Digital Transformation In The F&B Industry

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

Supply chain disruptions in recent times have exposed both vulnerabilities and opportunities in the F&B industry. How can digital transformation provide solutions and help companies ride on what’s trending at the same time? APFI Magazine speaks to Brett Doyle, CEO and Founder of Mosaic, to understand more about digital transformation in the F&B industry.

Brett_Brett Doyle, CEO, Mosaic Solutions

F&B businesses have embraced new technology to drive omnichannel revenue optimisation and margin improvements, while analytics and data-driven solutions have been used to understand consumer behaviour and improve efficiency, particularly among food delivery and cloud kitchens.

Additionally, the online food delivery market has also seen consistent growth in recent years, tripling in size since 2018, with growth of 13.4% in 2021 alone. 

Based on the above observations, the pandemic has demonstrated that digital transformation and solutions have become essential to the survival of F&B companies. 

Mosaic Solutions is a Manila-based tech pioneer. It is a cloud-based F&B platform which drives profit optimisation with an all-in-one restaurant management system focused on analytics, point of sale, purchasing and inventory management, developed for restaurant groups, cloud kitchens, hotels, and retailers. In this exclusive interview, Brett Doyle, CEO and Founder of Mosaic, talks about digitisation trends across Southeast Asia.


What are your observations on the F&B industry embracing digital transformation? Were there any changes in the last few years?

The F&B industry was one of the first sectors to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with restaurant sales in Metro Manila dropping more than 90% from February to March 2020. We all had to adapt quickly in order to survive, and a key adaptation was evolving to an omnichannel approach to sales. As we like to say, a stool needs multiple legs to be stable and restaurant groups are no different. The legs of the stool for F&B companies are multiple revenue streams (such as in-house dining, delivery, pick-up and ready-to-eat/retail) — and any healthy, sustainable F&B business should have at least three of these legs in order to remain standing.

As well as focussing on multiple revenue streams, the pandemic saw F&B companies start to embrace technology, not only to leverage this omnichannel approach but also to optimise operations and improve margins (which became even tighter during the pandemic). This adoption of new technologies will continue to help drive the rebound of the F&B industry and are here to stay.


We’ve all heard about how Industry 4.0 is revolutionising the industry. What about Society 5.0, how realistic is this concept?

One of the key tenets of Society 5.0 is using technology to solve people’s problems and drive economic gains. This is exactly what the next wave of restaurant tech companies (such as Mosaic) are doing for the F&B industry. Owners and operators in the F&B industry have experienced the same problems that many of us experience in our daily lives, due in part to Industry 4.0 — the sheer amount of data available can become overwhelming and could lead to decision paralysis in many cases.  

The winners in the restaurant tech space will find ways to help their clients overcome this by making the ‘right’ data available anytime, anywhere. They must make this data actionable, allowing owners and operators to make truly data-driven decisions easily and efficiently. It is crucial that restaurant tech companies can distil all the available data for their client and provide users with the key data points, not just to provide descriptive insights, but also prescriptive insights, helping clients to interpret the data, understand what it is telling them, and more easily put it to use to solve problems and drive economic gains. This is what Mosaic Solutions does for its customers. 


Many use the terms ‘digitisation’ and ‘digitalisation’ interchangeably. What is the difference between them, and is embracing both essential for success?

This is a common confusion these days. Digitisation is simply transferring something analogue — let’s say a photo — to digital. It’s simple scanning the photo to make it into a .jpeg. Digitalisation, on the other hand, is what we are seeing in the market now and what we should all have our eyes on. Digitalisation is when data throughout the business, and its assets, are processed through advanced digital technologies, which leads to fundamental changes in business processes.

While Mosaic, and other restaurant tech companies, digitise information for clients, the true value is generated via the digitalisation we provide — driving real process and operational efficiency improvements, leading to increased profits.  Moving these businesses to cloud-based solutions enables F&B companies to take full advantage of this digitalisation. 

Examples of this within Mosaic’s solution include automating payment processing via the POS, connecting directly with 3rd party delivery aggregators and order management solutions (eg, klikit, GrabFood, Foodpanda), automating the purchasing/procurement process, and more. By using a system like Mosaic to automate their procurement and inventory management process, clients can derive huge operational efficiency gains and margin improvements, even more important in this current inflationary period. 


Is digital transformation just for the big companies, should smaller firms adopt it as well?

Though digitisation does lead to some improvements, it is digitalisation that we see making a huge difference for all businesses, including SMEs. Regardless of the size of the business, automating processes and decision-making, using next-gen restaurant tech solutions, will drive significant improvements.  

These improvements can be seen in the top-line (sales) by having a better understanding of what is selling where, when, and at what prices — and using this data to optimise your omnichannel offering in real-time. They can also be seen via margin improvements achieved by smarter, automated ordering based on projected inventory usage/demand and direct connections to suppliers.  

It is up to the restaurant tech companies to be able to offer these solutions that feel custom-built for any company, regardless of their size, to solve their biggest pain points. That is how companies such as Mosaic will continue to support the recovery and growth of the F&B industry across Southeast Asia via digitalisation for all companies, from MSMEs to Enterprises.



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