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World Catering Technology Awards: Judges announced

We are thrilled to announce our panel of judges for the first World Catering Technology Awards, celebrating the brilliance and innovation within the catering industry. The World Catering Technology Awards aims to honour companies and individuals who have successfully integrated innovative technology into catering practices to provide exceptional service and elevate the industry standard.

After careful consideration and review of numerous highly qualified professionals, we are proud to introduce our esteemed judging panel:


Peter Petroulas

Inventor, founder and CEO, WizButler Peter Petroulas, as the inventor, founder and CEO of WizButler, has been spearheading a technological revolution, redefining the way restaurants can be more responsive to customer personalisation requirements, while at the same time adding online greater revenue opportunities and cost reductions for the restaurant owner through completely autonomous restaurant systems, such that WizButler and its patented technology stands as the pinnacle of restaurant booking, ordering and POS systems. Peter's journey to becoming a hospitality tech visionary started with a strong academic foundation, CEO and C suite appointments in aviation, travel and restaurants. Peter's journey also included creating, owning, and operating his own drink, dine and entertainment precinct called 'GPO Grand' in Sydney's CBD. GPO Grand comprised 15 completely different venues, including fine dining restaurants, casual dining restaurants, cafes, bars, functions and cabaret shows as a testament to his versatility.

Jo Farish

Event manager, Montgomery Events The catering industry is in the midst of an exciting technological transformation. Major leaps forward are happening everywhere we look, from the streamlining of the customer experience to accurately tracking food waste and quantifying sustainability initiatives. Whether it’s front-of-house innovations enabling hospitality teams to enhance their customer service or back-of-house tech providing chefs with more information, insights and support, the industry is changing fast, and catering businesses are leading the way. Innovation in hospitality tech is happening at such a rate it can even prove challenging for owners and operators to pinpoint the very best of the best in a crowded and competitive market. Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) is delighted to be partnering with FoodBev to launch the World Catering Technology Awards and shine a light on the suppliers blazing a trail in the industry and providing a quality product that enables catering and hospitality businesses to elevate their day-to-day operations. The award categories reflect several of the most exciting and important trends in the hospitality sector, with accolades available for AI innovation, takeaway packaging innovation, best waste/stock technology, best sustainability initiative and much more. Hospitality will also be a people business, and these technological innovations make sure that catering teams are doing what they do best: producing great food and providing an outstanding level of service. Entering the World Catering Technology Awards isn’t just about being recognised, it reflects the commitment to excellence, innovation and customer experience that we see throughout the industry and always well represented at HRC. I’m delighted to be a judge for the inaugural edition of the awards and can’t wait to check out the entries and the innovative approaches by tech suppliers in the UK and around the world!

Rafaela Sousa

News reporter, FoodBev Media Rafaela is the news reporter at FoodBev Media, a platform dedicated to the dissemination of food and beverage industry news. The catering industry is a vital part of the food and beverage sector, covering a range of services from technologies to specialised culinary experiences. It focuses on delivering not just food but memorable experiences, adapting to changing trends and preferences. Technology has become integral, streamlining operations and enhancing customer experiences. I look forward to being the judge of the World Catering Technology Awards!

Christopher Munz

Vice president of growth, Voosh | Hospitality technology consultant With over two decades of experience, Chris is a seasoned hospitality technologist specialising in leading go-to-market strategies for startups. His extensive expertise encompasses various aspects of hospitality technology, including e-commerce, IoT and digital marketing. Presently, he is dedicated to assisting hospitality brands in harnessing the power of AI to enhance guest experiences. Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is an enthusiastic outdoorsman and sports lover, actively involved in coaching lacrosse and skiing. Chris and his family reside in North Yarmouth, Maine.

Chris Cowls MBE

CEO, Eproductive After decades working in hospitality, I believe that catering businesses are some of the most complex and challenging to run effectively. The juxtaposition of food production within a service environment means that the disciplines and technologies required are very wide-ranging. The areas where catering technology is trending now include driving increased automation, personalisation, speed and sustainability. The harvesting of data, and the insight that comes from it, is also a key factor. I think that what comes next is more of the same plus the increasing use of AI in a wide range of areas from menu adoption to stock and waste management. The service norm for most businesses will be automated / technology-led with staff freed up to be more creative and interactive with customers - who will pay a premium for the privilege. There will be increasing differentiation through novel experiences, with either standalone catering or its inclusion in new, unusual host environments. For most of my career I have been a provider of – or customer for – technology innovation. I’ve learnt a few lessons about how to make it work in our sector. A successful technological solution has to:

  1. Have the potential for rapid take-up, which can be implemented quickly and easily - operators will tell you soon enough if it won’t work practically for them.

  2. Give rapid return on investment for the operator as well as being commercially viable for the innovator.

  3. Be robust enough and have ongoing development and support that will differentiate it from the inevitable competition. Above all, it has to be scalable – and if there is one thing that the catering sector has, it’s lots of outlets! As a judge, I will be looking for new catering technology that meets these criteria. The judges will have the critical task of evaluating entries from the global selection of innovation across the catering industry, from innovative POS/payment systems to state-of-the-art delivery robotics, the very best in the technology within the catering industry. The panel has been carefully chosen for their breadth and depth of experience, knowledge, and insights into the relationship between technology and catering. We are extremely thankful for our panel's commitment and contribution. As the judging process gets underway in just under a month, make sure to keep an eye out for updates as we announce the results. The competition is sure to be intense with the high calibre of industry experts on our panel. Let the anticipation build as we count down to the big event.

About FoodBev Awards

FoodBev Media awards schemes have been running for more than 20 years and are now recognised as the most credible and respected awards schemes to influence the international food and beverage industry.

For more information about our selection of awards programmes, please visit foodbevawards.com or email awards@foodbev.com.

Stay tuned and get excited for the World Catering Technology Awards 2024, entries close on 23 February 2024.

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