Green Earth Appeal and Lightspeed ePOS host Carbon Free Dining event

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Lightspeed ePOS and Green Earth Appeal have partnered to host the first event for Carbon Free Dining, a ground-breaking initiative aimed at introducing a more sustainable model for UK restaurants.

Under the programme, Carbon Free Dining plants a tree on behalf of a restaurant for every bill they present. Lightspeed ePOS then provides their platform to any restaurant under the initiative, subject to the number of trees a restaurant plants.

The initiative is already revolutionising the way local businesses and their customers give back to the environment in the fight against deforestation, extinction and global warming, having planted over 500,000 trees in more than 17 countries.

It has received support from three-Michelin star celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, James Martin and Gregory Marchand, who have since signed up their respective restaurants to Carbon Free Dining.

As part of the launch, Lightspeed and Green Earth Appeal are inviting the hospitality industry to Haz restaurant, East London, on 19th June, for an event focusing on how to create a sustainable restaurant model that will increase profitability by responding to the needs of today’s consumer. Members of the panel include Peter Hemingway, influencer and community manager at the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), and Sandy Jarvis, sustainability advocate and Head chef of the renowned Culpeper restaurant in Shoreditch.

Lightspeed ePOS and Green Earth Appeal provide a cost-effective way for restaurants to showcase their corporate social responsibility at zero cost to the business.

Satinder Bindra, former director of communications for United Nations Environment, has been a strong advocate of the collaboration, stating, “[This is] an outstanding initiative which successfully merges the luxury of eating out with the joy of knowing we are simultaneously giving something back to nourish our planet”.

 Similarly, CEO and Founder of Lightspeed Dax Dasilva has also commented that, “Lightspeed was founded on pushing boundaries, empowering business and putting culture before code. By defining a new paradigm, we are redefining the industry. Carbon Free Dining is just one more step towards offering our ePOS partners and their customers a seamless way to achieve their own goals”.

 Register here for your free ticket here.

About Carbon Free Dining
Carbon Free Dining is a ground-breaking environmental certification programme managed by The United Nations Environment partner, Green Earth Appeal in partnership with Lightspeed. Simple to implement, Carbon Free Dining offers certification to those restaurants who demonstrate their passion for the environment. Carbon Free Dining-certified partners empower their diners to plant a tree in the developing world to counterbalance the environmental impact of their meal.
Learn more

About Lightspeed ePOS
Lightspeed ePOS is a cloud-based solution for independent restaurants and a Business Partner of the Institute of Hospitality.
Learn more

 

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The remarkable rise of Starbucks in China

56 alan hepburnOur man in Shanghai, Alan Hepburn FIH, provides an analysis of Starbucks’ expansion in China, a country with no tradition of coffee-drinking. What lessons are there for other western businesses looking to break into this vast market?

Last week I was sat in the 30,000 sq ft Starbucks Shanghai Roastery, about five minutes walk from my apartment in Shanghai. I was there for a business meeting, trying to decide between Sumatran, Ethiopian or Nicaraguan, when I realised I was next to a couple of friends. After a quick chat, it occured to me that even in a city of 35 million people with change being constant and exponential, it’s a small world.

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Howard Schultz at the opening of Starbuck’s Shanghai Roastery in December 2017

I arrived here in 2000 as manager of the Portman Ritz Carlton and remember chatting with Howard Schultz when he came to open the first Starbucks in the city (Beijing opened the first one in China in 1999). I somewhat naively asked if he was planning on opening many? He looked somewhat incredulous at my ill-judged question. “We expect 100 in the first year,” he said. They now have 3,000 stores in China and are opening one every 15 hours – projecting 5,000 by 2020.

I was new to China and frankly had not observed much coffee-drinking going on. But what I had missed was … well, pretty much everything.

What Starbucks saw in China was four things: firstly the growth potential in the middle/upper middle class who want to buy an upscale Western experience.

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The floor space of a Starbucks in China is substantially bigger than in the West. People have business meetings, social gatherings, go on dates and get interviewed for jobs in China’s Starbucks. The saying here is: “The first two thirds of your cup is for enjoying, the last third is for staying.” Three quarters of all coffee drunk in China is consumed by 25-35 year olds and 99% of retail coffee sales is instant, but that will change.

Secondly, Starbucks’ growth in China shows the importance of not removing the essence of what makes you successful elsewhere, but shows how this needs to be adapted. As Roy T Bennet once said: “The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.”

The Macha Frappuccino (220 – 440 calories depending on size) is a huge seller here. Green tea powder, loads of cream, milk and vanilla syrup and not a hint of coffee in sight. I have struggled in the past to get a simple espresso, as very few people are drinking them in China. But that will change.

The Roastery here is a modern-day F&B masterpiece with all the theatre of coffee roasting, artisan bread-making and stunning retail. But take a look at what people are consuming and it’s a lot less coffee than you might expect. But, as I say, that will change.

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The Chinese are not big coffee drinkers, but that has not been a barrier to Starbucks’ success

Thirdly, brands which understand progression from entry-level to premium do very well here. There are famous dumpling shops where you pay four different prices according to where you consume the same dumpling.

The last thing Starbucks understood was marketing. Their social media presence was well-established and generally ahead of most Western brands in China during its first decade here. The rest tried catch-up and some succeeded but most failed. Telling your brand story here needs content and context and it better be entertaining and fun. I spoke with the head of marketing for one of the world’s biggest and coolest sports fashion brands two years ago and he was telling me they had just moved into mobile platform selling. That’s like arriving today in Scotland and telling them you just invented whisky.

Sadly, many Western brands can’t grasp the speed of change and that the Chinese consumer is dynamic, developing and learning quickly. By the time many companies work out their ‘China strategy’ the market may have moved or changed.

I’ve lost count of the number of UK companies (including the famous ones) I speak to and meet with who bring a rigid ‘what made us successful in the past will determine all our action for the future’ attitude and end up closing shop, heading home and blaming China.

Don’t get mad, get prepared. Starbucks’ next Roastery opens in Milan, the home of great coffee and design.  But before we mention coals and Newcastle, I’m betting Starbucks have that well-covered too.

Alan Hepburn FIH has spent more than 30 years in Asia in the hospitality and lifestyle sector. Having run some of the world’s best hotels , he then developed, opened and operated China’s first luxury lifestyle company: the multi-award winning Three On The Bund in Shanghai. The Hepburn Group is a Shanghai/Singapore-based boutique consultancy that works with hospitality and F&B companies from the West, helping them navigate the challenges of market-entry and growth in China and Asia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emirati and Italian Architects win Second Annual Bespoke Access Award to Champion Accessible Hospitality

Robin Sheppard, Baroness Celia Thomas, Maher Hadid (MnM Studio Architects)web res
Robin Sheppard, Baroness Celia Thomas, Maher Hadid (MnM Studio Architects)

At the second annual special event held at the Palace of Westminster on April 18th, MnM Studio Architects, along with Maria Brighenti and Marcello D’Orsi, were announced the joint winners of the 2017/18 Bespoke Access Awards, a design competition to create accessible solutions, run in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and featuring a prize fund of £30,000.

MnM Studio devised an innovative accommodation solution based around the four senses of smell, taste, sound and sight, with extensive use of Braille throughout. Termed “empathy through aesthetics”, the system aims to support the emotional state of the guest, while maintaining a distinct visual appeal via a stylish, curved design.

“’Empathy through aesthetics’ perfectly encapsulates what we are aiming to do with the Access initiative”, commented Baroness Celia Thomas, Chair of the Judging Panel and Patron of the Awards. “The emphasis placed on the emotional state of the guest was particularly impressive, given this is an area that is often overlooked.”

Alongside MnM Studio, freelance Italian architects Maria Brightei and Marcello D’Orsi were successful in the Architectural category, as well as being announced joint winners of the overall Celia Thomas Prize, worth a total of £20,000. Their design, which focused on the means through which existing accommodation can be renovated with the disabled traveler in mind, concentrated on the public spaces of hotels, and how subtle enhancements can be made to significantly increase the ease with which they are passed through.

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Robin Sheppard, Baroness Celia Thomas, Marcello D’Orsi

“I was particularly struck by the attention they had paid to the customer journey through reception and the lobby areas”, commented Alan Stanton, Stirling Prize-winning architect and member of the Judging Panel. “These are areas often overlooked by both architects and business owners alike, and it is easy to think of them as merely transient. But they can significantly improve or disrupt a guest’s experience, so it was exciting to see them highlighted and approached with such care.”

“The architectural community across the country has really embraced the Access Awards since their launch in 2016”, added Jane Duncan, RIBA Immediate Past President. “It is tremendously encouraging for the future of accessible tourism to see this year’s awards attracting interest from around the world, as well as ideas shining a light on some of the more often-overlooked aspects of disabled travel.”

The competition attracted submissions spanning the length and breadth of the UK, as well as from across Europe and Asia. Entrants competed across an expanded range of categories, including Product Design, Architecture, Service Applications (Digital) and Service Applications (Training). Alongside the overall Celia Thomas Prize, worth £20,000 and believed to be the largest cash prize in the UK for a design concept.

“We were extremely pleased to see the competition attracting a truly global roster of entrants this year”, said Robin Sheppard FIH, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels and recently appointed Hotel Sector Champion for Disabled People. “The Access Awards continue to grow and evolve, but the high quality of entries ensures our collective focus remains on improving the experience for all hotel guests, whether disabled or otherwise.”

The entries were judged at the turn of the year by a panel which included Paralympic gold medalist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Stirling Prize-winning architect Alan Stanton, Baroness Celia Thomas, Tom Perry, Head of the Cities Programme at the Design Council, Graeme Whippy, Disability Specialist for Channel Four, Alastair Hignell CBE, alongside Robin Sheppard.

Full list of winners:
MnM Studio Architects, Dubai
Joint Winners of the Celia Thomas Prize

Maria Brighenti with Marcello D’Orsi, Italy
Joint Winners of the Celia Thomas Prize

MnM Studio Architects, Dubai
Joint Winners of the Architecture Category

Maria Brighenti with Marcello D’Orsi, Italy
Joint Winners of the Architecture Category

Wilson Mason LLP, Lancashire
Winners of the Product Design Category

Purcell, London
Winners of the Service Applications (Training) Category

Neatebox Ltd, London
Winners of Service Applications (Digital) Category

Full list of judges:
Robin Sheppard, Chairman, Bespoke Hotels Group
Celia, Baroness Thomas of Winchester, House of Lords
Alan Stanton OBE, Stanton Williams
Tanni, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Paralympic Gold Medallist, House of Lords
Graeme K Whippy MBE, Disability Specialist for Channel 4
Alastair Hignall CBE, Trustee of the Leonard Cheshire Foundation
Tom Perry, Head of the Cities Programme at the Design Council
Sarah Weir OBE, Chief Executive of Design Council
Paul Gregory, MCIBSE, MSLL, Global Specification Director for Dyson.

www.bespokehotels.com/access
#BespokeAccess

How restaurants are reacting to Vegetarian Month

March is vegetarian month. Recent news shows that an estimated 29% of evening meals in the UK are vegetarian or vegan. These numbers only seem to be increasing, but just how is the hospitality industry reacting? Wayne Redge reports

Reports show that sales of meat-free ready meals were up by 15% in January compared to 12 months before. Vegan numbers went up from 150,000 in 2006 to 540,000 just a decade later, with 1.2 million vegetarians in addition to this in the UK. Not only that, but there has been an uprising of ‘flexitarians’, those who reduce their meat consumption by choosing to have meat-free days. As a result, evidence shows that 25% of people in Britain have cut back on how much meat they eat. With all of these figures on the rise, the transitions to a meat-free way of living aren’t just a ‘fad’.

Signs of the hospitality industry acknowledging these statistics has come with many different reactions. Nando’s, the Afro-Portuguese chain restaurant known for its chicken, has been consistently adding to its range of vegetarian and vegan options over the past few years. The spiced chicken giant has now announced that two more vegetarian dishes will be added to its menu: golden brown halloumi sticks served with a pot of sweet chilli jam dip to start, alongside a new main of Veggie Cataplana (a South African inspired stew dish.)

A host of vegetarian restaurants are also popping up, giving people who have adopted this lifestyle a lot more options. Run by former mentee of Gordon Ramsay, Minal Patel, “Prashad” is a 2 rosette and Bib Gourmand standard Indian cuisine restaurant. The personalised and crafted menu boards created by Smart Hospitality encase an all vegetarian menu that has been the talk of popular review site, Trip Advisor, since the restaurant opened its doors. Receiving the “Most Talked About Restaurant On Trip Advisor Award” and a “Certificate of Excellence” on the site, it is proof of the popularity that a vegetarian restaurant can receive by focusing its efforts towards a collective audience.

January of this year saw a mass of high-profile restaurants trying out full vegan menus or dishes for ‘Veganuary’. Harvey Nichols brought a full vegan menu to its OXO Tower restaurant in the shape of a three course vegan meal and vegan wine list. Upon opening their menu cover, guests were welcomed by the sights of Grilled Tofu with Miso and a Poached Pear and Blackberry Dessert.

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Even Michelin Star chef, Tom Aitken took part in his Tom’s Kitchen restaurant . Teaming up with vegetarian burger company, The Vurger Co, he served up a hoisin glazed mushroom patty with pak choi, red cabbage and crunchy spring onions ( pictured above). Due to the success of this vegan burger, he has adopted a vegetarian burger to his main menu since then.

The amount of vegan festivals has seen a massive increase too, with at least 75 festivals lined up for 2018 in the UK alone. The festivals are a celebration of the natural lifestyle whilst also introducing its participants to new vegan restaurants and foods that they may not have tried before. Restaurants are creating pop ups at these events to promote themselves to the vegan following and gain some new supporters.

So, with the popularity of no-meat lifestyles on the rise, it is clear that restaurants have an opportunity to increase their offerings and enable themselves to appeal to a wider clientele. If 25% of evening meals being eaten are meat free, would restaurants do well to make 25% of their offerings meat free? It might even serve as a cost effective alternative whilst not compromising on quality.

Wayne Redge is marketing assistant, Smart Hospitality Supplies

Single-use plastic-free hotel launches in Bangkok

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With over 8 million tonnes of plastic thrown away each year and and the existence of the Great Pacific garbage patch, the world is waking up to the dangers of plastic waste.

Whilst supermarkets plan for plastic free aisles and coffee brands ditch the cup lids, Akaryn Hotel Group plan to become a single-use plastic free hotel group by 2020. The newest opening, akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok, launching May 2018, is set to lead the charge in this initiative.

Effort has been made to source glass bottle containers and there are is no single-use plastic used in the bars. Stainless steel water bottles, which can be refilled anytime during their stay, are handed to guests on arrival. Self-service drinkable water will be conveniently located on every floor. Guests will notice that in the bathroom, toiletry products are presented in locally manufactured celadon containers filled with essential oils-based products. Bio-degradable bin bags are used in room and shopping bags can be borrowed from the wardrobes to encourage guests to refuse plastic bags when out shopping in Bangkok.
www.akarynhotelgroup.com 

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Institute of Hospitality’s new autumn webinars

webinar logoInstitute of Hospitality webinars are a series of informative and educational online presentations, available to members and non-members, and designed to help you advance in your professional careers and businesses.

Industry professionals and experts share their knowledge and know-how during live online sessions, that you can access from the comfort of your home, office, or from any mobile device.

Our webinars include Q&A sessions and follow-up materials. If you are unable to attend, you can log into your membership area to retrieve any past webinar recordings anytime*.

We have delivered over 50 webinars, helping hundreds of individuals improve their personal and professional skills, as well as their business knowledge.

Webinars are complimentary for members of the Institute of Hospitality. Non-members can access our live sessions for £10 (incl. VAT).

Book your webinars now

12 September 2017 3pm UK Time
First Impressions – WOW!
Sarah Brickwood MIH and Jo Woods of Smart Revenue look at the impact of the service provided to those making email or telephone enquries on eventual bookings.

26 September 2017 3pm UK Time
Food Waste Recycling
ReFood, experts in food waste recycling, look at the facts, figures and the ways to save money and food, as they celebrate the opening of their £32m anaerobic digestion facility in Dagenham.

10 October 2017 3pm UK Time
Brexit’s impact on hospitality
John Coldicutt, chief marketing officer, Planday, and the Institute’s chief executive Peter Ducker FIH present the unique findings from our survey of your experiences of Brexit.

31 October 2017 3pm UK Time
How to become a black-belt negotiator
Tom Flatau of Teamworking International advises on how to get that all-important emotional buy-in, shift the balance of power in your favour, and stop getting beaten down on price and making unnecessary concessions.

14 November 2017 3pm UK Time
How to blend e-Learning with other formats
Pete Fullard of Upskill People provides a case study of the University Caterers Organisation’s strategy to work with the specific needs of its membership to implement e-learning as part of a blend of wider methods of delivering, tracking and analysing knowledge and skills.

28 November 2017 3pm UK Time
Loyalty and love
Reka Mizsei, lectuerer, Glion Institute
Are hotel guests loyal because of the incentive they get from loyalty programmes or are they loyal because they love the brand? Do hotels need a loyalty programme to gain brand love?

12 December 2017 3pm UK Time
Immigration and discrimination – planning for 2018 and beyond
Jonathan Gray, partner employment and licensing law, Pitmans LLP
To review the latest thinking on Brexit and immigration issues as at the end of 2017, and to consider how to fill the potential staff/skill gaps of the future by being a successful equal opportunities employer. This will include how to properly manage the gender pay gap reporting obligations and what to be aware of from an age discrimination perspective when seeking to attract and retain younger and older workers.

Book your webinars now

Note: If the scheduled time (3pm UK time on Tuesdays) is not convenient, you can still access the webinars at a later date from our website.

 

China’s hotel growth is on the upswing but at what cost to the environment?

A recent report published by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research highlights China’s burgeoning hotel growth and examines what can be done to control the environmental impact.

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Shanghai’s stunning skyline

Despite the turbulence in the Chinese stock market last year and the subsequent impact on China’s economic growth, hotel developments in China continue apace with “at least three new 150+ room hotels open[ing] every day for the next 25 years”.

Although China’s population is predicted to be surpassed by India‘s, both China’s increasing population and the number of hotels under development will swell the the country’s carbon footprint as demands for energy and water increase. The very best hotel developments will take into account both regional and global concerns regarding sustainability.

To read more about the “Environmental Implications of Hotel Growth in China: Integrating Sustainability with Hotel Development” find the report HERE.