"Digital has become obvious"

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Before the exhibition at Eurexpo from September 23 to 27, 2021, Sirha Lyon is devoting 3 sessions to the economic recovery of Food Service after the health crisis.

Pauline Gauthier, Agrotech cluster manager, specialist in the Anglo-Saxon market, Damien Rodière, Managing Director of The Fork and Kevin Mauffrey, Commercial Director of Deliveroo, are the guests of Michel Tanguy's second round table as part of the SirhaFood Talks, about new technologies and new consumption patterns.

“The only way for restaurateurs to keep a link with their customers during the crisis was digital”, whether through the tools available to them or through social networks. "It became obvious," according to Damien Rodière, much later than in the UK for example, or Sweden.

“This period we have just experienced has accelerated a transformation that began several years ago. The Fork's ancestor, La Fourchette, began its digital journey fifteen years ago by enabling online reservations and today works with more than 20,000 partner restaurants. "We have a 30% penetration in France ..." 40% in the United Kingdom, which is ahead in terms of delivery and "dark" catering as well.

In France, Kevin Mauffrey indicates that Deliveroo has gone from 12,000 restaurants to 20,000 between early 2020 and now, and the growth is exponential. Damien Rodière agrees: without take-out and door-to-door delivery, "restaurateurs would have had no business for eight months. Better still, they have shown their resilience, transforming themselves over a very short period of time, adapting to a new reality through innovations: QR codes to access the card, pay, improve the customer / restaurant experience and the meteoric rise of dark kitchens and stores in particular ...

And will this rampant digitization survive the return of the ferocious appetite of the French for "experience" on the terrace and in restaurants after seven months of social deprivation, coinciding with summer and holidays? According to Pauline Gauthier, it will further develop in the United Kingdom, tackling the lack of manpower caused by Brexit across the Channel through innovations.

Kevin Mauffrey, on the other hand, is banking on a return to normalcy in the workplace after the start of the school year to balance Deliveroo's activity throughout the day. For Damien Rodière, the challenge will be to be sustainable by clarifying his strategy: "You have to know what you want, you have to know where you want to go". And adapt. Again.

Your next meeting with the SirhaFood Talks: Friday July 9, 2021, where you will be discussing reopening and the state of the catering markets around the world.

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