This year’s National Restaurant Association Show had over 60,000 attendees (very encouraging attendance bodes well for business) and Coyle Hospitality was excited to be there. We were delighted to meet with our current and future restaurant partners. For those of you who couldn’t attend, here are a few highlights:
- Chefs continue to embrace the local movement – partnering with local vendors and finding purveyors that strive to embrace environmental practices. Paul Virant, John Currence, and David Avila all presented short demos on preserving and pickling local produce for year-round enjoyment.
- Craft cocktails are here to stay. Gin and Pisco are the trendy liqueurs of the summer.
- Brands are all about attracting the Millennial consumer. Specifically, operators focused on how technology and personalized service can be used enhance the Millennial’s customer experience and boost loyalty.
- Gary Dollens, Global Head – Product and Brand Development at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, spoke about the challenges of personalizing in an era where new technologies are hitting the market daily. Although Hyatt is also looking towards the Millennial, Gary pointed out that the same design and features a Millennial look for – are often the same that all travelers desire.
Key takeaway: Millennial is not a demographic, it’s a mindset.
- At the James Beard hosted round table discussion, award winners Deann and Rick Bayless (Fontera Grill), Mary Sue Milliken, and Barbara Lynch, described how they crave feedback from their guests and look for constructive criticism to make improvements. Rick Bayless astutely mentioned that as an owner it’s often difficult to see what’s really going on when your so closely involved. In Rick’s case, he personally checks his Twitter account to keep a look out for any dissatisfied guests.
As restaurant and hotel brands evolve to suit the ever changing customer landscape, Coyle continues to provide innovative mystery shopping and marketing research solutions to ensure brands stay ahead of their competition by providing actionable customer experience insights.