Robot Mario, the new employee and mascot of the Marriott Hotel Ghent
The Marriott Hotel Ghent has a new employee since late June. The humanoid robot Mario. Now almost two months later, Mario is a local celebrity and he has his own ‘Mario Monday’. On these days he examines issues surrounding the hotel, he is trying out rooms and visited the football club Gent which is sponsored by the Marriott Ghent.
The success of Robot Mario
We read all the press coverage late June and planned an article in a later stage about the effect of the humanoid robot for the hotel. According to Annabelle Stevens (Marketing Marriott Ghent) Mario has stolen many hearts. School classes have come to meet Mario and his dedicated ‘dad Thomas’ can’t watch Mario’s performances alone any longer. Nowadays a number of front office staff accompany Mario occasionally in the things he says and does.
Mario is deployed in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) market for a welcome or farewell speech, he gives classic PowerPoint presentations or talks about the menu during diner. Another big advantage, Mario speaks a couple of different languages! He is regularly present at the front office, which is especially great for children.
Mario does not replace staff, it is an extra level of experience. Mario even performs a mascot role every Monday through Facebook under the name ‘Mario Monday’. He investigates all issues surrounding the hotel. He already tested a room and checked whether the area around the hotel was well cleared after the Ghent Festivities for example. Thus, the mascot is part of the storytelling by the Marriott Ghent.
QBMT; the company that has designed Mario
Humanoid robots are already used for a while in the healthcare sector. In the hotel sector, this is one of the first times we hear about deploying a robot. The robot is a product of the Belgian company QBMT from Ostend, which has produced more than 100 Zora humanoid robots for the healthcare sector in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland.
Getting started in the hospitality industry
SVH has developed a game for newbies in the hospitality industry.
Getting started in the hospitality industry
We cannot stress enough that the personnel in the hospitality industry in general and at the terrace in specific is very important. It can be difficult to find the time and resources to train personnel in the right way. For (potential) personnel with little or no experience in the hospitality, SVH will launch the game ‘Getting started in the hospitality industry’. With the app, newbies can learn and test their knowledge and skills. Additionally, a restaurant owner or manager can prepare them for future situations that could occur on the terrace. The app will be launched officially on 22 June, we’re looking forward to testing it.
Because a satisfied guest often means word-of-mouth advertising and a disgruntled guest the opposite, training is important, especially during busy periods. This app is an accessible way to teach and test basic skills. Besides training of the personnel, small welcoming gestures can make a difference as well . Read more about small welcoming gestures in the hospitality industry.
The municipality of Utrecht developed a game last year to positively impact the hospitality as well.
My chef, your chef
GELINAZ! Is a chef’s collective that will organize a Grand GELINAZ! Shuffle in the culinary scene. On 9 July, 37 of the world’s best chefs will, according to their website, “be swapping lives, identities… and restaurants!”
The GELINAZ! restaurant-swap concept is developed by Andrea Petrini and Alexandra Swenden in 2005. They’ve hand-selected an impressive group of chefs from 17 countries. Check the video for the line-up which includes respected names in the culinary scene like René Redzepi, Albert Adrià, and Dominique Crenn.
My chef, your chef
During the shuffle chefs will be swapping restaurants and home countries, serve their best in another chef’s kitchen and will even be living in each other’s houses, a bit like Wife Swap. We wonder if this will be used for a new television format as well! Tickets will be for sale online beginning 13 May, according to the GELINAZ! website.
According to their website GELINAZ! is a collective of international chefs responsible for wild, collaborative cook-off stunts. Every time pushing the boundaries, performing food and taking risk as a starting point. Longing to discover new cultures and exchange knowledge. Inventing collaborations with artists, musicians, scientists, thinkers, producers. Never willing to repeat itself, always exploring the unknown. Adapting to uncertain situations, charting new territories to sharpen creativity. Zooming on the beauty of nature, its elegant chaos and unending recreation.
Do you want to be an ‘innovative’ entrepreneur at ‘De Pier’ in Scheveningen?
The iconic Pier in Scheveningen (near The Hague in the Netherlands) is completely rebuilt and is still looking for some enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Innovative entrepreneurs.
The now abandoned but soon completely revamped ‘Pier’ will be opened for the public this year after a major renovation. For young and old, locals and tourists, foodies and shoppers. ‘De Pier’ is an international hotspot at sea with a wide variety of contemporary and innovative concepts. For example with food trucks and catering stands but also with art and culture, festivals, events and (pop-up) stores. The last units will be available for driven and innovative entrepreneurs.
‘De Pier’ will be one of our national prides again
‘De Pier’ is a national icon in The Netherlands and defining the picture of the coastline of Scheveningen since 1901. With a completely new meaning and after a thorough renovation. ‘De Pier’ will reopen in 2015. According to Marius van der Werff, on behalf of ‘De Pier’, the iconic Pier isn’t only saved but also “transformed into a unique center for an international and diverse audience.”
Start a business at the Pier
At the Pier there will be a diverse range of restaurants, bars, shops and much more. Existing and new entrepreneurs can indulge themselves in a world of possibilities in the field of creative and innovative concepts; from ‘haute Friture’ shops and juice bars to ‘pop up’ and experience stores. Driven and innovative entrepreneurs now have the chance to be part of the catering, retail and other concepts at the Pier. The Pier has some unique stands and spaces available for the very best concepts. Interested entrepreneurs can submit their plan through the website until April 1, 2015. Find out more about the new Pier at their website as well.
Piazza Duomo at Harrods
Since September 2014 , Harrods welcomes five of Italy’s best restaurants in their pop-up concept #Stelle di Stelle. This month the three-Michelin-starred restaurant ‘Piazza Duomo’ by Enrico Crippa takes the lead
Enrico Crippa is famous among the young generation of Italian chefs. Crippa has worked with Europe’s most famous chefs like Ferran Adrià, Michel Bras en Antoine Westermann. In 2005 Crippa opened Ristorante Piazza Duomo in Alba, Italy. Piazza Duomo serves raw ingredients selected from the restaurant’s own vegetable garden that encompasses 5 acres of land.
Piazza Duomo five-course menu at Harrods will feature:
– Veal in tuna sauce
– Alta Langa potato cream with quail egg and Lapsang Souchong
– Agnolotti del Plin stuffed with three roasts, served with roast meat juices
– Fassona beef braised with Barolo and polenta
– ‘Relanghe’ hazelnut cake and cold zabaglione with Moscato wine
There will be a lunch and a dinner round each day. The menu is priced at £ 65 for lunch (a reduced version of the menu), or £ 115 for the whole menu. You can make a reservation till 31 January.
Stelle di Stelle
Stelle di Stelle works together with Identità Golose, a culinary organisation that wants to promote the traditional Italian kitchen and gastronomic delights worldwide. There has been a Stelle di Stelle at London and New York. The next edition will take place in Chicago September 2015.
Restaurant recipes from Amsterdam at Bilder & De Clercq
The restaurant recipes and ingredients from well-known Amsterdam restaurants are soon available at Bilder & De Clercq shops. From 22 January onwards the dinner-shops at the Clercqstraat and Ceintuurbaan will sell a new signature dish from a restaurant in Amsterdam. The step-by-step recipes come with the necessary ingredients measured in the right quantity.
The first three participating restaurants are Envy, Par Hasard and Americano Bar & Kitchen. The following participating restaurants that share one of their restaurant recipes are revealed after the launch. The shop creates a brilliant crossover with the Amsterdam restaurant industry and vice versa.
About Bilder & De Clercq
Bilder & De Clercq was set up by Roger Leopold and Diederik van Gelder. Both live in Amsterdam and daily had to contend with the question “what will I have for dinner tonight?”. Finding the right dishes and ingredients was a frustrating quest that they want to end for everyone with their shop.
Inspire with restaurant recipes
At the dinner-store it’s easy to get inspiration for the right dinner with 14 different dishes available, there is always plenty of choice. The right quantities are exactly measured. Each week, three new dishes are introduced and now monthly restaurant recipes with ingredients will be available as well.
Next to dinner inspiration, Bilder & De Clercq sells hand-made bread and a wide variety for breakfast, lunch and drinks as well. With a few tables and an espresso bar shoppers can enjoy a cappuccino with carrot cake while having a break.
Dishes of amateur cooks on your menu
Hotel-Restaurant Oostergoo (Grau, Friesland, The Netherlands) inspired us with their search for the tastiest meatball and ‘snert’ (a famous Dutch pea soup) to place on their lunch menu. If campaigns like is are done right, you can reach a lot of potential guests. Especially if you involve local food bloggers.
Meatballs and ‘Snert’ on the lunch menu
Restaurant Oostergoo started a competition to find the best home-made meatballs and snert. On 13 December, the meatballs and the soup were tasted by the famous Dutch chefs Joop Braakhekke and Albert Kooy to assess whether the dishes would fit in a restaurant as well. This because the winning meatball and snert will be on the lunch menu at the Hotel-Restaurant Oostergoo. The winners are Mr. Scholten de Weerd (meatballs) and Ms. Gerda Uiterwaal (pea soup).
Dishes of amateur cooks on the menu
The amount of variations of food competitions you can think of are of course numerous. But especially with the huge amount of amateur cooks and the popularity of cooking it’s not difficult to create your own theme. Enthuse the local press to pay attention to your search for a great dish, have a (local) celebrity judge the dishes and leave a spot (or a few) free at your menu. And of course, make a party from your food competition!
Robots manage restaurant
A restaurant owner in China completely replaced his staff by robots.
Robots manage restaurant
Recently we wrote an article about flying robotic waiters in Singapore. The flying robotic waiters are created to help the waiters with difficult tasks. Lu Dike from China has a different mindset and lets robots serve his whole restaurant. The restaurant is located in Zheijang, a province in China. Lu Dike is convinced that it will save him a lot of money in the future. The robots are able to formulate 40 sentences which allows them to take orders from customers and transmit the orders to the kitchen. The robots have sensors that prevent them from bumping into something.
Flying robotic waiters
By end-2015 autonomous flying robotic waiters will be deployed at 5 outlets of the Timbre Group in Singapore. Infinium Robotics Pte Ltd chief executive officer Woon Junyang signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Edward Chia, managing director of Timbre Group, on 31 October this year.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong observed an autonomous flying robotic waiter serving food during a demonstration at Singapore’s National Productivity Month 2014 Launch Event at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Seeking productivity-related government grants
The costs are high but the flying robotic waiters could be a solution for the labour-crunch in Singapore and the robotic waiters do allow human waiters to focus on higher-value tasks such as explaining the menu, upselling and getting feedback from customers. At this moment both Infinium Robotics and the Timbre Group are seeking productivity-related government grants to help offset deployment costs.
The flying robotic waiters at work
Do you want to know more about these robots? CNBC did an interview with the owner of Infinium-Serve and had a demonstration in the studio.
Tribute to Alain Passard
In our humble opinion a chef can’t get a better tribute! Eight chefs who have ever worked for and are inspired by Alain Passard, have jointly catered a dinner in honor of his cooking style. Initiated by Le Fooding and sponsored by San Pellegrino. ‘Alain Passard et les Arpégiens’; Björn Frantzén, Sven Chartier, Mauro Calagreco, David Toutain, Tatiana Levha, Bertrenad Grébaut, Marc Cordonnier and Ludo Lefebvre.
Reunion: Chefs tell about Alain Passard’s cooking style
Vegetables, respect for the product, watching and listening to the product, the product of this moment has the most flavor, be careful with heat and a fine balance between fat and acid. A great tribute to Alain Passard.
Great idea to organize a similar tribute to a Dutch chef around the presentation of a magazine or book, like the ‘Lekker’, the GaultMillau (from the Netherlands), ‘Grootspraak’ or around a special edition of Delicious.