Due to the growing economy and influx of foreign direct investments, particularly in the BPO industry, the average Filipino has more available spend today compared to 10 years ago. That fact, combined with the love of good food creates a huge opportunity in food service. The unparalleled use of social media in the Philippines is no doubt a driver in terms of consumer behavior and choice. What we see, is social media having a very high impact on where, when and what the local “foodies” choose. This is good for food establishments with active social media engagement and satisfied customers, but can be a boon for those that have not embraced the new reality of marketing, says Bo Lundqvist, President and CEO of Retail Associates. Released

Due to the growing economy and influx of foreign direct investments, particularly in the BPO industry, the average Filipino has more available spend today compared to 10 years ago. That fact, combined with the love of good food creates a huge opportunity in food service. The unparalleled use of social media in the Philippines is no doubt a driver in terms of consumer behavior and choice. What we see, is social media having a very high impact on where, when and what the local “foodies” choose. This is good for food establishments with active social media engagement and satisfied customers, but can be a boon for those that have not embraced the new reality of marketing, says Bo Lundqvist, President and CEO of Retail Associates. Released

Philippines: Growing opportunities in food service retailing due to social media impact
(philstar.com) - August 3, 2017 - 5:52am

MANILA, Philippines — Last July 26, Retail Associates held its 1st Food Service Technology Summit at Dusit Thani, Makati in partnership with HP, Microsoft, LS Retail and Enderun Colleges. The event, themed “Customer Satisfaction by Design,” tackled common issues faced by food service retailers, the impact of social media and how innovative, integrated technology can address these challenges.

The Food Service Technology Summit featured several high profile speakers, including Cory McElroy, Director of Product Management for HP Retail Solutions Global Business Unit, Bel Castro, Assistant Dean of College of Hospitality Management, Enderun Colleges, Qiping Sun, Vice President for LS Retail Asia Pacific, William Lee, Partner Sales Executive, Microsoft Philippines, Bo Lundqvist, President and CEO and Francis Reyes, Solutions Architect, both representing Retail Associates.

Bo Lundqvist discussed the current trends in social media, and how it affects food retailers. “The Philippines has evolved from world leader in SMS to world champion in social media. Nowhere else in the world is more time spent on more devices to communicate with peers on social media,” said Lundqvist. “Retailers must invest in social media presence as a primary marketing tool, but also incorporate technology in their operations, to meet the expectations in terms of service by today’s tech savvy and connected foodies,” added Lundqvist.

On advising the retailers in keeping up with customer trends, Cory McElroy, Director of Product Management for HP Retail Solutions Global Business Unit began by saying, “Consumers choose mobile as a source of information influencing dining decisions over online sources,” he said.

“A growing number of customers are enthusiastic regarding technology in restaurants, with the greatest benefits recognized as faster overall service and food delivery times,” he added as he went on to present HP’s roadmap in coping with the so called “Megatrends” in the dining sector.

HP unveiled its latest POS model, The Elite… for the first time to a Filipino audience at the Food Service Technology Summit. Cory McElroy explained to the audience that more innovation in terms of design concept, versatility and usability is to be expected from HP going forward, as it is heavily investing in the retail space.

“All things you do must start from a superior experience,” Castro pointed out as she talked about the importance of customer service in food service industry. According to Castro, there are a number of evolving technologies that will affect a brand by 2018, stating digital engagement as the most important area for this development.

In addition, she also said that “Technology has shifted consumption to more leisure and luxury”, as she highlighted a couple of technology trends all over the world in terms of customer service. She then concluded with her call to action to “Keep calm and transform” in terms of changing and improving the culture of the industry.

Vice President for LS Retail Asia Pacific - Qiping Sun, discussed the major challenges in the hospitality sector and underlined the need for a robust and integrated system. “Reaching out to customers is possible in all channels,” he said, as he showed LS Retail’s Omni-channel capability. He also laid emphasis on the use of a single-platform solution from back-to-front-office, to deliver good customer service. “Customer Service should be available anytime, anywhere through mobile loyalty, personalized offers, maps and access to menu & detailed information,” he added.

Emphasizing the importance of customer engagement trend in the food service industry, William Lee of Microsoft Philippines said, “The organizations that fail to engage on social media risk losing a huge number of customers, but the upside to being proactive and engaging with customers on social is even larger – social increases positive brand perception as well as revenue when applied in customer service or marketing and sales scenarios.” William Lee presented Microsoft’s Social Listening solution, enabling customers to analyze trends and opinions on social media, enabling them to take action proactively.

“There is a reason why restaurant customers are complaining, and it’s mostly related to process, and lack of adequate technology in operations,” Lundqvist stated as he discussed how extending technology solutions to store staff can improve service. “Enabling technology in retail operations will not only speed up service, but also allow store staff to spend more time with customers, something that will lead to a more positive customer experience,” said Lundqvist.

To exemplify how integrated solutions can benefit food retailers, Bo Lundqvist and Francis Reyes, Solutions Architect at Retail Associates, presented a glimpse of the latest version of LS Retail NAV, an enterprise-class retail business management solution built on the Microsoft Dynamics Platform. Powered by HP devices, the demonstration featured social media integration, customer apps, mobile ordering, tablets POS and integrated kitchen display systems followed by real-time business analysis. Bo Lundqvist and Francis Reyes concluded by emphasizing the benefits of having an integrated front end and back end hospitality solution that makes the entire customer journey seamless – before, during, and after the dining experience.

 

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