Elior Group and start-ups
Elior Group has implemented a collaborative strategy with several dozen start-ups, with the aim of inventing the catering services of the future with these partners who share our vision of the business.
Our open innovation strategy is based on two keywords: pragmatism and goodwill. Recognizing the start-ups' creative and disruptive strength, we adjust our support based on their maturity. Cross-fertilization between our internal innovation teams and the start-ups helps to drive the transformation of our Group, its culture and processes, giving us the agility needed to respond effectively to changing behaviors.
Investing in innovation and giving start-ups a playground
Our cooperation may take the form of a strategic investment but this is not automatically the case. We invest primarily in foodtech start-ups whose activities are close to our core business or represent a good strategic fit, in order to find new growth drivers and/or services responding to new behaviors. We never take more than a minority stake, in order to avoid holding back the start-up's development and creativeness.
Since 2015, we have invested in eight start-ups to help us define the catering business of the future: Touch and play, FoodMeUp, Foodles, GoCater (La Belle Assiette), PopChef, Never Eat Alone, Vitalista, Rose & Mary.
Our ambition is to support these businesses and help them grow, while giving them complete freedom of action. Where possible, we favor a co-creation process striking the right balance between the start-ups, Elior Group and its customers. This process is based on several fundamentals:
- A test & learn phase under Elior Group's watchful eye: the start-ups' teams, which need to understand our methods, and our own teams work together so that we can learn from each other.
- The support of our customers, who participate in the tests for the benefit of their guests.
- The emergence of new projects and new ideas as the tests advance.
- The creation of practical projects, tested in real time.
Becoming the co-creator of platforms and/or incubators
Elior Group has teamed up with Reimagine Food in Spain and SmartFood Paris (an incubator set up by the Paris city authorities to develop new food production and eating behaviors).
We are also partners of Tech Care Paris, the platform set up by Paris & Co. to drive innovation in the areas of health and well-being.
We participate with our customers and partners in creating viral, international and virtual consumer-services programs. We also work with various other partners in the UK, USA and Italy.