eva & Ruben work in the hospitality & travel tech sectors and share their insight on the following :Landing tech in  a hotel environment building a community around their productWhy using external consultants to help land your new purchase can be vital as the buying process is complex but so too is the initial period of adoption.Ensuring adoption and ROI on tech in hospitalityBuying specific SaaS models to focus on Niche operational issuesUsing Tech to support human performance, not diminish itThese guys are great and share the same passion as Tech on Toast, connecting people with technology. 2022 is all about working together and i for one am looking forward to our first European Tech on Toast brunch in Lisbon. 
This week chris talks to Dub Lee, Systems Architect at Honest Burger.Dub is a self-confessed tech nerd ( like me!) and has spent his career to date building systems that enhance and support company cultures 🔧.We had a fantastic discussion around all things tech and I started to understand why the team at Honest Burger is having so much success around their culture & people, its because they care deeply about how their people are communicated with & that they feel valued, and with 98% employee  engagement with their chosen tech they are getting a lot of things right,Now they are a brand hosting their own Tech Stack with its own API.Also in the episode we discuss :Workplace by META and how Honest are using this tech to drive engagement and how "bot" building is driving engagement Encouraging employee usage and listening to feedbackBuilding from scratch realising that not one size does actually fit all!Creating tech that fits company values Getting any iteration of their product into the user's hands and learning from their reactions.Where Dub got his name from!
This week Chris chats to William Connors, Director for IT operations at Popeyes.William has spent 30 years working within the restaurant industry and applied his technical and operational experience as a member of Ring International Holdings, working with Popeyes Louisiana Chicken and Burger King brands.We cover off in our chat  William's Specialties:• Quick & table service • Processes & controls • IT sourcing• Training & support • Social Marketing • IT project management• Wireless technology • EFT (credit card integration) • Inventory management • Delivery integration• AR menus • PCI compliance • Mobile ordering & paymentWilliam talks through his career to date, his views on operations accepting technology, and his thoughts on what's coming up next in the world of Hospitality technology.
This week chris talks with Neil Potts, co-founder of The Vurger Co. Neil, and his partner Rachel founded The Vurger Co on a trip to California. Having suffered from Crohnic stomach illness that couldn't be diagnosed Neil found his new diet was helping to relieve those issues.Whilst there was no plan to start the Vegan QSR brand they were inspired by the quality of the food they discovered in California and Neil by his own admission an avid meat eater was converted!Disillusioned by their own careers & turning 30... Neil talks about the feeling a lot of us may have had around feeling like a number & feeling like they weren't really having an impact, they decided to leave their jobs and go for it!A brand built on respect and high-quality product Neil talks about how they have learned many lessons along the way but mostly how they have tried to follow their own path and not get too distracted by what the rest of the industry is doing. After starting trading at events in the UK  The Vurger co soon had 3 physical sites. Neil & Rachel hope to continue to grow their business into the USA over the next 12 months ( when allowed to travel!) through their new condiment range which is already stocked across UK retailers.
Chris and Kieron talk with Craig Bunting the co-founder of Bear in the east midlands.Bear is so much more than a coffee shop or bar, it is a lifestyle brand built from a desire to positively  impact the high streets of the towns they are part of.In this episode the boys talk strategies for managing an emerging brand through a pandemic, spending time with loved ones without guilt and even touched on Adam Grants work on procrastination as Craig is a self proclaimed procrastinator of the highest order.This is an open and honest look at the life of a founder and a brand that he clearly loves, from the inception of Bear with Craig's co-founder and best friend Michael after a trip around Australia, making soup to serve in the shop despite having no love for soup to making good choices about the people you surround yourself with.We talk about the king of crowd funding Gary Usher at Elite Bistros and what the future holds for Bear, spoiler alert, it is very exciting!
Kieron is joined in discussion with SimoneRemoli to talk all things, Pasta Remoli, from walking the streets of Rome to work in kitchens as a young man to leading a chain of 6 six restaurants and a CPU today.Simone founded Pasta Remoli after working in amazing kitchens like Roka, Barafina, Quo Vadis and then to creating pasta for Aldo Zilli in Soho but opportunity knocked and Simone could never be described as a man who avoids a challenge, so Pasta Remoli was born in Westfield.Simone shares insights into how he has built his brand to six sites without external investment and what has made him decide to take it on board in 2021.We meet Simone's GM from his new opening in St Pancras,  whilst hearing about his passion to bring amazing food for great value to the people of London which he and his team had literally opened the doors to the day before we recorded this podcast, which meant we really appreciated Simone sharing his time with us.I am incredibly excited to try the pasta at Remoli, St Pancras is my station in London and I'm fed up with duff butty's, so a beautiful portion of fresh pasta prepared just for me, I can only see my train journeys home being much happier occasions.
In this special edition of The AFD, Chris and Kieron talked with David Robinson & Jacqueline Hollows from Beyond Business in the Green Room about mental well-being and strategies we can deploy to manage our own mental health and how we can impact those in our teams. After the session we agreed that we needed to share it on the podcast too, we felt it would be rude not to.Chris and Kieron shared their own personal experiences whilst talking about how strategies can be implemented and the impact that they can have when done so effectively. This is a really interesting discussion where we share leadership lessons and much moreDavid and Jacqueline's brand, Beyond Business offers organisations a deeper understanding of how the mind works to improved employee wellbeing, resilience, and performance.With the realisation of how we create our experience of life, we can navigate ourselves, circumstances, and situations with more clarity and ease.Unlike many corporate workshops on the market which are content-led, Beyond Business delivers insight-based programs that see transformational results for lasting change - from the inside out.When working with presence, individuals and teams will experience; reduced mental stress, improved wellbeing, better relationships, effortless creativity, and problem-solving, directly impacting business efficiency and results.Simply, when we feel better, we do better.Regardless of position within the organisation or personal circumstance, the impact of this understanding can be life-changing.Who Are Beyond Business?Jacqueline Hollows and David Robinson have joined forces to produce this powerful program. Having seen for themselves the impact that this understanding can have on business, on relationships, and on their own mental well-being both Jacqueline & David have gone on to provide workshops for a broad spectrum of people; teams, prisoners,ex-offenders, senior leaders, and entrepreneurs.
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