“You define customer satisfaction when the guest becomes so satisfied with the brand that they become part of our sales force.” – David Kong, President & CEO, Best Western International as quoted in “Hospitality 2015 Game Changers or Spectators?” by Deloitte.
Fascinating marketing trends in hospitality are identified in the 2015 Annual Trend Report published by Andrew Freeman & Co., the San Francisco-based boutique hospitality and restaurant consulting firm.
Delicious on Demand
Fortune magazine recently reported “food-related businesses attracted $2.8 billion in venture capital in 2013, with 2014 showing few signs of a cooling market.” The tech boom has boiled over to food delivery on steroids. Will these new companies find widespread success? Only time will tell.
– Examples include Instacart, Postmates, Blue Apron, Munchery, Caviar, Mantry, Sprig, Forage, Chef’d, Good Eggs.
Tech Crunch: Restaurant Edition
Technology continues to work its way into the restaurant world, too. With pay-for- play reservation Apps, one-touch payment and Apps that make wine lists work smarter, both diners and operators reap the benefits of smartphone technology.
– WineStein works with a restaurant’s menu to ascertain the best wine pairings given existing inventory and shares the pairings with diners on their own phones. The restaurant can access data on how often a certain wine is viewed and paired.
– OpenTable isn’t the only game in Reservation Town. SeatMe, Reserve, Resy, Sosh and Table 8, to name a few, are providing stiff competition and some even offer a fee-based model where the reservations are available, but for a price.
– Asking for your bill is so 2013. Apple Pay integrating with OpenTable and Apps like Covered, you’ll never need to reach for your wallet again.
What’s Your Story?
A great story is the key to a Millennial’s heart. This savvy generation already knows all about unique ingredients and farm-to-table movement. What they want is authenticity and backstory into the places they frequent. Give them fun content that offers insight into the personalities and stories behind the restaurant…and its players.
– The menu and concept of Grant Achatz’s Next in Chicago changes three times a year. The restaurant releases artfully produced video previews of each concept to get the buzz and excitement going via press and online sharing.
Where You Lead, I Will Follow
Social media is no longer about talking to people; it’s about getting your advocates to talk to their friends for you. Consumers want to hear from their own friends and the people they trust, so social strategy has to ignite sharing and motivate activity.
Somebody’s Watching You
These days we know more than ever about our guests—and that pool of data is only growing larger. The information is there, the key is how to access it and what to do with it. Some companies are even using the data to adjust and change their concepts.
– Social media aggregates like Brand Analytics, Radian 6 and others offer sophisticated ways to listen to what guests are saying.
– Food Genius offers data around menus and local food preferences to help restaurants appeal to their local markets.
– The Internet of Things tracks and connects objects to data and is already being used by many in their daily lives. Imagine towel racks that collect information about towel usage or lights that let a hotel know when someone is in their room. It has great potential for both energy and cost reductions, but also, these “things” will allow hotels to bring guests an even more customized experience.