Brought to you by Retail Insider and Webloyalty

Retail Insider this week celebrated the launch of the second ‘Digital Leisure and Hospitality Innovations Top 20 Report’ at a dinner event at central London restaurant Pied A Terre.

The report, sponsored by Webloyalty, showcases some of the very best leisure and hospitality digital initiatives of the year and simultaneously highlights a number of industry trends including the ever-more important issue of food waste and how to reduce it, alongside the nascent idea in the restaurant world of dynamic pricing and finally facial recognition and use of chatbots.

Topping the rankings is food waste app Karma that launched in Sweden in 2016 and which allows businesses to upload details of surplus food which app users then pay for and collect. Customers are targeted through profiling to the most relevant food for them while restaurants can increase revenue significantly.

Karma’s app in action

Payments continued their strong presence in the report, with both second and third placings taken by tie-ins between technology firms and restaurant chains. Wagamama has partnered with Mastercard to introduce Wagamamago – allowing diners to order, eat and leave without waiting for a physical bill and Pizza Express worked with tech platform Flyt to develop a similar proposition for their restaurants.

Several entries feature robotics – within vending machines such as the cocktail-making Somabar or the salad-producing Chowbotics or as actual robots at the guest receptions desk of Henn na Hotels in Japan.

However, humans will be glad to know that they are not entirely redundant as social dining innovation WeFiFo, which has worked with John Lewis Partnership on events at its restaurants and staff canteens also rates an entry.

The innovations were ranked by an advisory panel including: Jonathon Swaine, head of Inns at Fuller’s; Andrew Ellis, head of CRM at McDonald’s; Simon Burdess, director of food service at Waitrose; James Cannell, advisor at Pret A Manger and Charlie Bennett, group digital product owner at Berry Bros & Rudd.

They used the following four criteria: innovation, commercial potential, potential influence across the sector, and potential benefit to customers to score the 20 innovations.

Retail Insider would like to thank Webloyalty for its sponsorship of the report and for making the launch evening possible.

To access the report click here. Retail-Insider-Digital Leisure and Hospitality Innovations-Top-20-2018′

Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider