Arabian Hospitality
Investment Conference

Part of FHS

25-27 September | Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island


Ron Simpson - Advisory Board Insights

Please introduce yourself & tell us your thoughts on the key opportunities and learnings in the past year?

Ron Simpson: Hi, My name is Ron Simpson. I'm one of the co-founders of the Avocado Show from Amsterdam. And now we have businesses also in Belgium and in Spain and in the UK and all these different markets. Our thoughts on key opportunities and learnings in this industry from the past year have mostly been, you know, interesting things about how to change and switch up real estate that has become available by now. How the whole delivery and pickup game really changed. We now can steer them towards time slots. We really see a big increase in people ordering upfront. And that could be days upfront, right? Especially when you do boxes. Home cooking really changed. And so this whole experience, where we start added plates or playlists or content or live cook along or whatever is very interesting to see that we can expand on just the whole product and not or actually the whole experience and not just serve them a product. I think truly connecting with neighborhoods, truly connecting with our clients and seeing how a majority and the vast, gigantic group has actually become tech-savvy, while they weren't supposed to. We were supposed to wait a few years until the next generation would come in, but actually, the older generation jumped into using absent phones, more for digital menus and all these kind of things. So to me, those are just a few things that are very, very interesting.

Many are calling this period the Great Reset. In your view, how should the industry build back better & rise together?

Ron Simpson: Many people are calling it the great reset indeed. I think when we started looking at, you know, this big comeback and how we can build this whole back better, stronger, mostly together is that we need to figure out better ways of doing things that we all do. So better ways of handling traffic, maybe even advertising Definitely better ways of how we handle pick-up, delivery and all the services and apps that work with that. I think those are the most important things and also how we connect to real estate and to neighbourhoods and try to figure out how we do that. I think you'll see a stronger connection not only between people and hospitality, but also the brands that want to be part of that within our venues but also within our customer's homes. I think we could really look into that as well. When it comes to rising together. I think it's about trying to share all the learnings we have about these new timings, about the new rules, about the markets that we see coming, and that could really help someone forward. I think you know we're responsible to help each other out. and just try to be there for each other and share these simple insights that could really make a difference.

What key topics are you looking to discuss with the GRIF community at AHIC?

Ron Simpson: To me, some of the major key topics I would love to discuss is, you know, the future of food. What will be on the menu? The future of convenience, will it be eat-in? Will it be takeaway, will it be pickup? Will this whole trend of home cooking and stay alive? You know this amateur home chef? Will that be a thing? Will the boxes stay, yes or no? And if I could suggest a roundtable

Why are you joining the GRIF community at AHIC 2021? What are you most excited about it?

Ron Simpson: I'm always excited to be part of GRIF, not only because of the really cool topics and things that I can learn from others, but also to see everyone again to discuss these topics that really help us move the business forward and help us understand more what we are doing, also in new markets. I love networking. I loved meeting all these fantastic people that are part of this hospitality group. So those are just a few of the reasons, actually, I love to come by to GRIF.

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