How will restaurants look after Covid-19? Grijsbregt Brouwer (founder of De Buik and food trendwatcher) wrote the book horeca na corona (Dutch only) on this subject together with hospitality advisor and columnist Wouter Verkerk. What will be the role digital tools will play for restaurants in the future?
Depending on big companies
Restaurants have always been late adopters in the digital world compared to other branches, Brouwer says: “Many restaurateurs didn’t want too much to do with it, because it felt inhospitable. Therefore, a lot of big consumer platforms with big commissions were able to claim their spot in the market. Eventually, a lot of restaurants became dependent on these big companies. That’s such a shame.”
Storytelling is extremely important for restaurants
Luckily, a lot of new digital partners enter the market to help restaurants get independent. Brouwer is positive about this development. In fact, he believes that restaurants short themselves if they don’t make use of these digital tools. “As a restaurant, you’re more than just the square meters of your building. You are your food, your atmosphere, but also your vision of the world. Storytelling is extremely important for restaurants and you can broadcast this perfectly through digital channels. When restaurants had to close, they were all using digital tools to communicate with their guests.
Trends will continue
The fact that restaurants are open again doesn’t mean that digital communication will be left behind. Brouwer: “The digital developments and trends will continue. Restaurants that have started with digital tools are not going to ignore them now they've opened their doors again, they now see it helps them.” According to Brouwer, another trend is going to develop in the near future: digital ordering. “The first possibilities to order through an app or QR-code are already popping out of the ground. It’s a great solution if you have a terrace, it’s easy and people don’t walk around that much anymore.”
More opportunities to digitalise
Brouwer still sees a lot of opportunities for restaurants to digitise their processes. “Keeping track of your supplies or the staff management for example, these processes are hardly ever automized. It will be a long-term project, but these are some examples of processes that restaurants can digitise.”
Want to know more about the trends of hospitality after Covid-19? Order the book Horeca na Corona (Dutch only) of Wouter Verkerk and Gijsbregt Brouwer.