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Kongres Magazine talked to Marko Ertl, Co-Founder and Director of Wrapstars, who was recently named among the top 10 Most Influential Catering Service Providers 2021. Marko shared his advice for newcomers in the meetings industry and expressed his opinion on the future of events.

Q1: What does the title of the industry’s most influential individual in the region mean to you?

I feel like there are a lot of great projects happening in our region regarding catering services, and it caught me by surprise that we got chosen to be the most influential. Nonetheless, it is a great motivation after such trying times and gives us the energy to overcome the crisis and continue to reach more people with real food, no bullshit.

Q2: Can we say that you are a newcomer in the meetings industry? What inspires you?

We started in 2013 – not sure if that still counts as a newcomer – but we are definitely not native to the food industry. We are inspired by everything – we monitor all kinds of industries, products, user experiences to find inspiration to improve how catering and food is prepared – since we want to set new standards.

Q3: You have contributed a lot to the development of the meetings industry. What would you say was your greatest achievement so far?

It is always hard to pick out one achievement. I feel like the founding of herd open kitchen and facilitating the development of many new food startups is among our most important contributions to the industry.

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Photo Credit: Wrapstars

“Meetings will always happen. However, where, when and with whom is evolving.”

Q4: What changes would you like to see in the meetings industry in 2022?

We hope that we can again create momentum to experience a full season of events and catering after two years. At the same time, we would like to see a better appreciation of high-quality food and more transparency in the industry so customers can understand where food comes from and thus choose the most sustainable options instead of going by price only.

Q5: What is your prediction for the future of meetings?

Meetings will always happen. However, where, when and with whom is evolving. It will be important to have offers that work with small order value in order to reach remote workers etc.

Q6: What is your advice for young colleagues making their way in the meetings industry?

Come up with the core assumptions for your idea that need to come true for your concept to work and test them in the most cost-efficient way possible. If something does not work the way you thought – adapt and repeat.

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Photo Credit: Wrapstars

“We would like to see a better appreciation of high-quality food and more transparency in the industry so customers can understand where food comes from.”

Q7: Were you more exposed in public after being placed on our list? Do you see this as an opportunity to reinforce the prominence of our industry in general?

Honestly – nothing has changed.

Q8: What are your thoughts on our selection of the influencers?

Since meetings/caterings are only a portion of our business, we did not know most of the other members.

About Marko Ertl

Marko co-founded Wrapstars (First Food Truck in Austria) and grew it to 30 employees, 1 restaurant, 2 trucks and a catering service with about 400 events per year. Moreover, he co-founded the first co-working kitchen in Austria with 700 m² of production space, an online community and 30+ food business members. Marko is also the genius behind retail-focused F&B accelerator in coop with Metro and Modul University as a way to support Herd Open Kitchen Members. Marko started “Am Herd” food business focused Podcast with Adi Raimann from Karma Food.