Top Four Challenges facing the Hospitality Industry this Year

What are the top Challenges facing hospitality Industry? We know that the hospitality industry is both a vital part of New Zealand’s identity and a special case when it comes to presentation and display.

So that’s why Mills Display has a dedicated inventory of everything you’ll need to make sure your business is fully kitted out – whether you’re running a local hotel, motel, café or bar; you’re in charge of catering for a hospital or rest home; or you’re running your own catering or events company.

Of course, as well as our FRESH catalogue, we also have close ties to international suppliers which cater to all types of hospitality business to ensure that, whatever your challenge, we will find the right solution.

The get the ball rolling, we thought we’d highlight the four leading challenges facing hospitality industry this year when it comes to presentation and display and how we think they must be dealt with.

Challenges facing hospitality Industry

Challenges facing Hospitality Industry: Quality and look

The prime driver for much of the hospitality industry is perception – quite simply, if you’re running a business in which customers grade you on the quality of their experience, then you have to provide them with an experience which is consistent with their expectations.

We understand that this can be broken down into two areas: Preparation and Presentation

  1. Preparation: People working with food need to be able to trust that they’re working with the best quality equipment, whether that’s hygienic cutting boards, or well-made knives and utensils. Because the current trend for front of house preparation also means that a lot of how preparation is conducted will be judged by your customers we also understand that preparation equipment like trays, pots, ramekins and utensils have to be consistent with your business’s overall look.
  2. Presentation: Consistency means understanding your business’s intention – whether you’re serving food in a relaxed bar setting, high class reception area, pool-side or at a spa, or serving large numbers of people in a hospital or care home. Each separate location requires a different style and we’re confident that we can find the quality and look to match both your budget and your customers’ expectations.

Challenges facing Hospitality Industry: Safety

Working with food requires high levels of compliance with council and national government regulations to ensure the safety of you, your employees, and your customers or clients.

The hospitality industry needs to be absolutely trusting of its suppliers so that it can minimise breakages and injuries in workplaces which are often high-stress, busy environments that are operated over long periods of time. The quality of crockery, preparation equipment, utensils, presentation and display gear, needs to be hardy as well as stylish.

Food safety programmes and codes of practice mean that businesses have usually already identified the risk areas for food safety so it’s vital that all their presentation and preparation equipment conform to full safety standards, they are made of approved materials and they are being used in situations which are fit for purpose. To this end presentation equipment – whether it’s made up of large barrels, impulse stands or platters, or simply bowls, dishes, plates and menu holders – needs to be:

  1. Made of an approved, food-grade material,
  2. Be easy to clean,
  3. Cope with the temperatures and conditions to which they will be subjected.

Challenges facing Hospitality Industry: Availability

In order to maintain a consistent look and quality for a business, you have to ensure that the style of preparation and presentation equipment will be available over a long time period.

In hospitality, breakages and the life-expectancy of display materials are simply a fact of life – what is important is that you can trust a supplier to be able to replace like for like quickly and expediently. As well as having a proven range of melamine, polycarbonate and sanitary-grade acrylic presentation and display trays, bowls, plates and platters, Mills Display prides itself on having an international network of suppliers to source a perfect match to your requirements. Because we also work with Dalebrook in the UK and Trenton in Australia, we also have access to a vast range of kitchenware, cookware, buffet ware, glassware, dishes, racks and trolleys.

Businesses which are starting out need the security of knowing that the look and style they want to create is going to have longevity – it’s just not good enough to find six months down the track that your ice buckets are no longer in stock or that they’ve discontinued your chosen range of latte bowls. Equally established businesses need the peace of mind of working with a company which has the reach and proven track record of sourcing the styles they want.

Challenges facing Hospitality Industry: Efficiency

Very few businesses are in it just for the love of it, let’s face it. And we understand that success is built on two foundations: financial rewards and personal enjoyment.

In order to gain both of these accolades in hospitality it’s vital to ensure the smooth running and efficiency of the operation and that comes down to not only workflows and processes for staff, but also the seamless integration of all the tools at your disposal.

At its very root, we understand that this comes down to simple logistics such as the stack-ability of plates, bowls and display platters; the weight of presentation-ware to aid ease of service; the dimensions of all equipment so that storage doesn’t become a burden; and the availability of good signage and service-ware such as trolleys and trays so that your customers’ experience is fast and professional.

Challenges facing hospitality Industry

Send an Enquiry to Mills Display Today

If you’re looking to start out in hospitality or you want advice on how to help your hospitality business grow and succeed, you can contact us at Mills Display and our expert team will guide you through the perfect solutions. We’ll make sure your business is well equipped to face any challenges facing hospitality Industry. Use our online contact form, email us at or call our Auckland office at 09 634 5962

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Case Study -H-E-B San Felipe, Houston, Texas

Supermarket display case study. We’ve travelled a fair way to showcase this new supermarket in the US, but its opening earlier this year has gathered so much press interest that we think it’s worth highlighting for a little inspiration.

Supermarket Display Case Study: H-E-B

H-E-B’s 8400sq m Supermarket display features wide aisles, dedicated preparation areas and gourmet booths but the company has also aimed to create the store to be a destination for shoppers by adding a live music stage, a kids play area and in-store restaurant Table 57 with indoor and outdoor dining areas, the ability to host cooking classes and wine tastings and serve the sort of serious foodie menu which has already brought positive headlines.

There’s even a 75-metre “living” wall covered in 22,000 native plants to give the customers a more organic feel to their shopping experience.

supermarket display

“Who would have ever thought that people could get excited about something like a grocery store other than the people who put the grocery stores together?” H-E-B Houston division president Scott McClelland told reporters at February’s opening, adding that the new store intended to become a “gathering place reminiscent of the community it serves”.

“Our competition continues to get better,” he added. “And if you don’t change, you die. I keep looking at different things that we can do that will make our stores more attractive to more customers. If we expect people to shop with us, we have to be better in everything. We have to be better in price and we have to be better in service.”

Some of those things which H-E-B hope will continue to make their stores more attractive include:

  • A 60-foot long yoghurt case offering a phenomenal 498 different varieties
  • A made-from-scratch bakery and tortilleria
  • A chocolate shop
  • A hummus bar
  • Wine cellar and pneumatic tasting station
  • Handmade sushi, cold-pressed juices, guacamole made in-store
  • Case for dry-aged beef which can be customised to taste
  • Spice blending station
  • An in-store florist which can cater for events such as weddings
  • A pharmacy which offers drive-thru, walk-up and delivery

supermarket display

If you want a look around the new design store have a look at their video here and if you’re inspired to try anything different with how you’re displaying your produce, you can contact us at Mills Display and we’ll put our experts on to finding the perfect solutions for your business.

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Retail innovation in Signage, Shelf Display and Retail Product Display

We’re only a few months into 2015 and already some of the world’s largest annual retail expos have made waves in how the industry is facing the future. At Mills Display we know how much our customers like to keep on top of the latest innovations as well as making sure you have the very latest information about smart retail solutions at your fingertips. So we’ve scanned New York’s NRF 2015, Las Vegas’s SPECS 2015 and a host of store openings to bring you what we think are the coolest retail innovation ideas.

retail innovation

Retail Innovation #1 Touchscreen Tech

At NRF 2015, eBay showed its Connected Store concept which mixed the digital and physical world’s by creating a touchscreen wall that allows customers to send items directly to the fitting room. Once in the fitting room the experience continues with another touchscreen where shoppers can ask an associate to bring them another size or colour, and even pay for their purchases.

Retail Innovation #2 Beacons

Shelfbucks Inc showed a way to change iBeacon usage by, instead of marketing to customers’ smartphones and tablets which they are in store, using the technology to allow customers to learn more about products or receive promo information by touching their mobile devices to beacons around a store.

At NRF 2015, IBM hosted a roundtable discussion featuring Kohl’s EVP of digital innovation Ratnakar Lavu, who talked about the company’s use of beacon technology. The retailer is currently testing location-awareness technology in 22 stores in both tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy markets and is keen to create an experience for the customer with a high level of personalisation. “We haven’t cracked the nut on beacons just yet,” Lavu says. “But one thing is for sure for us it is not just about the offer, it is the offer and the experience.”

Retail Innovation #3 Digital Signage

Panasonic has released Powershelf, a fully integrated retail merchandising solution to combine battery-free, wirelessly powered electronic shelf labels, beacon activated mobile advertising capability, inventory and price management software and out-of-stock sensor technology. And Lexmark International has debuted its new Digital Endcap solution that helps retailers increase the speed and accuracy of in-store signage execution, enabling them to move inventory, ensure proper brand representation and increase revenue.

At SPECS 2015 Spenser Paul, retail specialist at Google, outlined the benefits of digital signage in his presentation “Transforming the Store with Technology & Collaboration” saying that switched-on customers expected a digital experience even when browsing in stores and retailers could reduce costs and make time-savings. “Consumers want an immersive experience,” Paul says. “You can easily display a message across all stores instantly with digital signage. Consumers want informed and purposeful store visits.”

Retail Innovation #4 Planning Shelving

At SPECS 2015, Nadia Shourabora, CEO and founder of denimwear retailer Hointer and a former supply chain exec with, said the days of having shelves chock full of merchandise with every possible variation (such as size and color) was over. Fare from being a sign of a successful business, she said it often led to store associates being too busy to assist customers, who are left overwhelmed. “Managing shelves is time-consuming,” she says. Instead she wanted to bring the feeling of shopping online into the store where you get the “touch, feel and personal experience”.

Hointer stores are now mobile-enabled showrooms where one sample of each denimwear product was placed on shelves or displayed on mannequins. Customers examine the merchandise, consult in-store stylists if they choose, and can then order as many variations of a product for try-on as they want using a mobile device.

Goods are automatically shipped to and retrieved from dressing rooms, and checkout and loss prevention are both streamlined as Hointer can automatically determine what items are brought into and out of the dressing room. Sales and customer satisfaction have both benefited significantly from this mobile showroom approach.

Make your signage work harder

The Museum of Modern Art (of MOMA) in New York has prompted more than a few column inches recently over the way it merchandises its stock in its gift stores around the US, Japan and Korea. While “innovation, creativity and quality” are the yardsticks by which items are chosen for display, the souvenir shops have taken to displaying them in a way which mirrors the experience customers get when in the museum.

Products are presented with a short description, the name of their designer or artist, and the year they were created. “It’s really important to our customers to have the experience they have basically in the museum,” Chay Costello, assistant director of merchandising, told AFP. “We try to reflect that in the stores, and we have signs that tell people who designs this, what the inspiration is, and we carry a number of things that are in our collection,” she added.

Contact Mills Display For More Information

If you want any more information about innovative ways you can make your store more productive, create better workflows around your shop floor and help your customers find the products they want, contact our experts at Mills Display and we’ll find the right solution for your business.

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