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GUEST

25HOURS HOTELS - THE SCANDINAVIAN PREMIERE

THE FUTURE IS NOW Livit Design’s 18|89 restaurant

FOOD TECH REVOLUTION Artificial Intelligence and food robots

SUPERB EXPERIENCES High-tech guest profiling


BENT BRANDT is Denmark’s leading supplier of kitchen equipment – for professionals. We supply hotels, restaurants, canteens and catering centres as well as the marine and offshore sector. We are known for our high level of quality, outstanding service and functional design.


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25HOURS IN COPENHAGEN 10

We speak to Christoph Hoffmann, CEO of 25hours Hotels. Soon to open in Copenhagen, the chain adds groove and affordable luxury to the world of hospitality.

FEEDBACK FROM FOODBACK 22

Digital Bill Folders from Foodback are the new trick of the trade, proving that nearly all restaurant-goers are happy to leave valuable survey feedback.

SUPERB EXPERIENCES 26

The all-in-one Guest Experience Management (EXM) platform brings Artificial Intelligence and superb hospitality to the world’s finest restaurants.

CONTENTS THE FOOD TECH REVOLUTION

LIVIT – THE FUTURE IS NOW

Industrial disruption has reached the culinary world. We portray some of the field leaders within robotics and artificial intelligence.

Quality-conscious, data-driven and business-intelligent, the 18|89 Fast Fine Pizza restaurant imagined by Livit Design proves that the future of tech is now.

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CREATOR BURGER ROBOTS 36

Slow-food ethics win over cold-hearted automation at the world’s first robotic burger joint – with breezy Nordic design by Per Ivar Selvaag.

SUSHI SINGULARITY 38

Restaurant Sushi Singularity in Tokyo redefines healthy eating with hyper-personalised sushi cubes designed to suit your biodata.

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NORWAY ON THE MOVE 48

The opportunities of the evolving hotel market in Norway – as seen by Telling & Nesager’s new market partner, Stephen Meinich-Bache.

EDITOR’S CHOICE 54

From decluttering in style with designer storage boxes for hotel rooms to the new sobering age of kombucha bars in Copenhagen.

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WELCOME

Photo: Thomas Andersen

Dear Reader, Welcome to the Food Tech Revolution In the third edition of GUEST magazine, we take a closer look at the technology revolutionising the hospitality industry. From California to Stockholm, restaurants are embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to profile their guests and to predict future revenues. Robots are also entering the kitchens, making healthy food more affordable and eco-friendly. We talk with tech visionary Benjamin Calleja, CEO and founder of Livit Design, one of the world’s largest restaurant design studios behind such household names as Pizza Hut and Vapiano. Their high-tech 18|89 Fast Fine Pizza restaurant is a test lab for data-driven hospitality that demonstrates that the future of food tech is now. 4

Touching ground with F&B tech whizzes, we visit Zaedo Musa, CEO and founder of Superb, whose Guest Experience Management (EXM) platform proves what

premium restaurant hospitality is really all about – superb experiences. And we talk with Foodback, a Stavanger-based company whose trick of the trade, the Digital Bill Folder, shows that almost all restaurant-goers are happy to leave honest feedback. Naturally, we also map the evolving hotel industry. We talk with Christoph Hoffmann, CEO of Germany’s only global hotel chain, 25hours Hotels. Opening their first Scandinavian operation in Copenhagen, 25hours Hotels brings fun and spark to the hotel industry, offering affordable luxury and urban liveability. As a responsive industry journal, we naturally welcome reader suggestions for future issues of the magazine. Please contact us at editor@guest-magazine.com Happy reading! Telling & Nesager


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If you like guests, you’ll love us! We are an independent creative agency based in Copenhagen - Denmark. We specialize in strategic marketing services, and creative campaigns for brands in the hospitality sector and the experience economy. We create solutions that attract and convert based on industry insights, strategic creativity and digital knowhow. We work with hotels, restaurants, conference centres, venues, destinations, tourist attractions and everything in between. -So, if you would like more guests please do contact us.


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GUEST

Photo: Andrea Diglas Photographer

PUBLISHER

Telling & Nesager Gammel Strandvej 16 DK-2990 Nivaa Denmark www.tellingnesager.com

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Michael Telling editor@guest-magazine.com

EDITOR

Kim Wyon www.copenhageneditors.com

ART DIRECTION

Mads Lehn Kruse, MK Agency www.mkagency.net

ADVERTISING

advertising@guest-magazine.com

PRINTER

Paper-Made Production 6

GUEST Magazine is published biannually by Telling & Nesager No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from Telling & Nesager. Telling & Nesager does not accept liability for omissions and errors.


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Visit WHRDevelopmentEMEA.com or contact Development.EMEA@wyndham.com

Š 2019 Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc. All rights reserved. All hotels are independently owned and operated with the exception of certain hotels managed or owned by an affiliate. Some brand offerings may differ by market. This is not an offer. An offer will only be made in compliance with local laws and regulations, which may require we provide you with a Franchise Disclosure Document, a copy of which can be obtained by contacting any of the franchisors above or Wyndham Hotels & Resorts at 22 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, New Jersey, 07054, USA. All numbers are approximate as of April 2019.


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CONTRIBUTORS KIM WYON, EDITOR Founder of CopenhagenEditors, Kim Wyon is an experienced editor, writer and photographer. His editorial clients include leading design practices and exclusive brand magazines. Wyon has created editorial design for international campaigns, travel books and museum exhibitions. His editorial photography has been featured in ‘The Guardian’, ‘La Stampa’, The New York Times Magazine’, et.al.

MADS LEHN KRUSE, ART DIRECTOR Based in Copenhagen, art director Mads Lehn Kruse creates visual solutions for the arts, fashion and lifestyle industries. With his business acumen, extensive technical expertise and distinct creative signature, Mads offers creative and digital direction for an international clientele within graphic design for print, online and film.

ANDREA DIGLAS, PHOTOGRAPHER For this issue, Andrea Diglas has portrayed Christoph Hoffmann, CEO and partner of 25hours Hotels. In addition to creating international campaigns, fashion editorials as well as corporate and architectural photography, Diglas has 20 years of experience in capturing authentic, lively portrayals of character, which has helped her establish a long list of loyal clients. Andrea Diglas is based in Zurich and Vienna.

CHRISTIAN BRORSEN, JOURNALIST Christian Brorsen works in the intersection between design, art and marketing. He has been editor-in-chief of ‘DesignMatters’, published by the Danish Design Center. Also holding a business degree, Brorsen has worked with product development and communications for Design Nation. And juggling his artistic talents, he has been music producer for Storyville Records and music director of Jazzhus Montmartre. 8


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The 25hours Hotel in Copenhagen is located adjacent to Copenhagen’s landmark Round Tower. Set to open in 2021, the hotel complex will consist of 18th and 19th century buildings and their internal courtyards.

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Germany’s first global hotel player captures the times with its lifestyle hospitality and bohemian cool. With their first Scandinavian outpost on the drawing board, GUEST magazine talks to the creative mind behind 25hours Hotels, CEO and partner Christoph Hoffmann. By Kim Wyon

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Christoph Hoffmann, CEO and partner of 25hours Hotels, sees the success of the hotel chain as a counter reaction to our digitalised age, allowing us to connect with real people, real places and real experiences.

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he first German-born hotel chain to go global is like none other. Opting out of creating ‘boring stop-overs for travellers in transit’, 25hours Hotels have captured the zeitgeist, creating modern, locally-anchored lifestyle accommodations – sometimes cool, sometimes nostalgic, but always with plenty of surprises. Riffing on Nirvana, their slogan ‘Come as you are’ welcomes like-minded urbanites to a quirky bohemian world of hangout-able fun. The creative cool of the 25hours brand is the brainchild of Christoph Hoffmann, CEO and partner of 25hours Hotel Company GmbH, who sees the success of the hotel chain as a counter reaction to our digitalised age, allowing us to connect with real people, real places and real experiences. Enjoying exceptional occupancy rates and a unique following among their target demographic (rambling global nomads), 25hours Hotels entered a strategic partnership with AccorHotels in 2016 and now sets its playful eyes on travel-worthy cities worldwide. Newly imagined 25hours Hotels are scheduled to open in Dubai and Florence in 2020. And their first Scandinavian outpost – in Copenhagen –

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will swing open its doors in 2021. Closer to their roots than many of the far-flung cities on their global to-do list, Copenhagen is in some ways a homecoming. For it was in the Danish capital, in 2013 during a sabbatical year after graduating from Cornell University, New York, that Christoph Hoffmann was asked to give creative direction to the city’s first art hotel, Hotel Fox (today SP34 and part of Brøchner Hotels) to spotlight the launch of Volkswagen’s VW Fox marque. There, in Copenhagen, he met real estate investor Ardi Goldman, consultant Stephan Gerhard and hotelier Kai Holl“For us, the story mann. The quartet is the script and a teamed to open basis on which to the first 25hours Hotel in Hambuild. We and our burg’s sprawlrespective partners ing regenerated use it as a common docklands just thread.” two years later. Revolving around Christoph Hoffmann storytelling, the 25hours Hotel HafenCity reflects the Hanseatic town’s seafaring soul and relates the true tale of a hardy local sea captain – rooms are even called ‘cabins’. Since then, Christoph Hoffmann has assembled a creative storytelling team for the 25hours brand, often consisting of anthropologists, film set designers and design psychologists,

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and works closely for each individual project with imaginative design studios to create interiors with soul for urban explorers. For their upcoming 243room hotspot in Copenhagen, 25hours Hotels has partnered with Martin Brudnizki, a Swedish designer based in London and New York who has created stand-alone interiors for such sassy establishments as London’s Annabel’s nightclub, the Beekman Hotel in New York and The Grand Hôtel Stockholm. How will this match play out in the bouncy design world of 25hours Hotels? And how will their F&B offerings position themselves on Copenhagen’s red-hot culinary heat map? Situated in heritage buildings right next to the landmark Round Tower and including a swathe of boutique storefronts facing Købmagergade,

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a busy pedestrian street, the soon-to-materialise 25hours Hotel in the Danish capital offers an exceptional opportunity to study how one of Europe’s most successful lifestyle hotel brands meets the Scandinavian market. GUEST magazine talks to Christoph Hoffmann. How did you personally enter the hotel industry – and what drives your passion? I was always curious, I wanted to see the world and get inspired by places and people. For me it all started with an internship at a New Yorkbased incentive agency after finishing my apprenticeship as a travel agent. My first experience working in a hotel was at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem; already then I fell in love with the storytelling component of this wonderful

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hotel and the progressive Israeli culture. What do you believe differentiates 25hours Hotels from other players in the luxury hotel segment? First, we are proud of being upscale and not luxury… ;-) We cater to people that have a distinct approach to luxury. For our guests, time, atmosphere and experience are more important than luxury hardware. How important is storytelling to the way you develop your hotels – and what are your personal favourite examples? For us, the story is the script and a basis on which to build. We and our respective partners use it as a common thread throughout the devel-

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Rendering of the courtyard restaurant at the 25hours Hotel in Copenhagen, which will be designed by London-based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. Artwork: MBDS London.


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For the F&B offerings at 25hours Hotel in Copenhagen, the company has partnered with the Molcho family behind the eclectic restaurant concept NENI, which serves Mediterranean-Persian-Austrian cuisine. NENI is currently part of 25hours Hotels in Berlin, Hamburg and Zurich. Artwork: MBDS London.

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opment of a hotel. In our 25hours Hotel HafenCity Hamburg, the maritime theme came easy as we had the location near the harbour. Here we play with the port and the sea, industry and romance, cabins, logbooks and sailors’ yarns. In our upcoming Dubai hotel, for instance, we were motivated by traditional and modern nomads that gave us inspiration for the different areas of the hotel such as the Grand Library, which will become the centrepiece of the lobby in reference to the hakawati, the Arabic storyteller. All preferably curated by the renowned Institut du Monde Arabe of Paris. In general, we pay a lot of attention to details and we strongly believe that storytelling can truly create the oft-acclaimed soul of a hotel.

One of the playful guest experiences at 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne is ‘Robi the robot’, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to learn how to guide and provide visitors with information. In your view, what are the wider prospects for using AI in the hotel industry? To be honest, ‘Robi the Robot’ was more of a playful intervention than an intelligent digital experience. However, there is undoubtedly a substantial development going on in the area of AI but the hospitality industry is rather slowly adapting. The first signs we are seeing are incorporated in chatbots within the reservation funnel. Copenhagen and the other Scandinavian capitals are internationally known for their exciting culinary scenes and

very strong Nordic design tradition. How will your future Copenhagen hotel complement these expectations among travellers? Indeed, Copenhagen has a vibrant food and design scene valued as great craftsmanship. At the same time, people in Copenhagen are innovative and have a profound sense of quality and taste. For us, entering such a highly creative and competitive market is both challenging and fun at the same time. We reflect a lot on how to become the new creative, slightly different neighbour and contribute to the city’s overall creativity. Food-wise, we decided to team up with two highly professional partners with a non-Nordic background – our loyal friends, the Molcho family, with their eclectic Mediterranean-Persian-Austrian NENI


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25hours Hotel HafenCity Upcycled shipping containers, cabin bunk beds and tattoo-styled wallpaper add to the nautical feel of the first 25hours Hotel located close to the maritime warehouses of Hamburg’s UNESCO World Heritage Speicherstadt. Photo: Stephan Lemke

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concept and Melissa Forti, a young and passionate pastry chef from Italy.   Your Copenhagen hotel will feature street-level commercial space. What are the guiding principles behind the way you develop a 25hours Hotel to become a destination that is part of the urban fabric?

some it is F&B, for some it is the spa, for some it may be special services and of course retail plays an important role when it comes to take a part of ‘your’ hotel home. At 25hours we curate small in-house concept stores and are about to develop our own retail brand 25hours things.

We would like to contribute added value to our neighbourhood in line with our principle: “Come as you are and leave as a friend.” In general, we don’t take ourselves too seriously; our  entrepreneurial  spirit is still grounded on  creativity, passion and humour.

Loyalty programmes are seen by many in the hotel industry as key to generating bookings via brand websites rather than OTAs. What benefits does 25hours Hotels offer its returning guests?

The UK national daily ‘The Independent’ ranked 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin as “Best for shopping”. How important are the in-hotel retail and online shopping aspects of your hotels today?

Until now, we’ve run a highly-individualised recognition programme for each hotel. However, with the increasing growth of our group we plan to join the loyalty programme of AccorHotels in the near future and to adapt it to our target audience.

While hotel rooms become increasingly the same around the world, the brand identifiers become more diverse. For

Sustainability is a growing concern in the industry. Which kinds of programmes, eco-labelling systems or specific ini-

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tiatives are you adopting to address this important issue? While we admittedly are not frontrunners in this aspect, more and more initiatives are implemented company-wide such as urban e-mobility, responsibly sourced food ingredients in our restaurants, the development of organic cosmetics, and the long-running support of several freshwater projects in Nepal through our partner Viva con Agua. What made you decide that the time was right for 25hours Hotels to become a global player? Around 2015, we realised that we had to make a precedent-setting decision if we wanted to expand globally. My partners and I decided to go for the global adventure together with AccorHotels as our strategic partner. And we are still very happy about this decision.

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What does the strategic alliance with AccorHotels mean to you at 25hours Hotels – and how does such an alliance support your growth strategy?

through our friends from Stylt Tramboli and at some point, we can very well imagine having a 25hours Hotel in such a beautiful place.

We mainly have two pillars of co-operation: development and distribution. AccorHotels enables and supports our global expansion, having a huge network and development hubs in place on all continents. Other than that, we benefit from the vast knowhow of such a big cooperation in various fields.

Where do you see 25hours Hotels in 5 years’ time – and when will we see your hotels in Stockholm and Oslo?

What constitutes the ideal city destination for a 25hours Hotel – would you for instance ever consider smaller Scandinavian cities?

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Mainly we concentrate on vibrant cities, ideally with a soul and culture or we take “While hotel rooms a chance and go for an adbecome increasventure such ingly the same around the world, as in Dubai. Secondary citthe brand identifi- ies are becomers become more ing more and more interestdiverse.” ing for us, in Christoph Hoffmann particular in countries with overcrowded prime cities. This can also apply for Scandinavia. For example, we got to know Gothenburg quite well

Our goal is to have a 25hours Hotel in every cool city, ‘cool’ being obviously a matter of interpretation… But behind the scenes, we and AccorHotels do have a common understanding and a very clear growth strategy. Stockholm and Oslo are at the top of the list and we are already very excited about slowly entering the highly appreciated Scandinavian market and to connect with – equally to learn from – its wonderful, innovative and inspiring people.

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25hours Hotel Terminus Nord The boudoir sentiment of the Powder Room at 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord in Paris, which along with a playful sense of African bazaar offers an urban refuge by Gare du Nord. Photo: Steve Herud.


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By Kim Wyon

Gaining fresh and honest insight into guest satisfaction among diners has always escaped the F&B industry – until Norwegian tech company Foodback devised Digital Bill Folder surveys, resulting in 90 percent response rates and invaluable business insight.

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here is no sellby date for the business value of honest feedback from diners while it’s still fresh in memory. But all too often, diners in Scandinavia are too timid to offer their candid opinion – or so the founders of the Foodback company observed – although such plain talk would naturally be highly valued since it can help restaurateurs fine-tune their products. Emailed Guest Satisfaction Surveys (GSS) are a common feature offered by online table reservation companies. But not all restaurants use booking providers (especially hotels and casual eateries), and the response rate from diners to emailed survey requests received many hours after dining is often low. And although online rating websites such as TripAdvisor offer restaurant-owners insight into honest guest opinions, these responses may be unrepresentative due to the limited number of postings and may in some cases cause reputational damage rather than offer valuable business insight – complaints are best dealt with right away in the restaurant rather than on review websites or social media. A novel approach to the psychology of the payment situation has made the Foodback company win the hearts

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of over 300 F&B outlets in Norway. Here, bills are handed to guests in Digital Bill Folders, which when opened not only contain the bill itself but also a small tablet display that lights up. The tablet features a survey of five questions regarding the food, service, atmosphere and the restaurant itself, which diners are encouraged to answer – and perhaps leave a personal comment. The response rate speaks for itself – 90 percent of diners answer the 5 questions, 35 percent leave a personal comment, and 50 percent offer demographical data, such as age, gender and email. The whole survey procedure takes on “The most important average around thing a restaurant can 45 seconds. But just how do is to provide good do you achieve training for their a 90 percent rewaiters, who are the sponse rate? ones delivering the “The most imDigital Bill Folder.” portant thing a restaurant can Fredrik Amundsen do is to provide good training for their waiters, who are the ones delivering the Digital Bill Folder. If bills are handed to guests without using the folder, restaurants will not receive any feedback. Restaurants are able to access performance data on each individual waiter to see how often they distribute the Digital Bill Folders and what the specific response

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The Digital Bill Folder features 5 individual questions out of 40 questions surveyed at the restaurant. The Foodback Weekly Report digs deeper into the numbers and offering an overview of trends.

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rate is from their guests,” says Fredrik Amundsen – Business Developer at Foodback to GUEST magazine. And what kind of guests are most likely to complete the survey? “We see that response rates tend to depend on the situation. Business travellers are less likely to rate their hotel breakfast than when sitting in a restaurant or canteen where they have more time. Nonetheless, we generally experience high response rates no matter the age group, which is probably due to the screen lighting up when the folder is opened to display 4-5 sim-

ple questions that guests rate from 1-6,” Fredrik Amundsen adds.

FOODBACK ANALYTICS By offering diners the discretion of rating their experience on a Digital Bill Folder rather than offering their compliments – or otherwise – directly to the waiter, restaurants not only gain sky-high response rates, they also obtain the kind of straighttalking feedback necessary for an analytical approach. Although diners are only asked

five questions, the total number of queries in the survey loop posed to different diners at different times is 50. All questions are devised by industry experts and processed by Artificial Intelligence (AI). And the resulting business intelligence is displayed in real time on a single dashboard compatible with any device. “The information displayed on our feedback dashboards includes key data, such as overviews of positive and negative feedback, trend lines of overall guest satisfaction over time, response rates and performance levels in relation to pre-defined category goals


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(rated 1-6). Furthermore, restaurant chains can currently benchmark a number of factors for internal use among affiliated outlets, either comparing individual outlets or groups of outlets, to identify best-practice performers and those underperforming. We will also introduce anonymous external industry benchmarking – and we are working on offering regression analyses,” Fredrik Amundsen explains. In food courts, hotels and canteens, feedback can also be facilitated by guests scanning a QR code. But what can encourage out-and-about diners to do so? “Restaurants where the Digital Bill Folder is used clearly have the highest response rate, while our other solutions require guests to take action to provide feedback – such as scanning a QR code, replying to an email, text message or push message. We see a tendency for younger people to give feedback more often with QR codes, presumably because they are more used to smartphones. We also have a number of incentive schemes for QR-code users where they can spin a wheel of fortune and win a prize they get immediately. This is probably more attractive to a younger audience. The overall response rate with QR-code use is between 10-25 percent,” Fredrik Amundsen says. Consumers using apps to order fast-food from providers partnered with Loopon will receive a text message, push message or email one hour after collecting their

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order inviting them to take part in a four-step Foodback survey uniquely designed for fast-food businesses. Here response rates are more sluggish – around 7-8 percent.

SPLITTING THE BILL Another advantage to the Digital Bill Folder solution from Foodback is the option of guests paying their bills using mobile payment – and splitting the bill amongst them. To do so, each diner needs to scan a QR code in the bill folder and submit their phone number before finally accepting payment on their own mobile. Sounds tricky, but mobile payment with Foodback takes less than 30 seconds. On the Norwegian market, mobile payment is currently offered in partnership with Vipps and Alipay but on the wider Scandinavian market now targeted by Foodback, local mobile payment providers will be used. In Denmark, MobilePay and in Sweden, Swish.

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The ultimate all-in-one guest experience management platform for premium restaurants is on a global rollout. Designed by Copenhagen tech startup Superb, the EXM platform brings AI analytics and unprecedented guest experience to the world’s finest restaurants.

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Zaedo Musa, CEO and founder of Superb. Nominated as one of Denmark’s top 100 young talents in 2019, a ranking hosted by Danish daily Berlingske.

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wo years ago, Superb launched the ultimate software for guest relations targeted at premium restaurants. Now, they’re rolling out the latest iteration of their Guest Experience Management platform (GXM) – a singular solution with which to fine-tune your restaurant, providing data-driven insights to turn great hospitality into profitable business. With hundreds of subscribing premium restaurants in 30 countries, Superb is not only the first company to offer an all-in-one package of integrated tools for topline restaurants, they are also the only global player in their market.

IN THE DARK You might not think the hospitality industry needs another new software solution, but it’s precisely the complexity and lack of

compatibility among operational systems on the market that led a bright young business student in Copenhagen to launch an innovative guest relations solution – and become a high jumper among the city’s new IT startups. “I was part of the early-stage management team at Joe and the Juice and noticed how the software tools we had at our disposal yielded no real insight into overall business activities – there was no compatibility and the data was simply lost. There was no way of predicting how busy a day would become either. Still, it was clear that the turnover was 25 percent higher on days when I was manning the juice bar, as opposed to days when I wasn’t there. There was something about the customer relations I had created that yielded better sales results, but I had no tools with which to pass this knowledge and knowhow on to my colleagues,” said Zaedo Musa, CEO and founder of Superb.

Today, two years on – and at the ripe age of 27 – he heads a bustling, youth-filled office on a busy artery in Copenhagen’s happening Vesterbro neighbourhood. When GUEST magazine dropped by, their portfolio of clients had reached premium restaurants (i.e. medium to highend) in 30 nations, including such high-profiled establishments as Maaemo in Oslo, Sühring in Bangkok, and Osteria Francescana in Modena (Italy). “Our first approach was to try and solve the compatibility issue so that key management systems, such as inventory, staffing and table reservation software, could be integrated. This turned out to be an unsurmountable challenge. We discovered that some of the more common systems were basically outdated, and we were surprised at the scepticism among the different providers. They were reluctant to grant us access to their systems despite our intention of adding value to

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their product. So, the only way forward was to build everything needed to run a premium restaurant into a whole new platform,” Musa says.

A CLEAN SLATE

The three-starred Michelin restaurant Maaemo in Oslo is one of hundreds of leading restaurants worldwide that uses the Superb guest experience platform (GXM).

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Wiping the technology slate clean also meant that the development team at Superb could create a whole new product that addressed some of the specific challenges of launching and managing a successful restaurant in the premium segment. Seated at the office picnicbench-slash-meeting-table, Musa says: “People who open fine dining restaurants most often do so out of a great passion for offering the best of guest experiences. That doesn’t just apply to the food – which goes without saying – but especially to the hospitality. Sustaining such a business is a great challenge and requires business acumen and stamina – not just great cooking skills. Profit margins are often low and the overheads are considerable,” he explains. The first step of the Superb venture was to launch the sleekly designed GXM platform that not only supports table reservations, but which also enables the sale of event tickets and gift cards as well as facilitating hotel room selection at the growing number of high-end restaurants that also offer boutique accommodation. But perhaps the most important

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tool is the opportunity for restaurants to build guest profiles for each individual diner. “Fine restaurants have always made an effort to build relations with their guests but very often the information they store is on post-its, which easily get lost, or in the memory of the maître d’. These notes can now be digitalised in the guest profile which can optionally be shared with other users of the GXM platform. Knowing the preferences and penchants of a guest – including favourite wines – and other more statistical information, such as the value of their average purchase, will help sustain and grow relations with the customer and boost the all-important upselling. Equally, the restaurant gains insight into who their customers really are, allowing them to target their PR spending to where it really matters. Often, PR is aimed at gaining new customers rather than supporting relations with existing guests, which may not always be the most prudent choice. With guest analytics – what we call ‘guestlitics’ – restaurant-owners will gain a better understanding of who their customers are and can make more informed decisions of how to build guest relations,” Musa adds. Arguably, with a growing market share among premium restaurants in Scandinavia, Superb has reached the critical threshold of offering analytics-driven business insights. As part of the Superb GXM platform, predictive modelling is used to second-guess the number of covers restaurants can expect to sell on a given day. But in a high-end dining segment with few walk-ins and where most table reservations are made well


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in advance, does predictive modelling make sense? “We have experienced that weather patterns and events have a measurable impact on the number of diners that premium restaurants can expect – and that predictive modelling proves more accurate than gut feeling. That is the feedback we are getting. And although high-end restaurants often find it difficult to quickly adjust their staffing – mainly consisting of hard-to-replace top professionals – then predictive information nonetheless does help them fine-tune their operations, reduce overheads and increase profit margins. We are not only very focused on assisting ambitious restaurants worldwide in developing their guest relations, we are equally very conscious of offering valuable customer service to our client restaurants – to create a personal relationship with the restaurants. One of the great advantages of analytics is that it offers insight into the trajectory of what restaurants can expect from their business in year one, two and three, so they can adjust their expectations and manage their inventories and staff rosters accordingly. Basically, we are offering the business tools necessary for any new premium restaurant to succeed,” Musa says. One valuable customer service provided by the Superb team – one that has nothing directly to do with analytics – is the reduction of no-shows, which has been a growing issue in the restaurant industry for a number of years. Not only can restaurants choose to optionally require guests to register their credit card information when making table reservations, the GXM platform even

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alerts restaurants when diners make multiple coinciding bookings at different restaurants. This way the restaurant staff can call up the person placing the reservations to clarify which of their bookings they will be requiring.

GLOBAL ROLLOUT Although critical mass may now have been achieved in the Scandinavian market, what about the rest of the world? “We are very conscious of the need to reach critical mass, and our focus has mainly been on Europe where our markets are quite varied. In some countries, like Italy, we are not competing against existing software solutions, but are offering an alternative to guest and business information penned by hand in a physical book! For these restaurants, the leap to using data-driven solutions is galactic. But although we are aiming for a general market share among premium restaurants of 70 percent, achieving critical mass isn’t just about gaining new restaurant subscribers to our platform; it’s also about enlisting a high number of guest profiles. Many diners at premium restaurants travel quite a lot and we are now able to follow their journeys. Insight into these profiles will help all our restaurant clients achieve greater sales and support upselling, although the individual restaurants can also make digital notes in the guest profiles that are not shared with other restaurants,” Musa explains. With two years of startup experience and a recent injection of DKK 10 million in venture capital

August 2019

from PreSeed Ventures and Seed Capital, Superb is now ready to launch their updated platform. The first edition of GXM launched two years ago consisted of a variety of separate software tools. These individual services have now been packaged into an allin-one business software. The beta-version has been tested by 50 of their clients and the second-generation GXM platform is currently being rolled out among customers in all 30 countries in which they operate. “The platform provides channels with which restaurants can reach out and develop their guest relations as well as manage daily operations. It offers inventory, staffing and liquidity stats – on the day. It supports billing, booking and upselling. Much like iZettle, it’s easy to set up. In fact, your business can be up and running in just one day – even if you don’t have a bank account yet. No other platform offers a full package of integrated software tools for the high-end restaurant segment on this level – we’re the first and only provider. We have aimed to become a global player, and with almost no marketing budget – and purely word-ofmouth recommendation – we already are,” Musa concludes.

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Restaurant SAV in Malmรถ was an early user of the Superb GXM platform, which helps them reduce the risk of no-shows and generate upselling. One of the most important features of the platform for the restaurant is the guest profiles, which allows the chefs to get to know the preferences of their guests before they even arrive.


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CASE STORY Among the early users of the GXM platform is restaurant SAV in Malmö. With an almost instant first Michelin star, SAV went from struggling startup to overnight success within months of opening. GUEST Magazine gave Sven Jensen a call at his farmhouse restaurant SAV, which he runs with co-chef and co-owner Axel Fohlin. Located just outside Malmö, SAV opened in 2017 and was an early subscriber to Superb’s GXM platform when it was first launched. They rose to success within months, receiving their first Michelin star and a notable listing in the White Guide. We asked chef Sven Jensen how GXM has helped them manage their almost instant success.

TABLE RESERVATIONS “Well, it all started very suddenly. We knew it would be make or break for us – and we opened in January, which in any case is a tough month in the industry. But three months later, we attended a White Guide gala in Stockholm where we were ranked among the top-30 restaurants – we’ve since risen to 14th place. At the time, we had five tables in the restaurant and one fixed daily seating – so just one no-show could wipe out a fifth of our earnings in an evening. We turned to Superb. They have a really cool-looking guest interface, which is important because for many people the experience starts long before they arrive at the restaurant –

when booking a table. The platform also has an intuitive backend for restaurant operations – it’s just really easy. And what with guests being asked to register their credit card information beforehand, the risk of no-shows was reduced. Shortly after signing up with Superb, we were awarded a Michelin star – and there I was attending the gala in Copenhagen. We received 300 bookings the next day. We immediately downsized to four tables from five to offer an even more personalised experience. What has remained important since then is to have a table reservation system that can handle the logistics of the restaurant being booked solid six months ahead, which we still are today.”

GUEST PROFILES “This is a very important feature for us. An evening at the Vindåkra farm is very intimate and personal. We still light the torches in the evening to greet arriving guests. And Alex and I not only prepare the menus, we also serve the dishes at the table. So, I run a background check on each and every diner – as best I can, using Google and the Superb guest profiles – to get to know a little about our guests before they arrive so we can give them the best total experience, which I believe is what we are about. That’s the most important thing.”

August 2019

GIFT CARDS AND EVENTS “I am quite amazed at the number of gift cards we have sold. I hadn’t expected that – hundreds still haven’t been redeemed. Of course, that’s a boost to the cash flow. We also have a number of summer events where we sell tickets via the Superb feature, and that works fine.”

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT “We’re part of the ‘Nordic wave’ in culinary terms. One important way we manage our inventory and save food waste is the methods we use, such as fermenting food items so we can serve them out of season. Alex’s father is a ‘forest hipster’ – he picks our unripe berries in Småland and forages for moss and mushrooms, which we also preserve. It’s all a very lean operation – we also have low staff overheads. There are only five employees at our restaurant, including the gardener – and our sommelier also clears the tables. We have one daily seating and only serve set menus – small and large – that guests pre-select when booking, which means we can plan ahead. And we also have information about any allergens beforehand. So perhaps the most important feature for our inventory management is an efficient table reservation system that minimises no-shows and allows guests to pre-select their menu choice.”

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FIVE INCISIVE QUESTIONS

August 2019

F&B specialist Pia Bøgeskov, partner of TN Concept & Design

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS CHANGING THE WAY WE LIVE AND RUN OUR BUSINESSES. THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IS NO EXCEPTION. BUT WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DRAWBACKS? F&B SPECIALIST PIA BØGESKOV, PARTNER OF TN CONCEPT & DESIGN, LENDS HER THOUGHTS ON AI ADAPTATION. Hotels and restaurants have always registered guest preferences. What advantage does Artificial Intelligence (AI) add? “AI delivers better optimisation and bottom-line benefits. It’s also empowering for a businessperson to be able to rely on AI-generated business intelligence rather than simply base decisions on past experiences. Skilled professionals have always analysed data, but not only is this time consuming, the data provided is less accurate and therefore less valuable than business intelligence generated by AI. Supported by AI analytics, culinary professionals can also concentrate on the creative and guest-centric aspect of their hospitality business and leave the number-crunching to AI.”

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op their lobby areas in enterprising ways. All restaurants would benefit from greater insights into how to adapt the sensory design – lighting, music playlists and scents – at any given time. Controlling the ambiance can make a place feel fantastic. And when people feel comfortable and the experience feels unique they are more likely to return. There are benefits to AI-assisted operations, no matter whether the restaurant is high-end and requires insight into individual guest preferences and no-show management, or whether the restaurant concept is more casual and requires a high level of efficiency, which is likely to become an increasingly important competitive parameter since convenience is what such restaurants are all about. No matter your restaurant concept, you will benefit from using AI tools.”

Pioneering tech-driven restaurants, such as 1889 in Stockholm, have demonstrated that Artificial Intelligence and automation are ready to change the industry. What kind of hospitality businesses are most likely to benefit from early adaptation?

Artificial Intelligence is used to identify consumer habits and predict consumer behaviour based on previous purchases. But luckily, consumers are sometimes open to breaking their habits. How can hotels or restaurants use guest profile data to encourage customers to discover new experiences?

“The short answer is ALL hospitality businesses! This is regardless of the restaurant concept, and it also applies to hotels seeking to devel-

“AI offers very incisive and sharable insights that can guide the individual employee to bet-


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ter pursue unique sales opportunities. To most of us, the best guest experience is when a waiter or receptionist ‘reads’ our needs and preferences before we are actually aware of them ourselves. This is when we as guests are truly impressed. AI facilitates this by empowering employees to conduct personalised upselling or cross-selling, such as tempting a guest by recommending a specific wine made with what a guest profile tells you is the guest’s favourite grape. There are countless opportunities to give the guest a unique and surprising experience they had not expected – and boost revenues at the same time.”

Customer contact is becoming increasingly mobile-driven. Hotels are likely to embrace chatbot functions that help automate communication. Does Artificial Intelligence risk causing confusion and alienation? “The aim of AI chatbots is to eliminate repetitive tasks by responding to standard queries and repetitive actions. Younger consumers expect short response times on queries and would

August 2019

rather text a chatbot or person online to resolve issues and gain information. But naturally, real human contact can never be entirely replaced by chatbots.”

Customer feedback is a valuable tool for companies. Do we risk feedback fatigue among consumers – and how do we encourage users to leave feedback? “Clearly, if surveys always ask the same old questions, most guests and consumers will grow tired of them. Punching smiley push buttons in stores might not appeal to the youngest consumers – Generation Z – since they instinctively know that this isn’t really giving meaningful feedback. I believe that we will see many more opportunities in the future allowing customers to provide valuable feedback, both praise and constructive criticism. Younger generations are aware of the value of this kind of feedback in helping a restaurant or hotel develop their products and services in a meaningful and appealing way.”

“Artificial Intelligence offers very incisive and sharable insights that can guide the individual employee to better pursue unique sales opportunities.” Pia Bøgeskov

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Eco friendly, hygienic and effective management of duvets and pillows Berendsen delivers a complete textile rental and laundry service to all types of activities at the hotel. With the new RFID Technology in duvets and pillows, you are guaranteed the best solution available on the market. RFID Tags in duvets and pillows at the hotel ensure the right circulation of the textiles. A correct washing frequency, that is also documented provides a high level of hygiene while being cost effective at the same time and reduces the environmental impact. When you choose this solution for your guests, every guest will feel the quality and cleanliness of the duvets and pillows. With this solution duvets and pillows are washed twice a year and we take care of all steps from collecting, washing and delivery them, all included in the price. All our laundries carry the Nordic Swan Label, which is you guarantee for minimum use of water, chemicals and energy.

Contact: +45 70133331 • DK-info@elis.com • www.berendsen.dk


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Robots and Artificial Intelligence are about to open the hatch to a new world of culinary experiences – ones that are ethical, eco-friendly and financially sound. Industrial disruption has reached the culinary world and new restaurants are opening where backstage operations are guided by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and where gourmet burgers and pizzas are recipe-designed by Michelin-rated chefs – but made by robots. Technological breakthroughs have always changed the way we live and work. But whereas the Age of Industrialisation has given us more readily available yet also

more standardised products, the new food tech revolution may be about to change the rules. Food technology such as the Creator robot can help make healthy food made with local farm-fresh produce available to more people – and with greater variety. Livit Design shows us that AI can help restaurants predict their number of walk-in guests to better manage staffing, target their advertising and limit food waste.

Superb, the company, shows how providing AI-driven business intelligence can help entrepreneurs focus on superb guest experiences, while also creating successful culinary ventures. Foodback has demonstrated that almost every restaurant guest is willing to leave valuable survey feedback with the simple psychological trick of the Digital Bill Folder.

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August 2019

ETHICAL BURGER ROBOTS

The world’s first robotic burger joint sets slow-food ethics above cold-hearted automation. Launched in California in 2018 with people-friendly interiors by Norwegian design guru Per Ivar Selvaag.

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The Creator robot was designed by Norwegian top industrial designer Per Ivar Selvaag of the Montaag studio. The advanced robotics were developed by engineers from Disney Imagineering, NASA and Tesla. The robot has a capacity of producing 240 gourmet burgers an hour. Image courtesy of Creator.


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ou would be forgiven for expecting that the invention of the world’s first burger-making robot was all about cutting the costs of patty-flipping. After all, industrialisation has always principally been about volume, speed and price. But when the Creator hamburger restaurant in San Francisco opened its doors to walk-ins in September 2018, visitors were met with a carefully curated world of slow-food ethics and breezy, people-friendly interiors. Rendered with a palette of all white, blond wood and copper, the Creator restaurant is more akin to a sleekly styled superyacht than a Bay Area fastfood joint. Hardly strange considering Creator hired Norwegian top industrial designer Per Ivar Selvaag of the Montaag studio – noted for his work for BMW, Ferrari, and Peugeot – to fashion their food experience. To develop the future-forward robotics, they partnered with engineers from Disney Imagineering, NASA and Tesla.

PRINCIPLED ETHICS As much a social experiment as a technology lab, the Creator project itself is guided by three main principles. Their first aim is to reduce the cost of farm-tofork dining by spending more

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on quality ingredients and less on kitchen labour. This, they say, gives guests an opportunity to support small local farms by choosing ethically-raised pastured beef and other quality produce. The second principle is to democratise access to culinary techniques previously only accessible to the high-end restaurant market – and indeed to refine them. Whereas the hamburger recipes are designed by alumni of such famous Michelin-starred establishments as Momofuku and Chez Panisse, the robotic food processing is so precise that the gourmet patties could never be fried to such tender perfection by human hand, Creator claims. The third guiding principle is to provide a restaurant experience rich in human interaction. Waiters (or ‘consulting experts’ as they are called) will greet you at the door and help you build your meal order on their smartphone. Once your ideal burger is logged into the system, you can watch it being prepared by one of their two robots – or ‘culinary devices’ as the staff would say – right in front of your eyes. Each ingredient is supplied from transparent tubes and freshly sliced with millimetre perfection. Crafted to order, your burger will travel across the robotic table top as the toppings are added before finally being collected and served. Staff-members also earn above-average salaries and apart from being encouraged to engage with diners,

August 2019

Creator allows them to spend up to 5 percent of their working hours reading or studying, hence the inspirational library on the restaurant wall.

CLEAN AND EFFICIENT Behind-the-scenes culinary workers filling the ingredient tubes also enjoy better working conditions, such as cleaner air quality. There are no combustion gases in the restaurant, since the low-emissions robots are all-electric and highly energy-efficient. All gases harmful to human health are mechanically contained. Noble slow-food principles aside, each robot has the capacity of processing up to 240 gourmet burgers an hour (averaging one every 15 seconds), and they take up far less floor space than the culinary teams they in principle have replaced. Nonetheless, the Creator team, headed by CEO Alex Vardakostas, has with this robotic burger-making concept injected a rare level of ethics, setting an example for the tech-driven restaurant industry of tomorrow.

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August 2019

PERSONALISED SUSHI

Hyper-personalised sushi cubes designed to suit your nutritional needs and biodata. Restaurant Sushi Singularity in Tokyo redefines healthy eating – and takes the first step towards food ‘teleportation’.

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At Singularity Sushi, a human host at the counter will serve your biometrically-engineered sushi cubes. The Tokyo restaurant is set to open in 2020 and has been developed by Japanese food tech startup Open Kitchen.


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ust how personalised will food get? Slated to open in Tokyo in 2020, restaurant Sushi Singularity seeks to set a whole new standard for dietary-correct dining. You’ll even need to take a health check in advance! Diners will be sent a test kit where they are to submit a saliva swab as well as samples of their urine and – yes – faeces for laboratory analysis before their visit to the restaurant. As you enter Sushi Singularity, you will be met by a human host, who will escort you to the food counter where a 3D-printing robot will serve biometrically-engineered sushi as part of a personalised menu designed to suit your specific nutritional needs based on laboratory analysis. As you watch, the robot will squirt vitamin-rich gels in layers to create your prescribed hyper-personalised sushi cubes. But where most food printers use pureed ingredients, the patent-pending Pixel Food Printers at Sushi Singularity use an innovative water-based system that adds individual ‘pixels’ of colours, textures and nutrients, drawing on 14 different vitamins and minerals contained in tubes. Culinary ingredients will include saltwater eel, anisotropic stiffness steamed shrimp, powdered sintered uni, honeycomb octopus, lab-grown tuna and dashi soup. Each nutrient-rich sushi cube will be intri-

August 2019

cately and artistically designed with micro-architecture that can only be achieved using advanced 3D printing. The Sushi Singularity restaurant is developed by Open Meals, a Tokyo-based startup that has ambitions to open a radical new way of how food is created and delivered. They have built a prototype “Food Base” that registers the flavours, shapes colours, fragrances, nutrients and textures of different food items from around the world, meaning that one day restaurants will use the food base not only to reproduce dishes from data but also to design new custom dishes and share them in real time with diners across the world in what the company calls 3D printing food ‘teleportation’. www.open-meals.com

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The interior of the 18|89 restaurant complete with artworks by legendary graffiti artists are set to match the gourmet pizzas, which are designed by Michelin-rated chefs but made by robots. Sensors throughout the restaurant keep track of where diners choose to sit so waiters can serve the right pizzas to the right customers.


The 18|89 Fast Fine Pizza restaurant in the heart of Stockholm was originally conceived by industry-leading Livit Design as a tech and data-driven test lab. With efficiency and guest-centric experiences at its core, the concept not only proves that analytics and automation are the new salt and pepper of the restaurant industry, its commercial success also demonstrates that the future is now. By Kim Wyon


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eadquartered in the Spanish capital and founded by Stockholm-based Benjamin Calleja, Livit Design has long been at the forefront of strategic, guest-centric design. One of the world’s largest restaurant design companies operating in 43 countries on 5 continents, Livit has helped evolve such global brands as Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays, Taco Bell and Vapiano. Yet in a world where big-data analytics and the whiz and whirr of industrial robots change businesses faster than we sometimes imagine, the restaurant market has proven overly cautious – even complacent – and continues to demonstrate a surprising lack of vision for the potential of a total technological rethink. Until now, that is. With radical change in mind, Benjamin Calleja and his design team decided to mastermind a test laboratory for in-

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tegrated restaurant technology driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. And in early 2017, restaurant 18|89 Fast Fine Pizza in Stockholm’s vibrant Norrmalm district was born. Combining wallet-friendly convenience with quality culinary experiences, this showcase concept not only proves that technology is ready to disrupt the industry, its commercial success also demonstrates that the restaurant market is ready for a makeover.

SEAMLESS SERVICE With 18|89, the Livit Design team set out to envision what the restaurant experience should be like in a tech-driven age. Rather than employing technology as an upfront gimmick, their aim was to use non-invasive and almost invisible technology to support efficient, guest-centric service, while

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ensuring the restaurant learns from customer behaviour to manage and drive sales. 18|89 (whose name incidentally alludes to the historic year the term Pizza Margherita was coined in Naples) offers menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs – but made using high-tech equipment. And although an automated pizza-maker may sound like a sci-fi gizmo from ‘Back to the Future’, the technology is real and ready. “People often imagine robots being like humanoids with two arms, but they are just another level of automation. A dishwasher is an automated appliance – and so is an automated pizza oven, although such an apparatus is naturally far more packed with technology,” Benjamin Calleja says to GUEST magazine. Service at 18|89 is so seamless and efficient that the average time it takes from the moment you place an order at the count-


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er until your piping hot pizza is served at your table is just 3.5 minutes. Bluetooth-enabled sensors track the whereabouts of your smartphone in the restaurant, accurate to within a metre, which allows waiters to know exactly where you have chosen to sit – even if you haven’t tuned in to their WiFi. Indeed, your every move will be analysed. Beacons throughout the restaurant compile a heat map every 15 minutes, determining the number of diners and their concentration. This information

The average time it takes from you place an order at the counter until your piping hot pizza is served at your table of choice is just 3.5 minutes.

helps analyse where guests prefer to dine and allows restaurant managers to optimise capacity by choosing the right mix of two-top and four-top tables at any given time of day. Outdoor sensors also register the walk-in rate against the general footfall on the street, letting the restaurant know its “capture rate” – and potential. Another mobile-driven technology employed at 18|89 is their geofencing-enabled app, which helps estimate the pickup time

August 2019

for takeaway orders, whether you collect your pizza yourself or ask a third-party company to handle the delivery. Based on the predicted arrival time, your pizza order will be oven-fired exactly 3.5 minutes before pickup so it is steaming hot and ready to go. Takeaway operations are so seamlessly integrated that all orders are processed on the same tablet no matter which delivery company the order is placed through. Scandinavian consumer markets are almost cashless and payments are generally contactless and often mobile-driven. But at 18|89, Livit has taken fast payment one step further. “Our aim was that ordering via the restaurant smartphone app should be as smooth as booking an Uber,” Benjamin Calleja points out. And that’s exactly how diners at restaurant 18|89 also settle their bills – with their smartphone app. If you are a returning guest there’s even a shortcut option to reorder your menu favourites. “We are now testing the experience of a message popping up on your phone saying: ‘Welcome back Benjamin,’ and offering you the option of reordering your menu choices from previous visits. Then you simply take any seat in the restaurant and wait for your order to be served. Afterwards, you’ll be asked to rate your dining experience on the app,” Benjamin Calleja explains.

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Their geofencing-enabled app helps estimate the pickup time for takeaway orders. Based on the predicted arrival time, your pizza will be oven-fired exactly 3.5 minutes before pickup.

DRIVING SALES

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“brand-fit” playlists that reflect the emotional feel of your corporate brand. At 18|89 Fast Fine Pizza, the playlists for peak hours Brand-curated soundtracks, are energised, high-volume and mood lighting, artificial scents mainly consist of popular, famil– driving sales at 18|89 is high- iar tracks. These soundtracks enly multisensory. Throughout the courage a high turnover of dinday, the restaurant ambiance ers, perfect for peak dining hours. can be tweaked to encourage Less upbeat background music specific menu choices and influ- played at a lower volume and ence consumer consisting of less behaviour. One familiar tracks is of the technolo“The aim was to featured during gies employed off-peak hours use non-invasive is dynamic volto invite diners technology to ume control. Livit to linger and insupport efficient, Design has partcrease the sales guest-centric sernered with the of high-margin Spotify-backed vice, while ensurdishes and menu c o m p a n y ing the restaurant extras such as Soundtrack Your desserts and coflearns from cusBrand, which fees. tomer behaviour.” is also based The use of in Stockholm – signature scents S c a n d i n a v i a ’s to help build brand identity is unrivalled leading tech hub. As relatively common in the hothe name implies, Soundtrack tel industry. But artificial scents Your Brand designs customised are rarely used in restaurants.


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At 18|89, scents are deployed in the dining and outside areas to subliminally encourage the consumption of certain menu items at given times, such as boosting salad sales early in the week with a whiff of fresh basil, while woodfire scents are used during weekends to spark a hearty appetite for pizzas. Ambiance lighting is always a mood-maker, and restaurant 18|89 Fast Fine Pizza is no exception. But where dimming is usually a manual option, outdoor sensors at 18|89 ensure the place always seems inviting no matter the weather or time of day.

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE Streamlined operational systems are essential to any hospitality enterprise. But where Livit has raised the bar is the sheer magnitude of business intelligence generated by artificial intelligence (“BI from AI” as they call it at Livit Design). Based on a wide range of information – not only that gleaned directly from restaurant

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operations but also from external factors, such as weather patterns, nearby events, traffic congestion, payday and footfall stats – predictive modelling can be applied to forecast customer turnover and help manage restaurant inventory and staff rosters. After all, in restaurants that rely on walk-ins rather than table reservations, the more accurately you can predict your sales, the more profitable the business. Another advantage of algorithm-generated analytics is that it offers actionable insights into when, where and how to target advertising, ensuring the resources you invest in public relations are well placed. Predictive modelling combined with real-time inventory monitoring can also help determine which menu items to promote on the restaurant’s intelligent menu screens. Such comprehensive intelligence naturally offers competitive edge – and 18|89 has proved its business case. Profitable within months of opening, the restaurant is a case study in tech and data-driven business development. So, what’s next for Livit De-

August 2019

sign? They are currently preparing the next generation of their restaurant concept, called V as a reference to the roman numeral five, a hint to the five senses experience. Currently, two units are under construction, Los Angeles opening in August and Malmö in September this year. Here, they will evolve the technology of their Stockholm venture and fine-tune the concept to the location, always with efficiency and profitability in mind. “Whenever we design a new restaurant, it’s never just a copy-paste operation. We scale and adapt the concept to the location. The keyword is always efficiency. Think of a restaurant design as a car. There are many automakers in the world and their different models can have all sorts of colours and styles. But the engine parts inside the chassis are often the same. That also applies to restaurants. At their core, they are similar in technology and operations, so it’s in this ‘engine room’ the key lies to efficiency and profitability,” Benjamin Calleja concludes.

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August 2019

TECH BOX

The future-forward technology at restaurant 18|89 explained

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PREDICTIVE MODELLING Using AI algorithms, predictive modelling draws on a wide range of information, including previous sales performance and external factors like public holidays, city events, traffic and payday stats. Predictive modelling can help optimise operations and staff rosters. GEOFENCING Geofenced monitoring allows restaurants to know when a takeaway order will be collected. This

requires the person picking up the order to enable a geofencing option in their smartphone app. Using GPS technology, a virtual boundary is created that lets restaurants know when to process the order so it is ready on time for pickup. HEAT-MAPPING Sensors inside the restaurant monitor the location and concentration of guests every 15 seconds. The derived information can be used in predictive model-

ling so restaurant managers can identify peak hours and optimise capacity by choosing the right table layout. DYNAMIC VOLUME CONTROL Brand-fit background playlists are designed to either encourage fast turnover or invite diners to linger and order menu extras. Upbeat, high-volume music with familiar songs results in short restaurant stays, whereas low-volume, less familiar music encourages longer stays.


© Photo, Hotel Sanders

Hotel Sanders

We design hotels Architects & engineers – side by side, in sync – designing sustainable and energy efficient hotel solutions. Providing total-consulting services makes us the preferred business partner

© Photo, Hotel Sanders

Hotel Sanders

The hotel was redesigned focusing on design and aesthetics, and keeping the historical features in mind. Proactive client advisory services provided for the conversion of the hotel building into a world-class hotel.

AI a/s Refshalevej 147 Copenhagen Denmark ai@ai.dk www.ai.dk

Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

Total-consulting services provided for the complete renovation and transformation of the protected building into a state-of-the-art luxury hotel.

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Consulting and engineering services provided for the transformation of the Copenhagen Central Post Building into an exclusive luxury hotel, always respectful of the building’s original architectural features and history.


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August 2019

Stephen Meinich-Bache, partner and head of the new Oslo-based chapter of Telling & Nesager. The former President of Tribe Hotels, Stephen Meinich-Bache aims to bring industry-leading consultancy to the Norwegian and eventually Icelandic markets. Photo: Kim Wyon

By Kim Wyon

With disruptive hotel brands and global master franchisees entering the Scandinavian market, GUEST magazine speaks to Stephen Meinich-Bache, partner and head of the new Oslo-based chapter of Telling & Nesager, about the opportunities of the evolving hotel market in Norway. Norway is a vast country with a sizeable hotel market. With around 88,200 hotel rooms, the national room stock per capita is 25 percent greater in Norway than in Sweden – and twice that of Denmark. Solid domestic demand of around 70 percent and, until recently, an above-global-average growth in international

tourism has fuelled great market optimism with several Norwegian regional hubs experiencing considerable growth in supply over the last few years, including Bergen (27 percent since 2017). Chain hotel penetration in Norway has reached around 27 percent of the market for hotels, outpacing Sweden and Denmark

(both at 20 percent), although the Norwegian market is dominated by three big players – Nordic Choice, Scandic and Thon Hotels. Represented in Norway are a total of 13 different hotel brands, which is slightly less than Sweden (at 26) and Denmark (at 24), according to Hotelchains.com. All three Scandinavian countries, Continued...

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nevertheless, fall far below the European market average of 81 different hotel brands, according to Benchmarking Alliance. Midscale hotels dominate the Norwegian market. Only slight growth is predicted in the number of new upscale accommodations in Norway over the next three years, whereas the number of hotels in the budget category fell marginally from 111 (in 2013) to 102 (in 2018) with no significant rise expected in this category leading up to 2023, according to Euromonitor. With relatively few hotel management agreements in Norway and with a market where long-term, good-covenant lease contracts are by and large the norm, the Norwegian hotel market may seem like the bedrock of stability, even untouchability. So, is Norway ready for greater brand variety – and even disruption? GUEST magazine met Oslo-based Stephen MeinichBache, an industry executive with broad experience in the Scandinavian market. A former President of Tribe Hotels – hotel operator for First Hotels – he has recently joined Telling & Nesager as their Norwegian partner, aiming to bring industry-leading consultancy and competitive hospitality services to the Norwegian and eventually Icelandic markets. Meinich-Bache offers a clear vision. Speaking to him in one of his old home turfs – leafy and languid North Zealand in Denmark where early in his career he headed First Hotel Marina as General

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Manager – he not only believes Norway is ready for greater hotel brand diversity, the market will also see more conversions of the older hotel stock to embrace new ideas for a changing world. Even with the imminent arrival of major international master franchisees, he believes the Norwegian market will remain open – and with competitive options for independent operators as well as homegrown chains. How will brand proliferation influence the Norwegian market in the coming years? Will consumers be able to differentiate the products – especially in the midscale category – or will we simply experience a kind of brand inflation? “Guests are smart. They know what they want. Airlines are becoming more difficult to differentiate, whether they are a flag carrier or low-cost operator – there really isn’t that much of a difference. But when it comes to hotels, the market offers something for everyone, whether you are looking for simplicity – just a place to stay overnight on the way to the airport – or are seeking a boutique resort. Not so long ago, though, the difference between a two and four-star hotel in Norway would sometimes not be that clear. You were not always sure to get value for your money. What we are seeing today is a far greater focus among hotels in their branding strategies as well as a wider appreciation of

August 2019

the need to get a clear message across to your guests about who you are and what core services you offer – what your customers can expect. I believe the Norwegian market has room for many more new players and products, also in the midscale categories.” The hotel chain market in Norway is dominated by a handful of Scandinavian players. With a recent rise in interest from major international franchisees, will we see a further market consolidation? “A few years ago, there was some talk of consolidation on the market. Major international players such as Marriott have so many brands in their portfolios that even industry observers have a hard time keeping count. They will no doubt bring greater brand variety to the Norwegian market. We still have room for more multi-brand players, and I don’t see a further consolidation happening in Norway. With some of our existing dominant Scandinavian brands we are to some extent seeing market saturation. If they were to grow further with their current product, they would need to expand to continental Europe.” With the availability of more service providers on the market, is the economic advantage for independent hotels of joining a major brand currently diminishing?


Guest

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August 2019

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Smarthotel. The first example of a Norwegian-born budget hotel chain, Smarthotel offers relatively small but well-appointed rooms with quality DUX beds. Their hotels are located in central Oslo, Forus (south of Stavanger), Tromsø and Hammerfest. They additionally have affiliated partner hotels in Hagesund and Bergen. The Smarthotels in Oslo and Hammerfest also feature meeting facilities.


DIGITAL

B O O K I N G , C R M & R E S TA U R A N T S Y S T E M

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Digital check-out Mona sender på afrejsedagen en sms med besked om ‘Tak for denne gang’ samt check-ud- og betalingslink.

Tel: +45 36 19 21 13 Mail: re@techotel.dk


Guest

Issue #3

August 2019

Pepper, the semi-humanoid companion developed by SoftBank Robotics and launched on the commercial market in 2015 in the US.

“The advantage is narrower than it used to be. There are, indeed, more tools and services on the market now that can support independent hotels, including white-label operators and procurement programmes. Some independent players may also find the investments and guarantees required to join a chain quite challenging. Naturally, in some cases all it takes is a new sign above the door, but often the brand-related investment can be considerable. Nonetheless, the benefit for a hotel when joining a chain is access to a sales network. All the same, the options for independent hotels have become greater. And as major chains replace older hotels with newer, larger units, these older properties may see advantage in either joining smaller chains or becoming independent. This will also bring new vitality and opportunity to smaller chains.” A new and arguably disruptive category of select-service hotels is emerging internationally where rooms are small and prices are wallet-friendly, but where common areas feature stylish amenities. Is the Norwegian market experiencing a growth in millennial-generation accommodation? “Moxy is establishing itself in Norway and currently has one hotel in Oslo and another three planned for Stavanger, Bergen and Tromsø. We also have an affordable Norwegian design-driven hotel chain called Smarthotels. So, Norway is most definitely

an open market for this development. In my experience, investors still need to accustom themselves to the idea of looking at the turnover per square metre rather than per room. But this international trend is bound to catch on and bring new dynamism to the Norwegian hotel market.” One of the unique aspects of millennial-generation projects is the emphasis on shared space. Is this also becoming evident in Norway?

varied business opportunities that are uniquely different than simply viewing a property as serving just one purpose.”

One of the growing concerns in the hospitality industry is overtourism. We are starting to see early signs of this in Scandinavia. One way to manage tour“Not so long ago, ism sustainably the difference beis to engage in tween a two and destination development in four-star hotel in lesser-travelled Norway would areas. Norway is sometimes not be a vast country. that clear. What we Where do you are seeing today is see opportunities? a far greater focus

“We see on getting a clear this with the “I see nature message across emergence as one of our about what custom- true assets, so an of co-working ers can expect” and shared ofobvious opporfice space for tunity would be startups, for inhigh-end retreats stance. With the in nature with growth of new and often larger the kind of luxury experiences purpose-built hotels, we are also that appeal to modern travellers likely to see more conversions – such as spas and healthy acamong properties in the older tivities. A retreat where you can stock of hotels. These will to var- catch your own fish in the river ied degrees be refurbished and and go foraging for mushrooms repurposed as either offices or in the forest. We are already seeapartments – or perhaps apart- ing a development in the market ment hotels – and in some cases, towards more close-to-nature they will be remodelled to serve experiences. Luxury retreats in a mix of purposes, which could nature would be a natural develinclude shared office space con- opment. A true detox!” cepts with added penthouse accommodation, depending on the demand at the location. This kind of development offers new and

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Guest

Issue #3

August 2019

EDITOR’S CHOICE Great ideas from our world

54

DECLUTTER WITH STYLE

VIPP & THE AUDO

Yesteryear storage boxes for modern-day travel

The new breed of resident showrooms

We all know the little piles of clutter that sprout as soon as you check into a hotel room – phones, wallets, coins, keys and pens all over the table tops. And the difficulty of keeping reading glasses, books, remote controls and jewellery in one place by the night table. Hotel spa changing rooms and meeting venues are also natural clutter-magnets. This might be new to you, but for the past century there has been a very stylish solution to personal clutter – handmade storage boxes by legendary Danish designer August Sandgren. Available in various sizes and with different inlays, the most classic style is the leather Bookbox with subtle colourways by designer Margrethe Odgaard. With larger commissions, colours can also be customised. And naturally, the boxes can be personalised with monograms and hotel logos. This year, August Sandgren also launches a lid-less storage box series especially designed for hotels so guests can keep their private belongings neat and tidy – without forgetting them when checking out.

Design companies are exploring new ways to showcase their brand and connect with their customers and kindred spirits. A stylish hideaway in the Swedish woodlands, the VIPP Shelter was the first bookable residence by Danish kitchen design company VIPP. This was followed by their loft-style residence The Apartment in Copenhagen’s buzzing Islands Brygge district. A recent addition to their accommodations showcasing their brand universe is VIPP Chimney House, a heritage-listed former water pumping station. Close by, in the Nordhavn district of the Danish capital, MENU, a globally recognised leader of lifestyle spaces, has relocated to a new HQ, which combines a hotel residence, restaurant, café, concept store, material library and creative work and event space. “Blurring the lines between home life and work, uniting design, business and community in one innovative physical space that is alive and under constant renewal, The Audo residence is designed to unite design, hospitality and community in one,” says Bjarne Hansen, founder of MENU, of his vision.

www.augustsandgren.com

www.vipp.com/en/hotel www.theaudo.com


Guest

Issue #3

August 2019

SOBER BARS

LE SONNEUR

Cutting a new trend with kombucha

The hotel-loving artist calling on your passions

Millennials are kicking the habits. From cigarettes to alcohol, consumption is falling. Currently emerging is a new urban movement that pulls the plug on boozy bars in favour of a moderate ‘drink optional culture’. This trend runs in the veins of recently opened Klint & Bro in Copenhagen, owned by Eddie Klint and Louis Bro. Five taps in the bar are dedicated to their ownbrewed kombucha, which is a kind of fermented, effervescent tea that offers the same complexity of wine or beer but less than 0.5 percent alcohol. Served in wine glasses, the current on-tap kombucha brews are infused with local wild elderflowers, chamomile, genmaicha, rosebud & hibiscus and upcycled coffee grounds from their own coffeemaker. The last five tap options are alcoholic craft beers from Kølster, ensuring bar-goers enjoy a choice. “People come to our bar for many reasons – they could be pregnant, gym superjocks, or perhaps they just don’t feel like drinking alcohol that evening. They tell us they feel they’ve had a great night out on town, just without the boozing,” says Eddie Klint to GUEST magazine. For off-premises consumption, Klint & Bro also offers three types of bottled artisanal kombucha: lemon & verbena, rosebud & hibiscus and genmaicha.

Parisian artist Le Sonneur sees himself as a wandering storyteller, using hotel door hangers and doorbell displays in urban settings to arouse the emotion and imagination of passers-by. He would post messages such as “My Love”, “My Hero”, “Love me” or “Kiss me” around town. He would slip anonymous love letters under the doors of homes and hotel rooms posted from Paris and marked “I love you”. And he would even leave sets of keys on the floor of hotel corridors marked with an imaginary lover’s name. “I intervene spontaneously in the hotels I visit during my travels. I am also sometimes invited to exhibit my installations there, such as at Le Tsuba Hotel in Paris where I was recently asked to present my solo show ‘Rear Windows’,” the artist says to GUEST magazine.

www.klintbro.dk www.instagram.com/klint_bro

www.instagram.com/le_sonneur

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