Inside Foodbuy PT7 – Reimagining the return of hospitality with Ian Stockley

The hospitality industry has suffered tremendously in the wake of COVID-19 and we’re excited to see many of our clients reopening their doors. As lockdown lifts and restrictions ease, allowing restaurants and hotels alike to enrol into the ‘new normal’, we caught up with our Senior Client Lead, Ian Stockley, to gain insight into how the team are supporting clients to reimagine their services!

1. Tell us about your role at Foodbuy

My role is Senior Client Lead of the hospitality sector, so in short, I look after hotels, restaurant groups and leisure clients that are associated to those groups!

The most important aspect of my role is ensuring our clients have the right procurement and supply chain strategy in place that also adds value to their business.  

As a team, we are forward-thinking and always looking out for new product concepts, ensuring our clients have an affordable and sustainable supply chain. For example, recently we’ve been looking at plant-based menus, street food concepts, and in line with Brexit and our commitment to support British farming, we have looked at increasing our client’s UK grown products.

With people much better informed these days and with trends like healthy eating, affordability and sustainability rising to the top, we’re always supporting our clients to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to menu management.

2. What do you think makes Foodbuy different?

Our team comprises of people who are passionate about food and supply chains and we want to help our clients by utilising that passion.

Most of our team members come from the catering industry, prior to joining procurement, including myself. Having lived and breathed as a chef for 25 years, I understand first-hand the wants and needs of our client base.

At Foodbuy, we have the scale and purchasing power to deliver the best value to our clients, supporting businesses of all sizes across the leisure and hospitality industry, working collaboratively with our clients to bring their goals and objectives to life.

3. Tell us about Epsys, how has it benefitted your clients?

Good question! There are many modules within Epsys, our eProcurement and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) system that benefit our clients and their business, saving valuable time and money. Some of these include:

  • Our three-way match module – Built into our P2P system, the module means you will only ever pay for what is received.
  • Financial integration – Epsys can integrate seamlessly with existing business or finance software, giving you full visibility and transparency of spend across your portfolio.
  • Recipe management – This provides clients with access to nutritional information as well as information on allergens. With Natasha’s Law coming into effect in October 2021, you can save time and comply with the legislation secure in the knowledge that the correct allergen information is up to date and always readily available from suppliers.
  • Stock management – Access to stock usage reports to help you monitor all aspects of your operation.

In essence, with Epsys, the client has a global overview of the sites spend, not to mention, control of what they want to purchase, full visibility of data across their supply chain and a dedicated customer support team on hand to ensure the very best system experience.  

4. What does the future hold for the hospitality industry post Covid-19?

Well, already our clients are seeing a surge in bookings as the industry gears up to reopen!

This is a real ‘testing the waters’ environment, so it’s great to see outdoor seating is filling up and the demand for COVID-secure events is growing by the day, going forward this trend is expected to remain and with the help of vaccinations, there should be a big uptake in visitors.

Some restrictions will stay in the short-term, such as spacing of the tables, sanitisation and mask-wearing by visitors until they are seated and the serving staff – a priority that the team is busy supporting clients with.

5. What do you most look forward to when business returns to normal for your clients?

I’m really looking forward to having face-to-face meetings again. There is real value to be gained from those ‘in-person’ discussions and especially in being able to see clients’ businesses first-hand, learning of their core values and suggesting areas of improvement.

Saying that, the business world has changed, and it is clear there will continue to be more meetings conducted virtually going forward, which ultimately will help to reduce travelling – an opportunity for cost-savings throughout businesses as well as seeing less of an impact on the environment across the industry.

Reimagine your hospitality operation with Foodbuy

We support multiple businesses across the hospitality industry to bring goals and objectives to life, with local experts on hand to assist with day-to-day trials and tribulations, as well as leveraging global expertise, learnings and experiences – all of which can support you in making a show-stopping return!

If you require support or would like to have a conversation to explore the topics we have discussed, connect with Charlie Hudson on LinkedIn or contact us here.