On a sunny Melbourne afternoon, the Mr Yum team visited the Espy to present a panel discussion for hospitality professionals. Table Talk Melbourne put three expert panellists to the task as they discussed the event’s topic, “The future of hospitality: serving tomorrow’s success.” Here are top insights from Table Talk to help you grow your business.
Meet the panellists
Bianca Dawson – Chief Training and Development Officer, Australian Venue Co. Bianca shared her experience in creating teams that care while outlining the strategies and skills needed for a thriving industry of tomorrow.
Trevor Simmons – CEO and Co-founder, Industry Beans. Trevor Spoke about building an omni-channel business and the power of design, technology and chemistry in creating cafes of the future.
Adrian Osman – COO and Co-founder, Mr Yum. Adrian shared his observations on international industry trends and how operators can dine on data and tap into the power of deeply connecting with customers.
Bianca has spent much of her career thinking about and defining customer relationships in venues. So she was expertly positioned to address how she believes venues and their staff can meet customer expectations in the changing post-covid hospitality landscape.
“The guest experience piece at its core hasn’t changed. We just need to look at what that looks like in different ways. Quick convenience is certainly a real aspect, but to be able to do it properly and provide an amazing guest experience that has a personal touch is what we should all be striving for now in hospitality,” says Bianca.
The future of data
Adrian Osman knows the ins and outs of hospitality technology perhaps better than anyone. He shared his projections on the future of data and human interaction in venues.
“I think the concept of being a regular and going into a venue and them not knowing who you are will be completely gone pretty quickly, probably within ten years flat. But there’ll be a consumer expectation if I go there a lot, they’ll know my name before I even walk up to the bar. Technology can enable more human experience,” says Adrian
Planning for growth
Industry Beans’ transition from a cafe to a multi-faceted business with a retail offering wasn’t a mere chance. Trevor says that their evolution came down to early planning and fully realising their opportunities.
“We had a little cafe in Northcote, which is still there, and early on, we were working our arses off and powering away. Pretty quick, we realised that if you’re going to do something, you need to add more. And even in those days, we started thinking about retail channels,” says Trevor.
Evolving with industry and labour needs
Bianca has big hopes for the future of hospitality but admits that the industry as a whole needs to adapt and change to stay ahead.
“I think, you know, sustainability needs to be at the forefront of our industry. We need to really have a good think about that.”
“And we continue to say this day in, day out. I hope that our industry continues to evolve. There's lots in our industry that needs a rebrand. It needs to continue to show itself as psychologically safe workplaces, as places where people want to sit their careers,” she says.
Own your brand
One of the simplest pieces of advice from Trevor rings true when planning for any business. And admittedly, it was something that he and his brother struggled with at first.
“The simplest thing is own your branding. It’s the one thing we never really understood as product people, my brother and I are very much product guys, not specialty coffee wankers by any sense. We just really love building products and making and creating great customer experiences.”
“We still have to remind ourselves now as you head out of the production and service environment to put yourself into a sales marketing mindset around a communications point of view because it's really great to build something awesome, but it's also really great to be able to talk about it,” he says.
How tech is adapting to get bums on seats
Adrian spoke about how Mr Yum is expanding to help venues interact with customers in new ways. Part of this is the acquisition of Sprout and Mr Yum’s CRM offering.
“Through that partnership with Sprout now, the conversation is shifting internally to be really focused on how hospitality brands, how our customers are interacting with their customers when they're not there”
“That's kind of become the North Star. Since then, we've just noticed, like, yes, increasing spend is great, getting the data is great, but it's like, how do we get bums on seats and fill capacity? That all comes from interactions that are happening outside.”
“It's just like, how do we personalise our messaging? How do we not send a cocktail happy hour campaign to someone that hates cocktails, they might like nonalcoholic beers. That might be their thing. How do you get your segmentation right and follow retail in trying to make sure that we're communicating to customers in a personalised way,” he says.
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