Equinoxe Solutions is delighted to announce our first new customer of 2020, the prestigious Orchardleigh Estate.
We have achieved savings in excess of 10% on food costs alone for Orchardleigh whilst maintaining their current supply chain.
Owner of the estate, Chris Vincent, stated:
“We should have contacted Equinoxe ten years ago!”
Orchardleigh, 10 miles from the historic city of Bath, boasts a stunning 19th century stately home, conferencing and entertaining facilities for up to 400 guests, a private air strip and luxurious accommodation for up to 172 guests. As one of the most picturesque areas in the UK, Orchardleigh also hosts in excess of 200 weddings a year. In addition to the main house, the estate is also home to the Orchardleigh Golf and Country Club with a pro-standard, all seasons, 18-hole golf course.
Sam Guiher, Equinoxe Business Development Manager, added:
“We’re very excited to be working with Chris and the team at Orchardleigh. This is a fantastic property to add to our portfolio of customers and we are proud to be able to assist them with their purchasing requirements.”
2020 is expected to be a tough year for hotel owners, lenders, investors and developers in the UK. The political-economic environment is certainly unpredictable, meaning it’s now more important than ever to seize opportunities to stand out in the hotel industry.
This year’s sports events such as The ICC Cricket World Cup contributed to growth for London hotels, but maintaining a growing trend in 2020 might be difficult as PwC are forecasting a 0.6% decline in occupancy growth for 2020. According to PwC, in H1 2019 there has been a decline of 35% in UK hotel investment, compared to above average levels in H1 2018.
Additionally, the threat of a skilled workforce shortage post-Brexit due to changes in immigration laws could become a major issue for the hospitality sector, as stated by Deloitte.
With challenging times ahead in the hospitality sector, it’s vital for hotels to stay competitive by offering top quality services while cutting costs. Optimising supply chain management, goods procurement and keeping up with trends in the industry can make the difference between a successful hotel and a struggling one.
Below are the main trends that are shaping the industry and will continue to do so in 2020.
Catering to food and beverage trends
Traditionally, most hotels tailor their food and beverage menus towards the more indulgent options. Whilst this may appeal to luxury-seeking tourists, such options don’t necessarily satisfy or cater to the modern traveller.
Rises in allergen-specific diets mean hotels must align their menus to adhere to consumers’ needs. In 2017, gluten-free food sales increased by 27% and gluten-free diets continue to grow year-on-year.
Additionally, 2018 saw the explosion of food trends such as the ‘Year of the Vegan’, with predictions for ‘Veganuary’ 2020 set to attract half a million participants (16,666% increase since 2016).
Despite this, Veganism only accounts for 1.6% of the UK population. However, increased awareness in carbon emissions from cattle-farming supports the exponential growth in vegetarianism whilst flexitarians are making health-conscious decisions to seek meat-free alternatives and follow food trends.
In relation to this trend, fast-food giant McDonald’s announced that they’re set to launch their first ever fully-vegan menu in the New Year. Meanwhile, Taco Bell has developed its first meat substitute and leading QSR chain, Greggs, launched Vegan Sausage Rolls across its 1,969 sites this year. Greggs has since reported an ‘exceptional’ 11% rise in like-for-like sales, with plans to increase their vegan food options and continue building on this rapidly growing customer-base.
Essentially, food service businesses must reflect on these changes in consumers’ dietary needs and habits, and adapt accordingly. Commercial and boutique hotels alike must cater for this increasing market, from conference go-ers and business travellers to guests of leisure.
Conscious travel and sustainability
Research conducted by Booking found that 55% of global travellers are more determined than ever to make sustainable choices for their accommodation. However, lack of appealing or affordable options often make it difficult to put this into practice. So, how can hotels become more sustainable and attract those customers looking for socially and environmentally responsible accommodation options?
Hotel customers still want to be pampered by their hotels, but less wasteful solutions from hospitality procurement can become an added bonus.
Recycled/recyclable packaging for toiletries, locally sourced food, removal of single use plastic and monitored water usage are some sustainable solutions that won’t affect the quality of the service offered.
Guest-led digital transformation
An IHG/Amadeus report identified a trend called ‘tech-augmented hospitality’. Even though the majority (67%) of guests surveyed said they preferred engaging with a person, tech elements such as apps and digital management systems can be implemented to create a seamless experience and improve the efficiency of the service. This is the case with Hilton’s Connected Room, which enables guests to use their mobile device as an in-room remote to control their television programming, lighting, and temperature controls.
Reducing energy consumption through tech solutions can also make a hotel more sustainable, as hotels can power down devices such as TVs when guests are not in the room (typically 70% of the time).
Another feature which can be used to create entertaining and exciting features for guests is Augmented Reality (AR).
For example, hotels are often able to make their location an important part of an established AR games such as Pokémon Go. Other examples are the AR experience created by Holiday Inn, which allows guests to visualise virtual depictions of famous celebrities in the hotel through their smartphone, and the Best Western’s AR feature that lets guests take pictures with virtual Disney characters.
Cyber security becoming a top priority
Hotels are increasingly relying on technology. Therefore, as activities become progressively digitalised, it’s extremely important to identify cyber security risks that might result in cyber-attacks or data breaches. Such incidents can have financial and regulatory implications, as well as a negative impact on brand trustworthiness.
Just last year, Marriot suffered a customer data breach which involved personal data including credit card details, passport numbers and the birth dates of up to 500 million guests.
As a result of this incident and others of a similar nature, security experts are now advising travellers to be on high alert when providing personal information to hotels. This means hospitality businesses will have to go above and beyond to reassure their customers and make certain that their data is safely stored and protected.
New types of accommodation
There is no doubt Airbnb has revolutionised the tourism industry, and hotels are now realising they need to evolve to remain relevant in the travel industry. As American Institute of Economic Research states, hotels are now entering the home-sharing market by adding homes and villas to their offer but also by creating original alternatives such as the Moxy by Marriott, Canopy by Hilton and Hyatt Centric.
Combining the efficiency and great service of a traditional hotel with the warm, cosy feel of a home, these hotels have the best of both worlds.
More and more hotels are also focusing on creating an experience that goes beyond the usual stay by enticing customers with 24/7 bars and common areas for socialising, with plenty of entertainment such as karaoke, board games and more.
A recent report by AlixPartners stated: “It is an uncertain time for the UK hotel market. After seven years of solid performance, RevPAR growth is slowing and costs are mounting.”
Essentially, hotels must be willing to adapt if they are to stand a chance of surviving the current economic state of the industry. Following the aforementioned trends will help hotels stabilise figures, increase RevPAR growth and performance once more.
Equinoxe Solutions can help achieve these results in the most cost-efficient way, maximising potential and helping your hotel to stay relevant in 2020.
We are excited to announce the arrival of our new Business Development Manager, Sam Guiher, along with Head of Business Development, Gail Bellamy.
Gail, our Head of Business Development, has a strong track record of leading organisational change whilst developing commercial teams and aligning with business goals. In her previous role, she has been a successful sales leader, overseeing the development of sales strategy and managing budgets, targets, KPIs and monthly forecasts.
With over 10 years of experience in the hotel industry, Gail is determined to make the life of hoteliers much easier by making sure to get the best pricing, quality, services and systems for Equinoxe clients. Her background and industry knowledge make her a valuable addition to our team and we are delighted to have her with us.
Regarding Equinoxe and the various services we offer, Gail said:
“I am totally confident that Equinoxe can deliver the best pricing, quality, services, systems and exceed expectations by operating as part of your team going that extra mile for your business.”
Business Development Manager Sam has worked in the hospitality industry for six years. Her first priority has always been to match members of the hospitality industry with supply and system solutions which save time and money.
In her previous role, Sam managed all areas of supply whilst building and maintaining relationships with sites and management. Having worked with hotels, management companies and the care sector, she has a deep knowledge of the hospitality industry. Her expertise in the sector allows her to find the best fitting solutions for her clients through honesty, transparency and hard work, and we are thrilled to have her on board.
About joining Equinoxe, Sam said:
“I have worked with the hospitality industry for six years now and until now I have not seen a solution which integrates so seamlessly (as Equinoxe). I am very excited to be part of the team and to bring a bit of Equinoxe to other businesses.”
We couldn’t be happier to have Gail and Sam at Equinoxe and we can’t wait to see how their knowledge and expertise will contribute to our clients’ growth and success.
From restaurants to fast food operations, food service establishments across the UK are set to enhance their food and beverage supply chains to meet an increase in demand across the nation’s Eating Out Market.
This comes after a recent MCA report forecasted the UK Eating Out Market to grow by 1.8% in 2020 to a value of approximately £92.6 billion. This marks an improvement on the growth for 2019 (1.3%), with the growth rate expected to improve further in 2021 (2%) and 2022 (2.1%). With the Brexit process underway with an empowered new government, the pound stronger, and consumer confidence potentially rising positively on the back of this, the market could be expected to grow even further.
As a result, food procurement is becoming an increasingly demanding business element for all food service businesses. Because of this, supply chain management companies are currently working to provide the best food procurement services for the most effective cost savings.
Among these is rapidly-growing Equinoxe Solutions.
“As more and more British people are expected to go searching for the best eating-out experiences at pubs, restaurants and fast food chains, and expecting to get great value, it’s essential for these establishments to keep their food procurement costs down,” said Meikan Perumall, Head of Commercial at Equinoxe Solutions. “This is why we’re always keeping an eye on the latest market and commodity trends, so we can ensure the best supply chain services for our clients at the best possible prices.”
With Eating Out demand set to increase year on year despite supply chain costs being affected by the current political climate, foodservice businesses are seeking assistance from businesses, like Equinoxe, with industry insight in order to give them a competitive edge. This means it’s more important than ever for procurement service providers to have their fingers on the pulse of Brexit and the numerous market shifts it causes.
In response to this issue, Equinoxe recently enlisted the help of foodservice market insights specialist Simon Stenning. With a vast network of connections, Simon has worked with the likes of Hilton, Albert Roux and Pret a Manger.
One particular food service sector which is becoming increasingly competitive is the Travel Hub Food Service Market. A report by global information company NPG Group shows the Travel Hub Food Service Market is now worth an estimated £2.75 billion, with consumer spend up 11% in the past year – this includes airports, train stations and roadside service stations.
This increase in business is likely due, at least in part, to the uncertainty of international travel conditions caused by Brexit. In other words, UK residents are now more inclined to stick to national holidaying, thus increasing the amount of motorway travel and roadside stops. There are other benefits from this change in behavior, with the whole Leisure sector set to grow substantially, supported additionally by the UK’s ageing population who will spend more of their free time and money on leisure-related activities.
So, there are significant opportunities for growth in the UK food service market, yet it will remain highly competitive; delivering great value will be critical and therefore reviewing costs in all food and beverage procurement should be a top priority. With improved food margins, operators can concentrate on delivering great service, ensuring that they can exceed consumer expectations and make the most out of the future growth opportunities.