- How Hospitality has disrupted in the past 12 months
Do you remember the time when everyone used to agree a meetup in a good restaurant? We used to have lunch or dinner with our colleagues, family and relatives, maybe drink some nice wine and enjoy stimulating discussions through the meal.
It has been now over a year when I had a possibility to enjoy such a gathering with my colleagues. My parents are nowadays a member of so-called "risk group", that is absolutely imperative not to meet them via other than electronical means.
At the same time small family owned restaurants as well as bigger restaurant chains struggle with constantly changing regulations that may come into effect during overnight. The whole field of business has been disrupted in a way that has never been seen before.
Restaurants that are innovative and enthusiastic have found ways to survive in this situation while others have withered and died.
Some of the innovative changes that have been made include unforeseen collaboration between different areas of business. For example Henri Alen, one celebrity chef famous from various television shows, has merged fine dining hotel packages where customers can enjoy food conjured in restaurant Ultima's kitchen in Hotel Haven's five star room - naturally with a view to the sea.
Another entrepreneur chef with a Michelin star, Tommi Tuominen, has come up another innovative service; consumers can purchase a "food bag" that contains all the top quality ingredients and instructions to cook a premium level meal in your home. This food bag is also delivered directly to the customer's home.
Even our little Christmas gathering was carried out with remote presence! We had a pre-recorded video where our CEO Olli Väätäinen cooked with another Michelin starred cook, Hans Välimäki. We, who took part in the event, got ingredients from local food market and followed the instructions to create mouth watering experience of a complete meal: pumpkin soup for an appetizer, mushroom risotto for the main course, and finally an apple pie tarte tatin for dessert. Delicious!
These innovations reflect the disruption that has gone through our society with the force of a hurricane throughout the last year.
Old business has changed, new business has erected from the ashes of the old ones. Every change includes an opportunity to those who are keen and observative. New possibilities can be carried out with new technology which resolves the issues that have been blocking this kind of service earlier.
We have seen the rise of Teams, Zoom and other video meeting software, new ways to pay what we consume, and new services to handle the increasing data traffic this virtual presence has brought to our networks. At the same time servers have been virtualized in the background making the maintenance of the data infrastructure easier. It is not uncommon to see that a whole chain of stores relies on a cloud-provided set of Azure services. This was impossible earlier. The networks just were not ready, the infrastructure was not ready, and what is most important, people were not ready.
Development in the networks and remote presence has enabled new commercial possibilities, and these possibilities are made available with Microsoft line of business software.
The most familiar to me is Microsoft Business Central. Our partner LS Retail has built on top of Business Central exciting new functionalities that enable not only traditional fine dining solutions, but also modern era Cloud Enabled Future Proof couch dining solutions.
Things have changed, probably forever. Fine dining is no longer impossible from the comfort of your own couch.