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Shaping the restaurant of the future: the impact of digital to support the sector’s rebirth

Virtual webinar: Register now


As one of the most impacted sectors since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the catering industry is now navigating the critical recovery phase and facing big challenges ahead. The sanitary crisis has aggravated the weak profitability that the sector already suffered from and revealed pre-existing weaknesses such as the low digitalization of restaurants. 


Even before the pandemic, the sector was undergoing a period of change led by shifts in consumers’ attitudes towards digital engagement.


In a context where the catering sector is looking forward to reviving itself and finding new growth drivers, the industry needs to align with the new consuming habits. In order to do so, restaurants will have to find solutions to engage their digital transformation through the design of a value chain that enables them to take profit of all the selling channels without losing sight of their primary business. Instruments such as the meal voucher for example bring digital solutions to restaurant to balance profitability and digitalization. A French study found that consumers would cut back on spending at the restaurant by almost 50% if they did not have a meal voucher.


A key aspect of this digital transformation’s success will lie in finding the best partners in a complex environment where a growing number of actors are now offering services to restaurants How the sector will respond to these challenges will shape the future of restaurants. 



To dig into this subject, this Policies & Practices exchange will address the following questions:


  • Changes in consumer attitude towards digital tools;
  • The use of digital instruments for recovery and future growth of the sector;
  • Finding the best partnerships to balance profitability and digitalization  


Confirmed speakers to share their views during the debate include:





Matthias Kuom, Seconded National Expert to the European Commission, DG CNECT in the unit Digital Transformation of Industrial Ecosystems


Matthias Kuom is currently Seconded National Expert to the European Commission, Directorate General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology, in the unit CNECT.A.4 "Digital Transformation of Industrial Ecosystems". Here he works on topics such as digital platforms for industry and implementation of Digital Innovation Hubs within the Digital Europe Programme. 


He drives forward the topics of Industry 4.0, Data Spaces as well as business models and innovation strategies in the data economy, esp. in the tourism sector. His technological focus is on AI and robotics, blockchain, quantum and other future technologies, and he is passionate about the international networking of forward-thinking innovation players. He brings experience in foresight as well as project and product management for ICT solutions from his previous activities. 



Marie Audren, Director General, HOTREC



Tuesday 28 November, 2023





Policies & Practices