Skift Adds Food and Beverage to the Menu
Travel business site launches new section through partnership with Chefs+Tech newsletter.
Skift, the four-year-old digital brand focused on the business of travel, is adding food and beverage to its portfolio.
Chefs+Tech, a weekly newsletter launched and compiled by food writer Kristen Hawley, is now part of the Skift family. Hawley will join the staff full-time as senior editor of restaurants, and work remotely from San Francisco.
“When I met with the company’s co-founders a few months ago, the chemistry and fit were remarkable,” Hawley wrote on Medium. “There’s no way this control freak would let just anyone take over any part of my beloved pet project without a perfect fit.”
Evidently, the co-founders felt the same way. Rafat Ali, CEO and founder of the title, tells Folio: that food and beverage coverage is a natural progression for the brand which regularly writes about the intersection of technology and hospitality.
“Travel and food are joined at the hip in so many ways,” Ali says. “As we started writing about travel and its impact, we learned that 25 percent of food and beverage revenues come from the travel industry…it’s a high interest subject.”
A side project since its incarnation, Chefs+Tech has no ads or revenue stream. But Ali says he sees potential in the title, which he calls “a small newsletter that’s read by very influential people in restaurant tech.”
“We doubled their newsletter subscription just in the last three hours since we made the announcement,” Ali says of his post on Wednesday.
While Skift intends to grow its food and beverage coverage, Ali warns that this is a long term project. The group will work on growing the newsletter’s audience over the next six months, before hiring on staff to expand the section.