DI-FI Lab researchers
With 77% smartphone penetration across the GCC, the emergence of a new digital customer has pressured the food and beverage industry to stay relevant and for the outlets to keep a competitive edge.
GulfHost, a tradeshow and dedicated platform for hospitality and catering equipment solutions was held until September 20 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). From embracing social media to developing apps, it provided access to industry experts to discover the best technology solutions to stay ahead of competitors.
This year’s show also introduced “The Restaurant Development Conference”, powered by International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai and Middle East Food Forum. The conference provided practical insights into running a successful F&B business in the region, with core themes including marketing and growth in digital and the emerging role of social media.
“Technology is changing the way restaurants interact with their customers, with apps impacting operators’ topline and becoming an essential contributor to success. It has never been more important to embrace technology, particularly as the region’s digitally savvy population continues to grow. The adoption of smart technology, use of mobile apps, and social media to enhance guest experience is vital for long-term business success,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management (DWTC). “GulfHost is the ideal platform to learn how adapting to technology can result in success.”
While social media remains the key driver behind restaurant recommendations, with nearly two-thirds of social media users in the Middle East regularly using social networks to pick which outlet to visit.
Food applications have also been a major catalyst of change, according to KPMG. Consumers use their smartphones and food apps to find new restaurants, and read online reviews, with 40 per cent of respondents also buying meals through their device.
However, we at Social Aim reason that food apps are not necessarily the lead to follow for the restaurants, bars, and any other outlets part of the F&B industry. Here’s why:
According to a recent report issued by Localytics, nearly 1 in 4 people abandon mobile apps after only one use, This being said, it would totally make sense for F&B brands to develop chatbots instead of apps. TechCrunch even quotes the report by saying about mobile apps that “this is not a sustainable business model”.
That’s why we would rather encourage F&B companies to develop chatbots instead of apps: It seems to be the way of the future, when it comes to interacting with your customers. To understand why, you can check this article
And to get some examples of brands doing just that, you can click here