MILAN, Italy – Smartphones, tablets and apps. As well as big data, robots and automated machines. IoT is the new paradigm around which the HoReCa universe has already started to design its future, Artificial Intelligence serving as the main driver. And while latest-generation devices and 5G technology are together making the world in which we live smarter, professional hospitality is also taking great strides to adapt. This is proved by the thousands of apps for smartphones and mobile devices that are revolutionising the hospitality world, and also by the role that the Internet of Things promises to play at the 2021 edition of HostMilano, the global equipment hub set to run at fieramilano from 22 to 26 October 2021.
Hospitality: the new paradigm is called IoT
From drinks like beer and coffee to home appliances, digital transformation in the HoReCa sector is bringing a previously unthinkable level of customisation to products and services. The client is increasingly front and centre, a mantra for companies, but layouts must also accurately reflect this focus on the individual.
Thanks, among other things, to what has become an increasingly successful paradigm for professional hospitality in the third millennium, or rather the Internet of Things. To cite just one example, devices that use and exchange information via the IoT generate 1 billion gigabytes of data every day, and that’s not all, as by 2025 there will be 42 billion devices of this type in the world. And while IoT is seen most in tools such as smartwatches or apps to create smart cities, homes and factories, the technology of apps and platforms has also led to an upturn in the number of HoReCa functions now found on-line.
Trends and tendencies: how digital is winning the battle
A prime example is that of food services where, thanks to safety protocols, digitalisation has experienced an unexpected boom. Starting with the menu (to be perused at the restaurant, or even before you arrive), and the possibility to book a table directly. But apps can also be used to manage take-away services, while certain systems offer both front and back end services, from communication between the dining room and kitchen to contactless payment, and from viewing data to the management of promotions or loyalty cards for regular customers.
As for hygiene and safety, the technology has been applied to the vending machine sector. To eliminate the problem of touching surfaces, for example, a Canadian project introduces a touchless solution involving touch-free selection and cashless payment to the vending machine.
The world of coffee also presents fresh ideas, with efforts focusing on the production of machines that can offer “coffee to go” solutions, creating and customising a customer’s favourite drink without the touching of buttons or the vending machine. Not to mention the apps able to suggest food combinations by analysing the chemical composition and nutritional values of hundreds of ingredients, within a database containing thousands of recipes.
HostMilano 2021, all the big names have already registered
It’s still too soon to talk numbers. But less than twelve months before kick-off, HostMilano is already proving to be the ideal stage on which to present new products, both national and international, from across the different HoReCa supply industries.
Even more so considering the need to relaunch, firms appreciating the added value of the exhibition at fieramilano district, which is better placed than any other to serve as an international networking platform for all stakeholders across the supply industries. To date, many of the most important international companies in the professional hospitality universe have confirmed their attendance. Firms such as Epta, Unox, Angelo PO, The Middleby Group, Hobart (Food serving); Tagliavin, Zanolli, Italforni, Imperia Monferrina, F.lli Cuppone, Wiesheu, Atollspead, Salva, Schneider (Bakery/Pizza/Pasta); Pregel, Isa, Cesarin, Bravo, Selmi, Valmar Global, Tefcold (Gelato/Pastry); Gruppo Cimbali, Nuova Simonelli, Astoria (Cma) Wega, Groupe SEB (Wmf, Schaerer, Curtis), Zummo (Bar equipment, coffee machines); Kimbo, Le Piantagioni del Caffè, Ima Group, Jiulius Meinl, Probat-Werke (Coffee-Tea); Wuesthof, Steelite, Sambonet, Eme Posaterie, Rcr Cristalleria, Tognana Porcellane (Tableware); Pedrali, Calligaris, Emu, Indel B (Furnishing/Technologies).
HostMilano: everything for business, from financing to new platforms
For companies and exhibitors, taking part in the 2021 edition of HostMilano is easier than ever. Among its new services, Fiera Milano has made it easier for exhibiting companies to access credit, supporting the funding of investment. To provide tangible support for SMEs and encourage them to participate in the exhibitions and conventions held at the exhibition district, Fiera Milano has signed agreements with several banks (Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Banco BPM and Intesa Sanpaolo) and finance company BCC Lease (Gruppo Bancario Cooperativo Iccrea), while others are currently being finalised. In addition, companies will also receive support during the preliminary phase, and Fiera Milano will fully or partially refund interest accrued on loans.
This fresh start is further facilitated with the launch of Fiera Milano Platform, a new platform dedicated to the entire community of reference supply industries, or rather exhibitors, visitors, buyers, journalists, bloggers and opinion leaders. The project envisages an ecosystem of services, with solid strengthening of the content on the event’s websites and social media profiles to better present the trends and products with pictures and reports from those involved, a synergy between face-to-face and digital meetings (with lots of webinars), and redesigned catalogues for the presentation and sale of exhibitors’ products. There will also be a detailed digital map of the event, allowing remote access and real-time direct negotiations. As a result, the event becomes ‘phygital’ with the creation of new formats that are simultaneously digital and accessible to a live audience.