What the Restaurant of the Future would need to look like

A Student Business Project of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) for METRO

Today, Innovation has become a confusing and popular buzzword. Amazon alone sells over 250 books on the subject. In the main, people associate innovation with the development of technological tools that have become embedded in our living and working environments.

Technological development has found its way into the food and hotel industry, as well. With the European HoReCa (Hotel-Restaurant-Catering) sector slowly being flooded with technological innovation, independent restaurateurs have to put aside their skepticism and strive to meet their customers’ digital expectations.

In fact, while many chain restaurants have realized the importance of adopting new technology to ease strenuous tasks and enhance the guest dining experience, many independents are still finding it challenging to improve efficiency in daily operations. METRO aims to help independent restaurateurs by raising awareness on the tremendous benefits of technology usage, and help its clients to strengthen their competitiveness facing the large chain restaurants.

As part of EHL’s Bachelor program in International Hotel Management, 6 students get the opportunity to participate in a Student Business Project, providing consultancy solutions for real-life industry mandates. The result: a concept for the restaurant of the future.

The students performed a detailed analysis on the most important procedures in the operative area of the restaurant. They conducted interviews with restaurant customers, EHL professors and independent restaurateurs. After completing the research, EHL students proposed a vision of the ideal technological restaurant of the future. Here are the results:

  • It is important to have strong online presence using website, social media and review, reservation and delivery sites.
  • An electronic menu strengthens customer satisfaction and raises the average sales.
  • It should absolutely be possible to pay by mobile device.
  • After the visit, the customer should be updated with new advertising campaigns.
  • In the future, there will be process optimization tools in the kitchen, in staffing; various systems such as a system for environmental management will reduce bureaucratic red-tape.

The students’ results show that these ideas should obviously always be adapted to the restaurant owner’s background (finances, concrete everyday business problems, etc.). To fortify the relationship between Metro and the independent restaurateurs, we created three packages with different technological tools that are tailored to different restaurants’ needs:

  • The Manager Package was personalized to help restaurateurs who struggle to attract enough customers.
  • The Leader Package was tailor made for those restaurateurs that need to consolidate their business.
  • The Champion Package was created to optimize restaurant performance in specific areas such as revenue management and customer relationship management.
  • The Smart Entrepreneur Package. This tackles a new market for METRO aiming to support entrepreneurs launching a new restaurant, focussing on training and supervision.

The participants of the Studenten-Unternehmensprojekt der Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne were Jingyuan SHI, Runpei XI, Simon BERNHARD, Tiziano NESSI, Benjamin HIRT and Esteban VOLKEN.

Thank you very much for these interesting insights and concepts!

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