Independent restaurateurs are driven by passion, an honorable motivator, but not the best when it comes to managing their assets and adapting their business to the digital age. How shall we train independent restaurateurs who do not see any challenges in their business whilst their own industry is collapsing under the pressure of government taxes, large corporations and change in their customers' mindset?
METRO AG and Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne joined forces in January 2016 to create a research chair to investigate digital innovation in the restaurant industry. As the first study of the chair demonstrated a delay in the adoption of technology by independent restaurants primarily due to a lack of access to knowledge and technological skills, the present study focuses on finding solutions to provide restaurateurs with incentives to learn and receive training.
The Learning Community concept designed by the METRO Chair of Innovation allows the creation of a community whilst ensuring creative learning at the service of independent restaurateurs.
Over 2,300 independent restaurateurs from France, Spain and Italy participated in the survey; and over 40 independent restaurateurs and 18 academic experts, start-ups and restaurant associations provided input.
The study focused on the following areas of research:
- What are the challenges encountered by independent restaurateurs in their daily operations?
- What are the main topics of interests when it comes to learning and improving their daily operations?
- What are the preferred training formats among restaurateurs?
Main challenges for independent restaurateurs vs. topics of interest regarding training
The study unveiled a gap between the challenges faced daily by restaurateurs and their topic of interest, such as training on core tasks including stock, purchasing, cooking and serving clients.
Creation of a Learning Community concept
The following concept is an innovative approach to train independent restaurateurs.
When it comes to training independent restaurateurs, training companies are facing two primary barriers: the lack of time and the lack of money that characterize independent restaurateurs.
This concept offers a solution to attract restaurateurs’ attention, train them on what interests them and then introduces little by little more challenging topics.
As learning is a long lasting process, the training concept intends to create a community that fosters learning through peer-to-peer interactions whilst creating long-term relationships to promote sustainable success.
The Learning Community concept is based on the following 6 pillars: