Architech and Compass Group Canada - digital hospitality innovation

October 12, 2015

Compass Group Canada has big visions for the future of digital hospitality. This would be a lofty statement from most companies, but most companies aren’t long established global leaders in the food and hospitality industry. Think of a meal you’ve eaten at a sports game, entertainment event, hospital, airport, or university campus and there’s a good chance it came from a Compass kitchen.

But popularity in the hospitality industry brings its own set of challenges, mostly around volume: from long line-ups and impersonal service to lack of awareness about loyalty rewards, these small frustrations conspire to create unsatisfying customer experiences that drive diners straight into the arms of the competition.

Compass Group Canada CIO Humza Teherany has long envisioned a retail future where each of his millions of customers will have an exceptional, personalized experience every time they enter a Compass eatery. What Humza needed was an innovation, design and technology partner to push his vision to the highest level, then mobilize the engineering tools to make it a reality.

He found all three of these partners in one at Architech.

“We chose to work with Architech because of how much of a thought leader they are in all things digital, whether it’s looking at the future of retail or innovation and making bets on what they think is going to happen,” says Humza.

“But I think the driving factor for us is the investment Architech’s made in their own people and in their clients. They really try to understand our needs and tailor their solutions toward that. Plus they match our ability to work very quickly. So to be able to match up against all those things is really what differentiates Architech in the marketplace.”

Together, Compass and Architech have conceived of a digital hospitality platform that extends across the company’s broad range of verticals – from large corporate buildings to airport lounges to museums. The goal is to engage customers in these consistently exceptional experiences.

But what does an exceptional experience mean at a place like the Toronto Zoo or a major corporate headquarters like TJX that feeds thousands of employees each weekday?

For Humza, the solution is a personal labour of love.

“To me, digital hospitality means the growing up of mass-market retail in hospitality in the Canadian marketplace. When you go in to get your coffee in the morning at your favourite café or get your favourite lunch, there are very few times where even myself as a consumer, I go in and I have that ‘wow’ or meaningful experience or feel valued as a consumer. We’re actually creating that with the power of digital hospitality. We want every experience to be a ‘wow’ experience,” he explains.

We’ve been collaborating with Compass Canada to engineer the “wow” into a pair of Android and iOS apps that have the potential to transform the digital hospitality industry in Canada and beyond. The idea is to create one platform that can be customized across Compass’s huge variety of restaurants and cafes to best serve the needs of both the retailers and their customers in a way that’s unique to the brand but keeps the same world-class experience for which the Compass spots are known.

Our industry-leading solution will allow customers to maximize their time by skipping the line, make more informed selections, provide more choice, escalate enjoyment and above all else, be simple, engaging, and attractive to use.

“I would say the amount of work that’s happened on both the Compass side and the Architech side within three months is probably in any other project a year’s worth of work,” says Humza. “It’s quite fantastic to get to that level of delivery in that short a period of time and to be able to work through challenges as they come up.”  

It’s this unique combination of qualities that has also made Humza’s experience with Architech a “wow” experience:

“It’s really about understanding a common vision, business goals, and working within financial parameters because, let’s face it, we all have budgets we need to stick to. So to have that partnership both from a cost and a business objective standpoint and then adding a technological vision, makes Architech different from any other firm I’ve ever encountered.”

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