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Virtual Restaurants and Gyms - The New Reality

Andy Florkowski
The Jetsons animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera

The Jetsons animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera

The game has changed, and definitely for the better. The rise of the digital era is changing consumer expectations across a number of sectors.

Day to day experiences and processes are being turned on their heads as smartphones open up a new way of operating ‘traditional’ businesses.

I have a 4 month old daughter, so Friday nights aren’t quite what they were like a year or so ago, at least at the moment anyway. These days, a Friday night would predictably consist of Uber eats and a few episodes of something interesting on Netflix. Last week, while browsing for something tasty, I stumbled across an eatery on Uber eats that I had read about online, Hot Lips. It is Auckland’s first ‘virtual kitchen’, where you can only order via the app. The idea is that many ‘brands’ or restaurants can share kitchen space and have a digital shop window. In turn, this saves on rent, saves on labour, saves on advertising - and yet they are still a highly competitive operator - just without a lot of the overheads and risk.

The model has been very successful in the U.S. and is a product of the digital era - where we are still unravelling the possibilities.

Industries across the board are being ‘disrupted’ by people who think outside the box and are engaged with their customers' expectations and needs.

The “Hot Lips” brand experience is purely about the quality of the food and the convenience of the ordering and delivery. Layers of complexity have been removed from the equation by the operator.

They don’t need to invest in an environment, create an atmosphere, an ambience with human interaction - the consumer is conditioned and comfortable to curate this themselves from their own lounge.

If we don’t need to leave our living rooms to access the best food around town, then what other facets of the market are being explored for ultra-convenience? I’ve been “politely informed” that digital gym memberships are now a real thing. That’s right, if you can’t quite find the time to get to the gym, or if the class times don’t work for you - there are live digital classes available that you can access from your lounge. You get the convenience from your living room with the motivation from a real trainer... I can’t say this would be up my alley but the concept is fascinating. 

The convenience and accessibility for the consumer can’t be underestimated - but the true disruption and challenge is within the operations and property component.

It will be interesting to see what other operators come out of the woodwork!

Excelsa Village - The Up and Coming


Excelsa in Papamoa is really coming to life.

The home-grown lifestyle village is a sustainable development with a community focus, enabling easy access to retail, hospitality and medical facilities.

RCG has been working with Livingstone Building NZ and Bluehaven Management over the last few months and can't wait for the opening this September.

The design incorporates energy-efficient materials to fit with the coastal environment; the village has many unique features not seen in other areas of greater Tauranga and is sure to be popular with the growing population.

In the Press

Local Media highlights from the past week...


The robots are definitely coming, but you might not need to be afraid

You are probably aware of the disheartening predictions about robots coming to steal your job. They are expected to appear one day, smiling pleasantly and speaking grammatically perfect English (and Mandarin and French too) as they glide about on castors, to relieve you of the thing that gives your life meaning, anchors your identity, and pays your bills.

(Source: The SpinOff)


New research finds the average property that's claimed EQC cover for storm damage is twice as close to the coast as the average property in NZ

New research by Motu Economics and Public Policy Research shows just how much more susceptible properties in coastal parts of New Zealand are to storm damage.

Researchers, David Fleming, Ilan Noy, Jacob Pástor-Paz and Sally Owen, have found that while the average property in New Zealand is located about 11km away from the coast, the average property involved in an Earthquake Commission (EQC) claim after a weather-related event is only 6km from the coast.

(Source: Interest)


Kiwibuild, the industry's chance for a great leap foward

OPINION: There has been a lot written on the residential construction industry over the last few months.

It is an industry that is critical to our future and one that is crying out for some common sense solutions. Whilst innovation is important, getting the basic settings right is also critical to improving performance and productivity.

(Source: Stuff)


Dr Benjamin Liu: This is law in the age of AI - and it's coming fast

Within 20 years, most dangerous, repetitive or routine labour jobs will be done by robots. Lawyers, accountants and doctors will work side-by-side with digital assistants. Human decision-makers in businesses, governments and even battlefields will be assisted or replaced by algorithms based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

(Source: NZ Herald)

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