The government must use next week’s Budget to reshape the hospitality and catering industries with technology and scientific innovation, according to the director of a company in the sector.
Jason Webb, director at Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI), a digital thermometer manufacturer, producing food temperature monitors for the food and drink service industry, has said that “we are at a moment when the economy must be reshaped around technology and scientific innovation”.
He believes the government must take “a proactive approach to reskilling for a digital era and the upskilling of certain professions”.
He says this is “particularly across the hospitality industry which has, despite waves of opposition from Covid-19, staff shortages, and ongoing supply chain issues has largely held its own”.
Webb said: “We are entering a digital era, there’s no denying that. But some businesses remain unprepared for it. The hospitality sector employs a large number of youngsters who are either still in or have just left school and college. Not only have they grown up with technology at their fingertips, but they’ve studied with it too.
"They don’t expect a pen and paper when entering the workplace, and nor should they. Technology plays a crucial role in combating food storage and waste. Constant monitoring is required, and a cost-effective way of doing this is not through several manual checks of storage units each day, but with wireless data loggers. These are IoT-enabled devices which provide the likes of catering facilities, supermarkets and transporters with the information they need to act immediately should any unforeseen issues arise."
Webb added: "The pandemic and its ramifications look set to stay with us for some considerable time, and many newly sharpened attitudes towards safety are here to stay. While this has placed extra demands on businesses up and down the food value chain, they can be overcome through stringent quality assurance and savvy investment in technology.”