A dialogue on Technology and Sustainability at the ITB 2017

METRO Accelerator honourable mentors Olaf Koch and Dr. Christine Demen Meier lead a panel on sustainable food and beverage at the world’s leading travel show

The ITB Berlin is the world’s largest and most renowned travel trade fair. From its first humble launch in 1966 with only five participating countries as part of an overseas import trade fair, today in its 14th convention, the ITB has come a long way and since developed into a worldwide success.

Held in Berlin this year from March 8th-12th, this mega event brought together 10000 exhibitors and 200000 visitors from 184 countries and regions. As the world’s leading convention on travel, ITB brings forth the unique opportunity to peek in the world of global tourism and trends.

Esteemed mentor of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars, and METRO Group CEO, Olaf Koch was the keynote speaker at the 2017 chapter, sharing his views and wisdom on: Acting Today For Tomorrow – Sustainability In Corporate Strategy.

[selectivetweet]Technology will enable restaurateurs focus on the core of their business: social interactions with customers – Olaf Koch[/selectivetweet]

Followed by the keynote address, Olaf was joined on stage for a panel on Sustainable Food And Beverage, by Prof. Dr. Carlos Martin-Rios, Associate Professor of Innovation at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and Thomas Goval, also alumni of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and General Manager of Hotel Indigo Berlin – IHG Group and Jennifer Mulinde-Schmid, owner/manager of Schwarz Heidi, Berlin.

The panel was moderated by none other than the honourable Dr. Christine Demen Meier, Associate Professor & Head of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Department at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, SAVIVA F&B Chair Holder & Holder of the METRO Chair of Innovation. Not just that, Dr. Meier has been a dedicated mentor for both our batches of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality in 2015 and 2016.

2 infographics resuming today’s discussions at @itbberlin – thanks @annelehmann12 #sustainability in #hospitality pic.twitter.com/rfBrdvL7X5

— HoReCa.digital (@HoReCa_digital) 10. März 2017

The panel had set out to address the important questions to be asked in the times of today: What are the trends in F&B? What will “sustainable food and beverage” mean in the future? How can USPs and added-value for tourists be created? How should hotels handle this subject, and what obstacles need to be conquered?

[selectivetweet]The first action to be taken is to sensibilise our employees to food saving – Jennifer Mulinde-Schmid[/selectivetweet]

With major business leaders on stage, the panel raised insights on the experience of the business groups with sustainability, uncovering the success and failure quotients faced, the main challenges that came up wrt. food, financial and resource wastage and how does the panel envision the future and wishes to contribute to it.

The diverse backgrounds of the panel bought to life some very interesting viewpoints and the keenness of the participants to sincerely discuss and learn from one another was apparent.

[selectivetweet]Education of final consumers is key to implement sustainability in the industry – Dr. Carlos Martin-Rios[/selectivetweet]

Watch the full recording of the panel discussion on stage:

“Currently, sustainability is seen as luxury in the food industry, coming with necessary higher prices. In few years, I hope the norm will have changed: Food quality and traceability, as well as environment friendly practices will be considered as inherent to any restaurants, like it is nowadays established to find wifi everywhere.” Thomas Goval

To learn more about innovation in the restaurant industry and academic insights from Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, read this article by Dr. Christine Demen Meier and Prof. Dr. Carlos Martin-Rios.

For further reading on the subject, discover how technology is changing the way we eat by renowned speaker Damian Mogavero and read here interesting research on health trends by A. Elizabeth Sloan.

You also check out the article by John Hawthorne to get more insights on how smartphones are radically altering the restaurant industry.

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