This week Berwick Partners hosted an intimate and informal networking evening at Cabotte Restaurant in the City for senior hospitality, food retail and leisure professionals. We brought together a select group to network and share insights on the topic of the similarities and differences of retail and hospitality in today’s market.
Our guest speaker was Glyn House, the UK Managing Director of Caffe Nero. Glyn oversees the 625 Caffe Nero stores in the UK. He joined the business a year ago from Wagamama, where he was most recently Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this, Glyn spent more than 20 years at Sainsbury’s in various HR and operational roles.
Retail and hospitality have seen an increasing amount of crossover in terms of senior talent over the past few years, with leaders switching from one sector to the other. So how are strategies and requirements the same and what are the differences?
Glyn was the perfect individual to speak about this and shared many examples from his impressive career. Some of his key points were:
- Both sectors are committed to developing their generally young, workforce which helps to create loyalty in employees and develops a strong company culture.
- Retail is ahead in terms of sophisticated IT systems and whilst hospitality is improving in this area it is still quite far behind on this.
- Different stand on competition – The competition amongst the big supermarkets is rife and at times hard-lined. In hospitality on the other hand, brands and companies are generally open to working collaboratively if needed. Glyn gave the example that Wagamama would be happy to get a customer in four times a year, versus a big supermarket like Sainsbury’s which is aiming for three times a week. This of course makes you view your competitors very differently.
- Retail has a more advanced supply chain.
- Hospitality can be considered more complex in some ways as the customer experience is not just dependent on the product but hugely on the service as well, the team on the ground MAKE the product in hospitality, whereas they play a smaller role in retail.
Glyn’s talk and the following Q&A was thought provoking, insightful and engaging. We are already looking forward to the next of these events.