On-demand Services Reshaping F&B

On-demand Services Reshaping F&B PANEL_web

Berytech leads panel discussion during Arabnet Beirut 2018

Berytech Deputy GM Ramy Boujawdeh moderated and lead a panel titled On-demand Services Reshaping F&B part of the Digital Transformation Forum held during Arabnet Beirut 2018.

Boujawdeh was joined on the panel by Bechara Haddad – Country Manager, Zomato, Karim Miknas – Managing Partner, McDonald’s Lebanon, and Rashid Sultan – Founder and Managing Partner, Savour Ventures.


On-demand Services Reshaping F&B PANEL_web

The panel discussion

The panel discussed the digital shift that the service industry is dealing with. It focused on the incorporation of digital in the customer experience, a challenge facing restaurants at every phase.

Miknas explained that for McDonald’s, a global decision was made more than 2 years ago, that digital was to be at the heart of the McDonald’s worldwide transformation. He confirms that “embracing digital means staying relevant to the contemporary customer.” McDonalds has put digital across the counter with new digital service kiosks that allow customers to place their orders with full customization and pay, all in one digital experience. However, in order to keep the service experience customized, they have created a position called ‘Customer Experience Leader’ whose job is to make sure that customers get served the extra mile.

Launching the delivery service on Zomato was a natural progression of the platform, as the whole market was shifting towards service, explains Haddad. Given the number of users the platform already had, the cost of acquisition for the new service was low, giving the platform an edge over similar budding digital third party service providers. Haddad confirms that with time restaurants will have a disadvantage, an opportunity loss, for not being present on online ordering platforms. To stay ahead in the digital market, Zomato is now developing a smart Point of Sale System (POS) that uses machine learning to provide more information to restaurants on their clients, allowing them to both reduce cost and simplify operations.

After launching the region’s first food accelerator, Sultan’s advice is to know your market, understand your customer, and understand the value you bring to the market: “Know the pain of your customer but don’t fall in love with the painkiller that you have created, rather fall in love with killing your customer’s pain. Focus on what your customer wants.” 

Wrapping up the discussion Boujawdeh recapitulated that while embracing digital the service sector should remain human centric, using technology to improve people’s lives. The focus on the customer remains the priority whether in providing digital or human experiences. 

Digital Transformation Forum

Technology is rapidly transforming vital sectors such as Retail, Healthcare, Travel and F&B through solutions that help enhance customer experience, improve services and products, and optimize performance and efficiency. ArabNet Beirut  featured a full track of discussions about the best practices for digital transformation across sectors and the opportunities for innovators in different industries.


Arabnet LogoArabNet is a leading events, media and research company focused on digital business and entrepreneurship in MENA. ArabNet organizes major annual conferences in Beirut, Riyadh, Dubai, and Kuwait; publishes news and analysis of the digital sector on its online news portal and print ‘ArabNet Quarterly’ magazine; and creates original research reports about the region’s digital industry.

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