Digital Symposium2

Tasting Transformation: What Data Means for the Hospitality Industry

The role that technology plays in our everyday life as consumers increases exponentially with every passing moment. And while the hospitality industry may be leading the charge in culinary talents and techniques, when it comes to technology and digital innovation, sometimes our industry falls to the bottom of the list. That’s why FLIK Hospitality Group hosted an inaugural Digital Symposium last week.

As a unique opportunity to foster a dialogue about the importance of data and the power of digital innovation, we hosted an afternoon of amazing speakers from Compass Digital Labs, E15 Group, and Teaching Kitchen Collaborative for our senior leaders and clients. 

Here is a recap of the themes and conversations that came up throughout the evening: 

Digital Symposium1

All About Experience

Thanks to technological advancements, today’s world is inherently digital-first, and to stay competitive companies must focus on the user experience.

As modern users, we’ve grown accustomed to high-touch user experiences. We can instantly chat with customer services agents when shopping online -- heck, we can even text while 36,000 miles above the ground when flying across the country.

Tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have transformed how information is spread and consumed; Apple has created a seamless integration between our smart devices and services; Amazon has dominated how we purchase products.

And now apply that human experience to the world of hospitality.

Not only must the food taste delicious, but it must be plated perfectly to capture the Instagram moment. Seamless mobile ordering and catering must be available and intuitive. And we must be ahead of the curve on customer service, ordering, delivery, quality assurance, taste, and more. The demand is incredible.  

"In food services, there is so much technology available for us to drive things differently. What we need to do is decide what type of human experience we want to provide. How are we going to innovate to make a difference? The human experience is driving change."
- Jugveer Randhawa, Chief Digital Officer, Compass Digital Labs

Jugveer Randhawa, Chief Digital Officer of Compass Digital Labs, discussed how data and analytics allows us – the decision makers – to truly make an impact on our guests’ experience. Whether it’s implementing robotic delivery on corporate campuses or implementing cashless check-out kiosks, he suggests we must put the human experience at the forefront of our decision making to remain relevant in today’s competitive world. 

The Power of Personalization

Speaking of the human experience, we must remember that each human is different and unique, and therefore has different wants and needs as a consumer. Addy Ryan, Market Researcher at E15Group, walked us through the importance of personalization. 

According to Ryan, 73% of consumers want personalization today. The reality is: digital insights allow companies to operate better – more efficiently and effectively.

The research that E15 Group compiles can help operators create a detailed and personalized food experience. By looking at café location, guest demographic profiles, and more, they can determine which herbs would be better suited (and have higher sales rates) for a taco made in Austin compared to one made in San Francisco.  

Data & The Future of Food

Data for future forecasting – what will sell best on menus, how we should deliver food to guests, etc. – are all fine and dandy, but David Eisenberg, MD challenges us to look beyond the bottom dollar.

“The future is dependent on companies and businesses who prioritize wellness,” he says. Dr. Eisenberg is the Director of Culinary Nutrition at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and is co-founder of Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, a dynamic, hands-on culinary program that focuses on wellness and nutrition education through basic cooking skills. 

"Doctors are not taught, tested, or required to know anything about nutrition. And it’s killing us."
- David Eisenberg, MD, Director of Culinary Nutrition, Harvard Chan School of Public Health and co-founder, Teaching Kitchen Collaborative

Eisenberg and the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative have decided to look at data from a different perspective – one to end obesity and focus on wellness and nutrition. By implementing Teaching Kitchens into schools, offices, universities, and hospitals, he believes individuals will make better overall life choices.

And the proof is in the data: Teaching Kitchen Collaborative participants have seen positive correlations in how they shop, read labels, fill their plates, and even in mindfulness. Through programs like Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, Eisenberg believes we can end the public health crises, and create a more sustainable planet. 

Digital Symposium4

Whether it’s menu creation, seamless check-outs, robotic deliveries, or ending the obesity crisis facing America, data and analytics play an incredible role in how we as decision makers can shape the future of the hospitality industry. 


When you think of innovation, how do you think the data and analytics will shape the future of hospitality and food? Let us know your thoughts! E-mail us at