Elior Group is participating in Seeds & Chips, the only global fair in Europe dedicated to FoodTech which will be held on May 11-14 2016 in Milan. At its exhibition stand, the Group will be presenting five startups it has been backing. As the caterer of choice, Elior Group is committed to this burgeoning sector which unites culinary tradition with technology. As a catalyst for change and innovation, FoodTech is in the process of remodeling the catering value chain and transforming our consumer habits.

The Seeds & Chips summit conference concerns every link in the food chain “from field to fork”. Technologies are impacting lifestyle trends; our production and distribution methods, as well as consumer habits have changed and our commitments to eliminate food waste are getting stronger. Currently estimated at over €5,000bn and involving around 40% of the world’s labor force (Source: Seeds & Chips 2016), the food sector must now rethink its business model. Although this industry is founded upon tradition, its future clearly lies in innovation.

Philippe Salle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Elior Group, stated: “Leveraging digital technology to offer our customers new experiences is one of the eight objectives set out in our 2016-2020 strategic plan, founded upon our Life4 innovation program. This is a program with international reach and which is designed to promote sources of potential innovation that, when developed, will have an impact on our business. Our aim is to become one of the most innovative catering groups.”

Within the framework of the Life4 program, the Group is intervening at the heart of the FoodTech ecosystem to identify, support and promote new talents and startups. This program is also focused on three levers (two external and one internal), which the Group is activating to enhance the catering experience of our four categories of consumer (students, patients, employees and travelers).

1- Investing in innovation and providing an arena for startups

By providing mentoring support or acquiring stakes, Elior Group enables startups to try out their innovations in Group restaurants and establishments and gauge their feasibility in real life situations. Supporting young companies in this way contributes to the development of an ecosystem that is beneficial to the industry as a whole.

At its corporate Seeds & Chips stand, Elior Group will be presenting five French startups, and the innovative solutions deployed in its catering establishments in Italy which are designed to enhance the consumer experience by offering services that are: 

  • More reassuring for consumers, who know that the products selected are good for their physical and mental health. In this vein, Elior Group’s easypass app enables guests to find out the nutritional value of what they are eating and, as such, balance their diet.
  • Easier, geared to save time and simplify life on a daily basis for the guests. Meal-order and cash-out queuing is now a thing of the past (with interactive SmartFood points in Italy), and consumer click & collect offerings (such as Clicca & Gusta) provide employees real-time information on canteen consumer flows, as well as news alerts when their favorite dish is on the menu.
  • More responsible, because sustainable cooking is an affair that concerns us all. To reduce the amount of leftovers, consumers are informed about low-cost meals and, as such, participate in the “anti-waste” doggy-bag movement.
  • More tribal, since for 76% of consumers, the lunch break at work is a time of conviviality. With the creation of connected catering areas, employees can chat with colleagues, reserve a meal they can share with the fellow members of their “tribe” and, using a geolocalization app, locate and invite their team members to lunch via the chat application integrated into easypass.

The five startups selected by the Group are all involved in the digitalization of consumer consumption habits to provide a unique and customized experience. Data must be gathered to supply predictive programs with the information required to optimize restaurant management, drive sales and boost consumer satisfaction rates in real time. These startups are:

  • Dataiku, which has created a software program designed to make data science accessible to the layman and to step up the productivity of big data analysis experts.
  • FoodMeUp, which has developed the first recipe-management site designed for professionals in the catering industry and offering a service whereby orders can be passed, and production management services executed in just a few clicks.
  • Optimiam, which has created a mobile application to connect consumers and retailers to facilitate the just-in-time sale of surplus food stock.
  • Swaf; which has developed a connected glass designed to remind elderly people to hydrate themselves
  • Wynd, which is specialized in the digitalization of sales outlets to improve customer proximity.

2- Being a co-creator of platforms and/or incubators

A partner of Reimagine Food in Spain and SmartFood in Paris, Elior Group participates with its clients and partners in the creation of viral, international and virtual, consumer-services programs.

3- Promoting local initiatives in every country and on every market

Elior Group has launched the Life4 Challenge, an in-house competition designed to break down silos, unite cultures, professions and generations, as well as to orientate and point the strengths of the company in the same direction. In other words, focusing on everything that has been, and is waiting to be, invented within the company that can be applied for its own purposes, as well as those of others.

Elior Group at the Seeds & Chips summit

The four-day Seeds & Chips summit features exhibitions, conferences and debates, as well as a hackathon, corporate pitches and awards to the protagonists present (25,000 visitors are expected). Elior Group is a privileged partner of the Shake Up Factory contest which will be promoting 60 of the finest FoodTech startups in Europe. Elior Group will be awarding one of the trophies, in the Eat healthy: best health and diet solution category. Organized in Italy, where Elior Group is leader in the collective catering market, this event contributes to enhancing the Group’s image and presence in the transalpine startup ecosystem.

Discover Elior Group every day during the summit at stand S5.