Since his arrival at the head of the company in September 2020, Zakari Benkhadra has initiated an ambitious and resolutely forward-looking strategy for Gault & Millau, the French and international gastronomic guide. Deeply attached to the terroir and to people, Zakari Benkhadra has undertaken the modernisation of the guide by integrating 3 priorities: digitalisation, the terroir and the hotel industry.
Acceleration of digitisation
Revealing, supporting and rewarding those who bring good food and taste to life throughout the country: this is the philosophy adopted by the guide since its creation over 50 years ago.
With half a century of existence, it is therefore imperative that the French guide evolves with society, and although it began its digital transformation a long time ago, this is being accelerated with the arrival of its new General Manager.
As part of this project, the company has entrusted its digital marketing strategy to the digital consultancy firm Aditiks.
“Our primary vocation is, and will remain, that of talent scout. We spot them well before others, reveal them to the public, accompany them and reward them. This is the very soul of Gault&Millau and what makes us different, when others only reward or sanction” declares Zakari Benkhadra.
This acceleration implies first of all the total reorganisation of the current site. It is being redesigned to present its content as a magazine with an editorial line.
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In the near future, visitors will also have access to an original podcast by Gault&Millau, videos and reports.
Three new sections will also appear on the site: hotels, French wines and “gourmet countries”, a section highlighting certain regions.
Among the major changes, we can also note the birth of digital versions of the Gault & Millau guides.
“Today, with the rejuvenation of our audience, we felt it was necessary to carry out a global reflection on our tools and in particular on our guide. Many young people are interested in what they put on their plates. It is and always will be our role to accompany them in the discovery of good restaurants and passionate craftsmen”, says Zakari Benkhadra.
The current application will also be transformed and redesigned. In addition to the restaurant selection, a selection of food artisans will be added, allowing users to find them thanks to a geolocation system.
Hotels and territories at the heart of the Gault&Millau strategy
Hotels and territories, being very important areas for the new CEO, are clearly present in his new roadmap.
For this, Zakari Benkhadra has surrounded himself with the best and has entrusted this mission to Régine Le Brun, formerly working at Accor, and who is in charge of the lifestyle and hotel division.
With this in mind, a new guide will be launched in the coming months, offering a selection of establishments chosen solely on the basis of service and experience.
“My deepest wish is to value these men and women who make the soul of a hotel. It is above all thanks to them that the experience of a stay in an establishment remains unforgettable, and this has nothing to do with the number of stars” confided Zakari Benkhadra, who considers that the human element must be put back at the centre.
To go even further, Gault&Millau wants to create a hotel awards ceremony that will reward all the professions in the hotel ecosystem that make a hotel valuable.
The director of Gault&Millau also wishes to highlight the terroir, notably by creating a “Pays Gourmands” label, accompanied by associated itineraries. The guide will thus promote gastronomic tourism in France while offering convivial moments of encounter.
As in the hotel sector, the guide will reward exceptional gastronomic terroirs in order to discover local specialities and to honour passionate craftsmen, a way for the guide to fight against the extinction of regional specificities and the standardisation of tastes.
“Through this label and these proposed itineraries we wish to promote the richness of our territory in terms of products and craftsmen”, stated Zakari Benkhadra.
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