Fast Food and Cafe Convention 2023: A pinnacle of innovation, technology, and sustainability

Over 1,160 industry professionals attended the convention, engaging in discussions led by 54 speakers in panel sessions and individual presentations

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Published: Thu 25 Jan 2024, 11:52 AM

The Fast Food and Cafe Convention (FFCC), an annual gathering of industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the food and beverage sector, hosted its third successful edition in Dubai, UAE, on November 22, 2023.

With a focus on the latest trends, technological advancements, and sustainability initiatives, FFCC has firmly established itself as the premier platform in the Middle East and India for the quick-service restaurant (QSR), fast-casual, café, and cloud kitchen segments.

The event witnessed a remarkable turnout with 732 restaurant brands participating, including renowned names like Alghanim Industries, Alshaya Group, Jollibee, Nando’s, Olayan Food Division, Americana Group, Pickl, Tim Hortons, Apparel Group, Papa John’s and many more. Over 1,160 industry professionals attended the convention, engaging in discussions led by 54 speakers in panel sessions and individual presentations.

Technological evolution in F&B industry

Technology is revolutionising the food industry. So much so, that the food technology market size is anticipated to register a CAGR of over eight per cent between 2023 and 2032. In 2022, the industry was valued at $181.3 billion.

“As a tech platform, we recognise how technology is becoming an increasingly intricate part of the F&B industry. The use of large language models and integration of technology has become indispensable, helping F&B players identify opportunities and quickly adapt to evolving customer needs,” said Simonida Subotic, Vice-President, talabat UAE.

Talabat is among the leading players in food delivery business in the Middle East, and has been able to extend its reach exponentially by harnessing the power of technology.

“Our commitment to leveraging technology goes beyond understanding customers; it's also about providing our vendors with a wealth of knowledge to help them grow. We empower F&B players with valuable insights, enabling them to compete in an extremely competitive industry,” she added.

“The use of technology in the food and beverage industry is not only helping save costs but driving efficiencies and more profitability for business owners. Tailored software is playing a critical role by automating processes, reducing cash pilferage, and ensuring accuracy in payment collection. At Geidea, we provide flexible and integrated Point of Sale solutions to run restaurants, quick dining, cafes, food trucks and cloud kitchens,” said Sailesh Malhotra, General Manager, GCC, Geidea. Geidea provides flexible and integrated point of sale solutions to run restaurants, quick dining, cafes, food trucks and cloud kitchens.

Ashish Tulsian, Founder and CEO, Restroworks, a restrotech company that provides restaurant management software to over 20,000 restaurants globally to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and increase profits, agreed.

“Technology is supposed to fix the challenges faced by restaurants, such as pilferage and operational inefficiencies. Restaurants should look at technology to enable them to fix these gaps, providing massive visibility and efficiency in cost of goods and raw materials.”

Sustainability and innovation in focus

Food systems are responsible for roughly a third of global greenhouses gas emissions. What we eat, how we grow, ship, cook, and pack our food matter. Al Bayader International, manufacturer and supplier of food packaging solutions, is an established name in the GCC providing eco-friendly packing.

Jamil Haddad, Group Vice-President, Strategic Marketing, Al Bayader International, said, the company’s participation at FFCC helps spread the message of sustainability to the industry.

“Events like FFCC are catalysts to accelerate sustainability conversations. Sustainable products, whether plant-based, recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable, are key to our portfolio. Such events provide a strategic networking space to update and accelerate projects."

Talking about innovation, Danie El-Zein, Co-founder and CEO, Supy, said: “We focus on optimising restaurants through procurement and inventory management. Our sophisticated product aims to improve core software for restaurants, particularly those with complex operations, such as central kitchens and chains.”

Revolutionising supply chain for farmers

FFCC also provided a platform to companies like Watermelon Market to connect with the various stakeholders of the industry.

“We've created a platform where farmers can deal directly with buyers, eliminating middlemen and increasing profits for farmers. The ecosystem ensures transparency, quality control, and a variety of services for farmers and buyers alike,” said Omar AlShamsi, Co-founder and CEO of Watermelon Market.

The event was presented by Restroworks as its lead sponsor and Powered by talabat. Other notable firms that promoted the event included Geidea, Al Bayader, Watermelon Market, UrbanPiper, and Growdash as Platinum Sponsors. Adyen as the Associate sponsor. Foodics, Barakat, Revly, and Supy as Gold Sponsors.

Looking ahead to FFCC 2024

The Fast Food and Cafe Convention has become a cornerstone in the F&B industry, providing a vital platform for collaboration, innovation, and networking. As it looks forward to its next edition in 2024, FFCC promises to continue pushing the boundaries of technology, sustainability, and excellence in the food and beverage sector.


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