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02 December 2021

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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Is there no end to the potential uses of personal data? The hospitality industry has huge possibilities here
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Is there no end to the potential uses of personal data? The hospitality industry has huge possibilities here

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Your experiences of eating and drinking out stand a good chance of improving hugely as we move forward

It is ironical that it has taken a pandemic to bring forward the revolution of the use of personal data. When we think of this, normally our minds turn to identification, bank accounts, in fact just about anything but now your food preferences?

Yes indeed! This could work extraordinarily well for all concerned because there is nothing like feeling like a valued customer when you go to a pub or restaurant. When people go into a pub and the landlord sees you and gets your drinks almost before you have reached the bar – you are such good customers that he knows what you are going to order and you are far too gracious to tell him that on this occasion you were going to have something different! You feel important – he feels trusted. Everyone feels good.

With the power of data storage and retrieval today, this level of service can be extended vastly - your preferences can be saved and we can even see a situation where a menu is produced for you with the things that you like. Your particular allergies could be on record too to ensure that you are not offered anything which could cause you a problem. In fact, what could possibly go wrong?

Of course, this is all very fine and dandy but it does rely on the collection and accurate recording of the base information which is not going to happen overnight. But what people perhaps do not know is that information like this is already being recorded and used. You could check into a hotel and find they already know you want to be on the top floor with the best view, or adjacent to the lift or even what sort of pillow you want. Many hotel groups already ask their regular patrons this sort information, especially where loyalty clubs are involved. It is all possible and you have given them permission to hold this data. In the case of a hotel group, that information could and probably is available world wide! They will even know what wines you have drunk in their restaurants and assuredly know when your birthday is to offer you a little birthday sweetener!

But bringing it back closer to home, if you have a favourite restaurant it is because you trust them and enjoy what they offer. So for them if they know what their best customers want, they can make a special effort to try and provide it. It is a fact that today most people looking for a restaurant do most of their research on the internet, even down to looking at the menu. It is a very old-fashioned venue which does not have its menu on the net but of course businesses in the main are not yet properly attuned to keeping things updated.

However the pandemic has started a big change in this direction. Software companies are now encouraging far more online activity – they have had to. Even the thought of handing out a paper menu and then throwing it away when it has been used just once is horrid! So handing out digital menus makes life so much more flexible.

The use of personal data in catering is a revolution yet to develop; so very much can be done. Think about it – you could decide to book a table a few days in advance and, hey presto, all the favourites dishes for your group could be on the menu that night. Just imagine a cheeseboard with all of your favourites on it!

Witchcraft?

No just plain common sense actually and the power of computing! It will all take some thinking about but the seeds have now been sown and canny operators are going to be doing their best to woo you and your trade and, by Jove, this is a damn good way of doing so!

Adrian Leopard 26-02-21

Photo Lindsay Moe

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Adrian Leopard & Company is the trading name of Alderney Offshore Ltd, a company registered in Alderney, Channel Islands number 1220.

Address P O Box 1027, Alderney GY9 3AS

Registered Office Seldomin, Longis Road, Alderney GY9 3YB.

Adrian Leopard & Co is represented in the UK by 3CL (UK) Ltd trading as Adrian Leopard Associates.

Telephone enquiries may be made on 08449-4-08449 or 01684-230360.

E Mail [email protected]

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