Lifeline Of The Spanish Hospitality Industry Is Digitization

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Covid-19 has destroyed families, has blown up the way of living and relating to practically the entire planet and has ruined millions of businesses. In Spain, the hospitality industry is a true reflection of the damage caused by SARS-CoV-2.

The hospitality industry is made up of more than 300 thousand establishments that employ 1.7 million people and has a sales volume of 123,612 million euros, with a contribution of 6.2% to the GDP of the Spanish economy. That’s before the pandemic, since restrictions have put 25,000 people in the service sector laid off in November.

The limited capacity and hours, the arrival of the cold or the forced closure of bars and restaurants has caused the goodbye of historical establishments, but also the reinvention of many. Digitization is the key tool for the survival of many of them.

“There was already a great run run in the hospitality sector with digitization, but sometimes you need an electroshock to accelerate that process,” says Carlos Gómez, CEO of Cheerfy, to this newspaper.

According to the Juntos por la Hostelería platform, made up of the Hospitality Industry of Spain, FIAB and AECOC, more than 40,000 restaurant businesses have already closed; and this figure is expected to rise to 65,000 establishments by year-end.

Many establishments have reinvented themselves and have opted for take-out or home delivery. Two solutions that have allowed to avoid the blows of the crisis derived from Covid-19.

“It is true that there is no clear vision that this is going to be a long-term strategic bet,” says José de Isasa, director of institutional relations at ElTenedor. “For some, for example, it is temporary,” he points out.

The emergence of these two new lines of business and the inability to go to the restaurant, “has accelerated the arrival of technology to the restaurant,” says Gómez. However, on many occasions those requests have been entered by hand and all valuable information has been lost in the age of big data.

“There is a lot to do,” the Cheerfy CEO tells this newspaper. This startup, born simultaneously in the United Kingdom and Spain, works as a customer loyalty platform for the hospitality sector, through the personalization of non-intrusive experiences. “We have been working with the sector for 15 years and we have more than 1,000 tools that help to have a more efficient management,” he says.

Now, together with ElTenedor, they join forces “to continue supporting the catering sector in these difficult times.” Both companies have reached an agreement to offer an attractive solution for the client, very easy to implement, that integrates seamlessly with their management systems and that allows them to efficiently process customer orders from start to finish, including the shipping process.

“The Spanish restoration is tremendously heterogeneous in terms of digitization”, details the director of institutional relations of ElTenedor. “It is very fragmented and there is a great digitization deficit,” he adds.

This agreement will allow to reach more than 12,000 establishments and that they can optimize resources. “The agreement with Cheerfy responds to what restaurants are demanding at the moment: personalization of their proposal, transparent integration with their administration and management systems, a simple and cost-efficient solution and a transparent migration for the restaurant business”, he says in a statement Marcos Alves, CEO of ElTenedor.

The irruption of Cheerfy in the market comes with the aim of “creating a loyalty platform for the hospitality industry”, comments Carlos Gómez. “We wanted to detect the customer, profile him and give him a personalized service.”

The arrival of the covid-19 closed the rooms and the business moved to home delivery. This 180 degree turn also changed, in part, the objectives of the startup. Reduce your customer commissions and data ownership.

According to Gómez, Cheerfy’s proposal offers two differential advantages: we provide much more profitability through our own channel compared to the marketplace, 10 points less in the average ticket, and because we do not offer a solution whereby customer data remains in the hands of the restaurant themselves.

This agreement with ElTenedor offers restaurants a personalized customer experience with the restaurant’s brand and hosted on their own website and “above all an attractive solution for the customer that allows them to efficiently process customer orders from start to finish.

In addition, thanks to this collaboration, the restaurants associated with ElTenedor that hire Cheerfy Shop will benefit from a 25% discount on the start-up of the service.