Hospitality Industry

The future of the Food Service Industry

Episode 1- Series - 1

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With revenue in the Food and Beverage industry expected to generate 76,467 million USD, those interested in entering this area of the hospitality sector have the potential to set themselves up for success. We sat down with Philipp Blaser, 2006 graduate from EHL, to discuss his thriving career in the industry, gain his insight on important trends he sees, and learn more about what graduates today can do to set themselves up for success after graduation.

Trends in F&B

How is data being used in F&B, in your daily decision making or even strategic decisions?

Although, F&B is a lot of soft skills and charm, it ultimately is a business. So, we need to look and balance to the two. We’re looking at restaurant revenue management which is actually learning from our peers in the rooms division. Overall, we are looking at F&B as a business: Meal periods, RevPASH, how we manage our inventory. Seamless integration of purchasing systems all the way through to the POS (point-of-sale) is an example, so you can get the data on menu engineering on the tip of your fingers, as well as manage your actual versus potential costs.

What is the potential of healthy dining in the hotel industry?

Huge. We have been doing this for years already. We just don’t publicize it because we don’t do it as a blanket; we do it individually. I can give you an example: Our hotel at Landaa Giraavaru in the Maldives has an onsite Ayurvedic doctor. It is complimentary for every guest to go and see him for a consultation. He will tell you what you are, and in our menus across the whole resort, you will have the different symbols of what you’re supposed to eat according to what your Ayurvedic doctor recommends, and you can cater to that throughout your whole stay. This is what we have been doing for years, it’s not anything new.

How has technology impacted F&B in hotels?

An example would be room service which has always been a bit of a challenge especially with UberEats and FoodPandas of this world: People order into their hotel rooms, even at the luxury levels, and it is disruptive. I think the differentiation comes in “Are you going to order something that is lukewarm, or are you going to get something that is perfectly served to you? Are you going to have a perfect setup in your room with all the amenities or are you going to eat out of plastic containers?

Career Advice

What advice would you give our students and graduates?

To our students on their second internship, that is a crucial internship because that’s where you make an impression on potential future employers. My direct boss at the Mandarin during my second internship gave me my first job at Swire Hotels.

Also, I’ve always had great leaders. I don’t join a company just because of the brand name, but because the person I was going to work with or my direct leader was someone who was a visionary, who would encourage development, encourage trying something new.

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