10 Principles of success in “Digital Gastronomy”

11 March 2020

10 Principles of success in “Digital Gastronomy”

We introduce the 10 key points to be and remain successful and relevant in the middle of a digital revolution in hospitality and the gastro-food sector

During the 1º LABe Expert meeting, held at LABe Digital Gastronomy Lab in February this year, we reflected on the definition of Digital Gastronomy, also defined a set of principles or guidelines that businesses and entrepreneurs developing or adopting new technologies and innovations should follow to be successful over time (in the field of Gastronomy and HORECA/hospitality).

The set of principles was presented by LABe and the experts at the 2º Digital Gastronomy & Hospitality Startup Forum at HIP in Madrid.


The first step was to agree on a common, holistic definition of the concept and framework “Digital Gastronomy”. To do so, the starting points were the definition of “digital transformation” and the definition of “Gastronomy” stated in the Basque Strategic Plan on Food And Gastronomy 2020.

“Digital Gastronomy” can be defined as the use of new, evolving digital technology to optimize processes whereby humans cultivate, transform, create, distribute and consume good food and beverages that have the potential to affect their physical, mental and social wellbeing

To define the principles of success we’ve used 6 lenses to see through and various sub-categories in every lens, which represents the global reality nowadays and are directly related to gastro-food systems, therefore they should be taken into account:


1. Environment and nature

  • Natural resource management
  • Regenerative agriculture
  • Biodiversity
  • Animal welfare
  • Carbon footprint & Greenhouse gases
  • Waste recovery, diversion and minimization (circularity)
  • Traceability & transparency

2. Health & Diets

  • Physical, mental and social wellbeing
  • Diet-related diseases & malnutrition
  • Dietary Patterns
  • Food security

3. Human factor and labor

  • Wages & regulation
  • Safety
  • Training & re-training
  • Human – machines coexistence
  • New skills and services
  • Work-life balance
  • Migration

4. Culture and society

  • Creativity and Identity
  • Cultural diversity & Integration
  • Social movements
  • Culinary traditions
  • Enjoyment, leisure, entertainment
  • Socialization and collaboration

5. Science & Technology

  • Innovation processes, Open Innovation
  • Ethics
  • Technology adoption
  • Data management/privacy

6. Market & value exchange

  • Business modeling
  • Tech-driven measurement, management and optimization
  • Customer experience
  • Investments
  • Global trade


To be successful and relevant, businesses and entrepreneurs that are developing and/or adopting new innovations or technology in gastronomy and HORECA/Hospitality must assess the full consequences of the outcome, and they should:

1. Let technology serve as a tool that will positively impact tomorrow by reducing our environmental footprint today

2. Encourage and foster a regenerative attitude towards our environment to give back to the planet instead of simply taking from it

3. Use tech to create personalized recommendations that lead to broader cultural shifts towards healthy eating habits while still allowing the individual to explore, discover, and be spontaneous with their food choices

4. Use technology to encourage, train and retain employees, as well as to boost their creativity

5. Ensure ethical labor standards for all, including the vulnerable and those in the gig economy, through tech initiatives that emphasize fairness and transparency

6. Use new technologies and cooking methods to create new food and culinary experiences instead of only imitating on existing ones

7. Promote the value of food as a means to maintain traditional cooking and culture, and to connect people, instead of alienating them

8. Drive open innovation processes that involve the user from the beginning as well as multidisciplinary approaches that address the needs of both current and future generations

9. Opt for scalable technology that always gets the best out of humans and works as a fundamental tool to remaining financially viable

10. Build a sustainable and viable business model through transparent and fair practices, and balancing tech-driven tools with delightful customer experiences

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