Hostelco and Restaurama unveil ‘The Horeca Hub’, home to the best solutions for the industry

What is the most sustainable equipment? How can robotics and AI be of assistance? How can energy costs be reduced? What will draw the qualified talent? To answer these questions and help face the main challenges the industry has, Hostelco and Restaurama have created ‘The Horeca Hub, Live Solutions’, a new multidisciplinary, experiential space featuring conferences, workshops, demonstrations and live cooking to show off the latest innovations and address key issues in the Horeca channel, such as sustainability, digitalisation, drawing talent or internationalisation.

Hostelco, the International Show of Equipment and Machinery for Restaurants, Hospitality and Food Service, and Restaurama, the Alimentaria’s Show for the Horeca channel, which will be held between 18 and 21 March 2024, have created the “The Horeca Hub”, the platform’s new nerve centre that will bring together innovative and sustainable solutions to meet the challenges faced by the Horeca industry.

With over 150 initiatives for professionals associated with the Horeca channel, as well as managers of purchase, distribution, logistics and retail centres, The Horeca Hub will be scheduling activities focused on different business vectors of the industry, such as digitalisation, gastronomy, innovation, internationalisation, sustainability, HR, delivery and many others.

According to Mar Santarrufina, director of Hostelco, “We wanted to create a dynamic and multidisciplinary venue to bring together the Horeca universe and provide a 360-degree view of all its facets, its challenges and what solutions are out there. It is a complex environment,” says Santarrufina, “with enormous significance to the Spanish economy, one which is transforming not only through technology, but also in accordance with changing consumer habits.”

360-degree solutions for the Horeca channel
The Horeca Hub will gather proposals that meet the challenges arising all along the Horeca value chain, such as its ever-greater ties to the retail channel, which has an impact on the structure of tourism establishments, restaurants, bars and cafés, and range from new business management solutions to ways of handling human resources, plus key ecosystems such as equipment, distribution, logistics, robotics, digitalisation, delivery and food and beverage.

It will be made up of different areas set aside for the knowledge and the generation of experiences: the VIP Lounge, which will host a space for key buyers; several cooking shows and master classes, with live culinary workshops given by renowned chefs and other experts in gastronomy, food services and hospitality. It will also feature a meeting space for buyers and another set aside for an exhibition of the products and solutions recognised by the Hostelco Awards; an area for the finalist start-ups in the Food & Hospitality Start-ups Awards; a space for Automation and Robotics, which will display the latest models and advances in artificial intelligence (AI), collaborative robots and digitalisation models; and an area featuring start-ups and equipment, technology solutions and innovative projects.

Also on the schedule will be a series of activities focusing on drawing and retaining talent, with innovative proposals on personnel management and how to make the Horeca channel more attractive to its workers. It will also be the setting of the 2024 edition of the “Chef of the Year” and “Server of the Year” contests.

Coffee, Bakery & Pastry
Emerging out of Alimentaria and Hostelco is COFFEE, BAKERY & PASTRY, a sector created in response to new challenges, formats and market trends, whose purpose is to encourage networking among professionals in the Horeca and retail channels and also foster business relations and the exchange of knowledge and experiences, not only nationally but across Europe.

It is a space where coffee and tea, pastry, baked goods, ice cream, chocolate and accessories take centre stage and that gathers the most complete offering from this sector, including food products, equipment, machinery, accessories and technology.

It will also have its own experience-based activity forum featuring product tastings, demos, tastings and cuppings, plus training sessions, conferences and various events, such as the Spanish final of the World Pizza Championship, held in partnership with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which will be taking place on 20 March.

Participation from the industry
The Alimentaria and Hostelco platform is partnered with the industry’s main national and international associations, which will take part in creating the content for the conferences and congresses at the show, such as FCSI – Foodservice Consultants Society International; EFS – European Foodservice Summit; CLIA – Cruise Lines International Association; CEHAT- Confederación Española de Hoteles y Alojamientos Turísticos; ITH – Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero; Hostelería de España; Marcas de Restauración; ADISCAT – Asociación de Empresas de Distribución y Logística de Bebidas y Alimentación de Cataluña; FEDISHORECA – Federación Española de Empresas de Distribución a Hosteleria y Restauración; or AECOC – Asociación de Fabricantes y Distribuidores, among others.

All ensure that the most specialised buyers will be coming to the show and lend their support to a lively and busy slate of conferences, seminars and presentations. The aim is to contribute to the greater knowledge and solutions for all those devoted to running hotels, tourist accommodation, independent commercial restaurants, brand restaurants, cruise lines, food service companies or delivery, and many other business lines.

Hostelco and Restaurama, the global response for the Horeca Channel
For the first time, the offering of 600 exhibitors expected at Hostelco, Restaurama and Coffee, Bakery and Pastry will be integrated and jointly occupy pavilions 4, 6 and 7 of the Gran Via venue. This way, the collective force of both shows will make up a complete platform focused on the Horeca channel, an economic sector of enormous importance, as it represents 6.2% of the Spanish GDP and employs more than 1.7 million people.

In its previous edition, held in May 2022, Alimentaria & Hostelco, organised by Alimentaria Exhibition – Fira Barcelona, had the participation of over 3,000 exhibiting companies, 29% of whom were international representing 57 countries, plus some 100,000 visitors, ample proof of its success as the main business platform, internationalisation and networking platform for the industry.

Barcelona, November 2023

Mª Gloria Dilluvio